19.04.2021 | KPMG Law Insights

OVG Lüneburg: No compensation for disadvantages due to examination anxiety in group examinations

OVG Lüneburg: No compensation for disadvantages due to examination anxiety in group examinations

In a nutshell:

A diagnosed test anxiety as well as a recurrent depressive disorder do not meet the requirements for the granting of a disadvantage compensation in terms of § 12 para. 5 PO. For this reason, the applicant is to be denied compensation for disadvantages, in the form of an individual examination instead of a group examination. Impairment can only justify withdrawal from the exam due to “inability to take the exam.” According to established case law, limitations of mental capacity due to permanent illnesses are generally not compensable.


The applicant, a medical student, seeks interim legal protection for the granting of compensation for disadvantages in accordance with Section 10, Para. 5 PO. Taking an oral group exam in the subject “Anatomy”, together with fellow students, was not possible due to her diagnosed test anxiety and was the trigger for various symptomatology. These include increased flight instincts, heart palpitations, and thought blocks and “black outs.” Under such conditions, he said, performance review is not possible. She applied to the respondent for the granting of a disadvantage compensation pursuant to Section 10 para. 5 PO for the group oral examination, submitting all medical certificates. The respondent refused to grant a disadvantage compensation, in the form of an individual examination. The applicant is appealing against this decision in the interlocutory proceedings. The administrative court rejected the request. The plaintiff has now filed an appeal against this decision.


The OVG Lüneburg dismissed the applicant’s appeal. (Decision of July 29, 2020, Ref.: 2 ME 312/20)

The court states that the medical conditions presented by the applicant do not lead to a disadvantage compensation according to § 10 para. 5 PO entitle. The personal limitations presented are those that affect the performance per se. However, according to the meaning and purpose of the norm, the granting of compensation for a disadvantage due to a disability is precisely to ensure equality of opportunity (Art. 3 I GG) if, in the case of fundamental ability, only the possibility of representation has to be adapted to the ability. Here, however, the court assumes that the applicant’s medical conditions already impair her performance and that for this reason the provision for compensation for disadvantages cannot be used.

The certificate submitted by the applicant does not meet the requirements for the granting of compensation for a disadvantage. It only confirmed the clinical pictures, but not any physical or mental disability. The applicant’s previous successful group examinations also speak against such an assumption. It is not clear that the shape of the group exam makes it difficult to present/demonstrate their knowledge.

What can readers take away:

The granting of a disadvantage compensation serves to compensate the representation of the basically existing capability. However, it does not apply to compensation for reduced/restricted performance due to the disability. The personal issues that promote an inability to take an examination are not a disability and are therefore not subject to the disadvantage compensation entitlement within the meaning of § 12 para. 5 PO.


Explore #more

01.12.2023 | PR publications

WiWo: Best of Legal Awards – Philipp Glock Leader of the Year

On Thursday evening, WirtschaftsWoche honored outstanding projects and minds from consulting firms and law firms in Düsseldorf and celebrated the second Best of Professional Night…

29.11.2023 | KPMG Law Insights

Energy transition also opens up business opportunities

The energy industry’s complex, capital-intensive transformation process offers investors and banks a great deal of potential By Lars Christian Mahler and Marc Goldberg for Börsen-Zeitung,…

29.11.2023 | KPMG Law Insights

Guest article in ZURe – AI and the legal department of tomorrow

The current issue of ZURe (p. 48 ff.) contains a guest article by KPMG Partner Sina Steidel-Küster (Regional Director Southwest, Head of Stuttgart office) and…

29.11.2023 | KPMG Law Insights, KPMG Law Insights

Key Facts about the new draft of the “Data Act

On February 23, 2022, the EU Commission presented the new draft of the so-called Data Act, the “Regulation on harmonized rules for fair access to…

21.11.2023 |

Guest article in ZURe on the implementation of CSRD reporting in SMEs

The current issue of ZURe (p. 34 ff.) contains a guest article by Lena Plato (Director Legal & Compliance, FLABEG Automotive Group GmbH), KPMG Law…

20.11.2023 | Press releases

Statement by KPMG Law experts in Handelsblatt on the topic of sustainability cooperation in antitrust law

In the Handelsblatt, KPMG Law expert Jonas Brueckner is quoted in detail on the subject of cooperation in terms of sustainability. Until this summer, there…

15.11.2023 |

Legal 500 – Country Comparative Guide Germany

Gerrit Rixen and Jonas Brueckner provide an overview of the relevant legal regulations in the area of Competition & Litigation in a practical guide on…

14.11.2023 | Press releases

Tax and Law at a glance – New issue of the digital magazine “Talk

“Talk” stands for Tax and Law Compass, because that’s what the digital magazine wants to be: a navigation aid to the legal and tax aspects…

13.11.2023 |

Statement from KPMG Law experts in Brand eins magazine on the use of AI

The business magazine brand eins asked eight experts about the use of AI in the legal sector. “Many business people cannot even begin to estimate…

10.11.2023 | Deal Notifications

KPMG Law and KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft advise Ziemann Holvrieka on the acquisition of Künzel Maschinenbau

KPMG Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH (KPMG Law) and KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft (KPMG) advised Ziemann Holvrieka GmbH from Ludwigsburg on the acquisition of the majority of shares…


Julia Hornbostel

Senior Associate

Fuhlentwiete 5
20355 Hamburg

tel: +49 40 3609945162

© 2023 KPMG Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, associated with KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, a public limited company under German law and a member of the global KPMG organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a Private English Company Limited by Guarantee. All rights reserved. For more details on the structure of KPMG’s global organisation, please visit

 KPMG International does not provide services to clients. No member firm is authorised to bind or contract KPMG International or any other member firm to any third party, just as KPMG International is not authorised to bind or contract any other member firm.