How To Troubleshooting UNISA

UNISA is Offline! What now?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

An assignment is due, you need to write an exam and cannot log in or have something else you need to do, but cannot access the UNISA services! What should you do?!

Dont panic. Take a breath, grab a glass of water, sit down and relax.

First, Check if it is only you, or if all students are affected… How?


It is online and other students can access it, then the problem is possibly on your side. Here are some things you can check/try:

  • Is you internet working at all (lets assume yes, because you can read this).
  • Check that you have enough mobile data (if on your phone).
  • Can you try a different internet connection? (Switch to Mobile data / Use a different Wifi / ask a Friend/Family member) – if it works on their device…
  • The problem is on your device, you can try clearing the browser cache: How Do I clear my Browser Cache?
  • Try using a different browser. Firefox / Chrome
  • Restart the device.

When nothing works, on your device, submit on a different device of possible.

TIP: You will reduce the stress by a lot by making sure you have backup phone/laptop and internet connection available to test/use.


It depends if you are writing an exam, or if you want to submit an assignment. Lets have a look at the general guidance for both:


BEFORE the due date:

You can try submitting each day till the last day that the assignment is due.

ON the due date:

Assignments are due at midnight on the day (unless specified otherwise): you can take a chance and try and submit it in the evening.

  • Look in the Module’s Group (if it works) if the Professor/Lecturer posted any information. An extension could have been given.
  • Some Professors/Lecturers will send an email, so check your student inbox. An extension could have been given.
  • Assignments are due at midnight on the day (unless specified otherwise): wait a bit and try and submit again later.
  • Do NOT email the Professor/Lecturer with your answers – unless if they tell you to.

TIP: Try submit your assignment a week early if possible. This gives you a safety net and reduces stress again.


When the Exam systems are offline during your planned exam, relax and look in the official UNISA channels if the Professor/Lecturer sent an announcement / if you got an Email.

Important: Take screenshots, take pictures, collect proof that the systems are offline and your internet is working. Store it somewhere where you can get it again if needed.

UNISA says: Dealing with technical challenges uploading your examination papers

Here’s what has been done in the past, depending on the situation:

  • The Exam was written on the SAME day, but started a few hours later.
  • A new date in the current Exam period was scheduled.
  • The Exam was postponed to the next semester.
    • If it is your first attempt, you will get a free Supplementary (supp) Exam.
    • If it is your second attempt, then you have to register for the module again (and possibly pay).

Do NOT email the Lecturer/Professor, there is nothing they can do.

Tip: Your step-by-step guide for successful online examinations

Other (Applications, Registrations, etc)

If you need to reach out to UNISA, but it is not regarding an Exam / Assignment. You will have to be a bit creative in trying to find the right next step.

First, think about how time sensitive your question/query/etc. is. Sometimes, we have to exercise some patience… Here is some general guidance:

Just remember, if the system goes down, the number of emails UNISA receives goes up. Sending multiple emails will not bump you up in the list of emails to be answered. In my experience it made it worse. Try sending emails to the right department / module. Do not CC the whole world and his dog in the first email. Be patient, follow up on a weekly/monthly basis.

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