All improper conduct and actions that cause a disturbance during the exam will be reported to SQA and investigated. Penalties may be applied and can include loss of marks and the cancellation of exam entries.
Examples of improper conduct are:
- possessing prohibited items in the exam room (including notes, mobile phones and electronic devices, including but not limited to, music/digital devices, MP3 players, iPods, tablets and smartwatches)
- using a calculator in a non-calculator paper
- using a calculator with prohibited functions, eg a computer algebra system (CAS), with capacity to store data or text
- pretending to be someone else in the assessment or having someone else attempt to sit the assessment for you
- disruptive behaviour in the exam room
- using text language or any rude, abusive, offensive or discriminatory language or images in your answer booklets, eg vulgarity, swearing, discrimination
- copying from another candidate
- collusion — working with other candidates on an individual task when it must be your own work
- plagiarism — failing to acknowledge sources properly and/or submitting another person’s work as if it were your own
Ownership and copyright of exam material
When you submit exam materials to SQA, or permit your school or college to submit them on your behalf, you are agreeing to them becoming the physical property of SQA.
By exam material, we mean any of the following that are submitted to SQA for assessment:
- answer booklets
- alternative evidence (for candidates affected by exceptional circumstances)
In addition, your submission of the materials is an agreement that SQA is permitted to use these materials for purposes such as teaching and exemplification material. SQA will not disclose your name or Scottish Candidate Number, or any other identifying details.
Marking your exams
From the moment you hand in your completed answer booklet to the Invigilator at the end of the exam, that booklet begins a journey that doesn’t end until August — and it may only be a part of what makes up your final results. After each exam, your answer booklet is tracked through the various stages of the marking process.
Marking is carried out by approximately 7,500 teachers and lecturers across the country, carefully selected by SQA based on their experience and subject expertise. All of these Markers receive training in preparation for marking your answers, so that all of them mark in a fair, consistent way for all subjects, and all candidates. Throughout the marking process, we carry out checks to ensure that all Markers mark your exam papers in line with national standards.
It is only once these processes are complete for every subject that we can finally combine all of your marks together to produce your final results. Depending on the subject, this might include coursework marks that your school or college submitted to us before the exams began, as well as marks for any parts of the Course that were assessed directly by SQA (including performances of speaking exams that we assessed during a visit to your school or college). All of these contribute to your overall grade. For each subject, we determine the mark needed to achieve a grade A, B, C or D.
Your certificate is then printed and posted so you receive it at the same time as your classmates and fellow candidates (150,000 in total!) on Tuesday 8 August.