Search Help

The following guidance should help you get the most from the site search facility. If you have any queries or feedback on the search engine, please e-mail us at:

Using the search

The search box is available on the top right-hand corner of every page on our website. Simply enter a word, phrase or Unit code and press submit.

Search bar with advanced options displayed

Whilst typing, the search will automatically suggest possible terms based on your entry. To run a search based on one of these, select the suggestion from the drop-down before pressing submit.


You will then be taken to the search results page.


The search results use icons to help convey more information at a glance. The icons signify which Qualification Area the materials are located on the site: NQ (National Qualifications), HN (Higher National qualifications), or SVQ (Scottish Vocational Qualifications). All relevant website pages, NQ past papers, Unit search results and SVQ information sheets display a qualification icon.

Search results showing qualification icons

Also, any results linking directly to documents display the relevant document type icon (Word, PDF, etc).

Search results showing document type icons

Filtering results

There are a number of options to filter results down to narrow your search. You can filter the results by Qualification Area (NQ, HN, SVQ, or 'all') using the available tabs.

SQA search bar with filter tabs

The advanced options allow further options to filter the results. These are listed under the 'Advanced Options' section of the search bar, or under 'Filter these results by' in the left-hand menu. Using these, it is possible to filter results by date, and also by content type (ie website pages, documents and files, past papers, NQ units, NQ courses, SVQ information sheets, and HN units).

Search bar with Chemistry Marking Instructions filled in using quotation marks

Search Tips

When you enter more than one word as a search term, the system will search for each individual word. However, to search for an exact phrase, you should use quotation marks.
To maximise search results, avoid using colons in your search term, even if the Unit has a colon in the title.


For example:

SQA search bar with Chemistry Marking Instructions filled in without using quotes

This will search for any pages or documents that include the individual words 'Chemistry', 'marking', and 'instructions', regardless of where on the page the words are, or in what order the words occur.

Alternatively, if you use quotation marks:

Search bar with History filled in and auto suggest options displayed

This will search for any pages or documents on the site that include the exact phrase 'Chemistry marking instructions'.