National 5 Mathematics
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.
Updates and announcements
- October 2016 subject update (287 KB)
- May 2016 subject update (229 KB)
- October 2015 subject update (351 KB)
- August 2015 subject update (National 3 to Higher) (173 KB)
- May 2015 subject update (199 KB)
- January 2015 subject update - Advanced Higher (415 KB)
- September 2014 subject update (336 KB)
- Special Edition Update June 2014 (152 KB)
- September 2013 update letter
Changes to assessment in the National 5 course from session 2017-18
3 March 2017 - Updated to include information on exam times
Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement that units and unit assessments will be removed from National 5 to Advanced Higher courses, we are strengthening the course assessment to ensure it covers the full content of the course.
The following summary provides a quick look at what is needed to strengthen the course assessment in your National 5 course. These changes will take effect from session 2017-18 onwards. More detailed information will be provided in the revised Course Specifications, which will be available by the end of April 2017.
Changes to exams:
Question paper 1 (non-calculator) will be extended by 10 marks and the exam time will increase by 15 minutes. Question paper 2 (calculator) will be extended by 10 marks and the exam time will increase by 20 minutes.
The course assessment will be structured as follows:
|Component||Number of marks||Duration||Weighting|
|Question paper 1 (non-calculator)||50 marks||75 minutes||45%|
|Question paper 2 (calculator)||60 marks||110 minutes (1 hour 50 minutes)||55%|
|Total:||110 marks||185 minutes (3 hours 5 minutes)|
Reasons for these changes:
The question papers are being extended to ensure they sample a greater amount of course content, following the removal of units.
There has been a marginal change in the weighting between question papers one and two but this should have no overall impact on the assessment of mandatory knowledge and skills across the two papers.
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
This explains the structure of the Course assessment; including the type and method of assessment. It also includes information on Course coverage.
These provide an outline of what each Unit will cover within the Course and detail the Outcomes and Assessment Standards.
- Mathematics: Applications (National 5) Unit Specification
- Mathematics: Expressions and Formulae (National 5) Unit Specification
- Mathematics Relationships (National 5) Unit Specification
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.
The following document contains the Course Support Notes and the Unit Support Notes for this Course. They can be printed together or separately.
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Specimen Question Papers 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.
- Question Paper Brief National 5 Mathematics
- Mathematics: Paper 1 Specimen Question Paper National 5
- Mathematics: Paper 2 Specimen Question Paper National 5
- Mathematics National 5 Formulae List
- Mathematics Specimen Question Paper 1 National 5 (Gaelic Medium)
- Mathematics Specimen Question Paper 2 National 5 (Gaelic Medium)
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.
Understanding Standards materials
We are publishing examples of candidate evidence with commentaries as part of our Understanding Standards programme. These materials are for teachers and lecturers to help them develop their understanding of the standards required for assessment. As these materials become available, they are being published in the following locations:
- Available from our secure website Materials relating to Unit assessment, internally assessed components of Course assessment, and externally assessed components of Course assessment which are subject to visiting assessment. Teachers and lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.
- Available from our Understanding Standards website Materials relating to externally assessed components of Course assessment, with the exception of those subject to visiting assessment.
More information on our Understanding Standards programme, can be found on our Understanding Standards page.
Verification and Course Reports
- Mathematics Verification Key Message
- 2014 National 5 Mathematics Course Report
- 2015 National 5 Mathematics Course Report
- Mathematics Verification Key Messages
- 2016 National 5 Mathematics Course Report
- Mathematics Verification Key Messages