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National 4 Mathematics

National 4 Mathematics

This Course is valid from August 2013.

The National 4 Mathematics Course enables learners to select and apply straightforward mathematical skills in a variety of mathematical and real-life situations. Learners interpret, communicate and manage information in mathematical form.

Mathematics homepage

National 4 Mathematics Numeracy Unit

The National 4 Numeracy Unit can be assessed using online e-assessment through SQA Solar. Further information is available on the Lifeskills Mathematics page.

Qualification content and delivery tools

The documents on this page are for teachers and lecturers.

Learners studying this qualification may also find the documents useful.

The 'Related information' panel on this page contains information that applies to all new National Qualifications in this subject.

Updates and announcements

Update letters

Printed copies of this special Curriculum for Excellence update letter will also be provided to centres.

Notification of changes June 2014

The National 4 Added Value Unit Specification has been amended in light of centre feedback to make the test less predictable. Details of these changes are available on the notification of changes spreadsheet and in the comparative document.

National 3 to National 5 Mathematics Unit assessment support packs, including National 4 Mathematics Added Value Unit, are currently being revised. Most of the revisions will be to clarify marking guidance and some questions have been amended. The Added Value Test Unit assessment pack is being amended, in light of centre feedback, to make the test less predictable. These packs will be available for the start of the next session.

Unit assessment overview

This document provides general advice on assessment, judging evidence and re-assessment and outlines the approach taken in SQA-produced Unit assessment support packs.

Assessors also have freedom and flexibility to produce their own assessments, or use or adapt SQA-produced Unit assessment support packs. In all cases, Unit assessments have to demonstrate competency across all Assessment Standards.

Unit Assessment Support

As a result of feedback, the Mathematics Added Value Unit Test was amended in February 2014 to include the option for assessors to apply an overall threshold of 26 out of 43 when making a judgement on candidate performance. The existing guidance on judging operational and reasoning skills separately is also still a valid approach. The National 4 Lifeskills Mathematics Added Value Test is unchanged.

Additional support materials have been published in February 2014 for Outcome 2. A set of questions for the assessment/reassessment of Outcome 2 (reasoning) in National 4 Expressions and Formulae and Relationships Units has been produced. This is available on the Mathematics Unit assessment support section of the secure site.

These have been designed in such a way that the reasoning skills are attached to different operational skills or use a different context or strategy from those used in Unit assessment support package 1.

In response to feedback from teachers and lecturers, we made some additions, updates and minor amendments to the Unit assessment support packs for National 4 and National 5 Mathematics in October 2013.

These updates are to provide clarification and guidance for teachers/lecturers; particularly across the ‘Judging evidence’ tables, however the Outcomes and Assessment Standards remain unchanged. The Unit assessment support packs are to assist teachers/lecturers in using their own professional judgement when planning and recording their assessments and while we would encourage use of these latest packs, the previous versions will be accepted for verification purposes.

The updated Unit assessment support packs are now available and teachers/lecturers can arrange access to them through their SQA Co-ordinator.

This guidance document provides an introduction to new recording tables in the Unit assessment support packs.

Conditions of assessment

Assessments for Mathematics must be carried out under supervised closed-book conditions. While this is not a change to the conditions of assessment, the UAS packs will be updated to include the term 'closed-book' in order to avoid any uncertainty in the future.

Mandatory information

Course Specification

This explains the overall structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.


Unit Specifications

These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.

Unit Specification for National 4 Numeracy

Added Value Unit Specification

These define the mandatory requirements for the Added Value Unit, including the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.

They also include the further mandatory information on Course coverage for the National 4 Course and include information on the assessment method to be used and the conditions of assessment.

Unit Specification for National 4 Numeracy

Advice and guidance

Course and Unit Support Notes

These provide advice and guidance for teachers/lecturers on learning, teaching and assessment within the Course and its Units.

Assessment support

Added Value Unit Assessment

For the first two years of implementation (in session 2013/14 and session 2014/15), for all subjects practitioners must use the SQA-published Added Value Unit assessments. These include information for assessors, such as conditions of assessment and guidance on evidence to be gathered and on judging candidates’ evidence. Appendix 1 provides instructions for candidates.

The Mathematics Added Value Unit assessment is a test. Centres are permitted to adapt the published assessment within limits that are clearly described in the Assessment Overview of the Added Value Unit assessment. In accordance with this, the assessor provides an opportunity for candidates to respond to a set of questions which cover each of the skills to be assessed.

Centres can access the assessment through their SQA Co-ordinator.

As with all SQA Unit assessments, Added Value Unit assessments must be internally verified by centres.

Unit Assessment Support

These documents contain details of Unit assessment task(s), show approaches to gathering evidence and how the evidence can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.



Some generic common key messages have been identified following the reviews of event verification activity for Rounds 1 and 2. They are available here -