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National 5 Mathematics

National 5 Mathematics

This Course is valid from August 2013.

The National 5 Mathematics Course enables learners to select and apply mathematical techniques in a variety of mathematical and real-life situations. Learners interpret, communicate and manage information in mathematical form.

Mathematics homepage

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

Unit assessment support packs are currently being revised. Most of the revisions will be to clarify marking guidance and some questions have been amended. These packs will be available for the start of the next session.

Assessments that were completed by candidates during 2013-14 session will be valid for verification in 2014-15. Please note that there are no further planned changes to mandatory documents in this session.

Guidance on the use of past paper questions

We have produced a support document to help teachers and lecturers identify suitable past paper questions/items that could be used, or amended, to support learners in their preparation for sitting question papers as part of the National 5 Course assessment.

The advice reflects questions selected from 2011 to 2013 past papers.

The document is available under the Specimen question paper heading.

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, 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 5 Expressions and Formulae, Relationships and Applications 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.

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.


Course Assessment Specification

The Course Assessment Specification explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.

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 5 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

Specimen Question Paper and Marking Instructions

These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.

Please note that it is recommended to open the documents in a separate PDF reader as some of the formulas and symbols will not display properly in a browser PDF viewer.

National Parent Forum Scotland have also produced their Revision in a Nutshell series to help learners to prepare for new National 5 examinations.

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 -