National 5 Lifeskills Mathematics

National 5 Lifeskills Mathematics

This Course is valid from August 2013.

The National 5 Lifeskills Mathematics Course enables learners to apply mathematical ideas and strategies to managing finance, statistics, geometry and measurement in real-life contexts.

Lifeskills Mathematics homepage

Updates and announcements

Notification of changes July 2014

Selected Unit assessment support packs have been revised. Most of the revisions have been to clarify marking guidance, but some questions have been amended. These packs are now available on the secure website.

Assessments that were completed by candidates during 2013-14 session will be valid for verification in 2014-15.

Unit Assessment Support

In response to feedback from teachers and lecturers, we made some additions, updates and minor amendments to the Unit assessment support packs for National 3 to National 5 Lifeskills 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.


An advice note is now available for centres using our on-screen assessment delivery service, SOLAR. This will provide support for centres delivering National 3 to National 5 Lifeskills Mathematics Units (except the National 4 Added Value Unit). The majority of the questions in the e-assessments will be automatically marked with a minimal requirement for marking by assessors.

Conditions of assessment

Assessments for Lifeskills 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.

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.

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.

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

This 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.

The following document contains the Course Support Notes and the Unit Support Notes for this Course. They can be printed together or separately.

Assessment support

Past Papers and Marking Instructions

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.

Hodder Education have produced sets of additional model papers. These include copies of the SQA specimen question papers and are available to buy now.

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.


Course Exemplification Materials

Verification and Course Reports