SQA publishes NQ 2015 Post Results Services Statistics

Students with certificates

SQA has published statistics for its Post Results Services (PRS) which ran during the 2014-15 academic year. 

This is the second year PRS has successfully operated, replacing the previous appeals system. The service has supported candidates and allowed teachers and lecturers to concentrate on quality teaching and learning.

The Post Results Service allow schools and colleges to query candidates’ unexpected results, given their professional knowledge of a pupil’s performance throughout the year. 

Three services are available to schools and colleges:

  • A Clerical Check - ensures all marks were correctly totalled.
  • A Marking Review - exam materials are reviewed by a Senior Examiner to ensure the original marker followed the agreed marking scheme and the exam paper was marked to the nationally agreed standard. It includes a Clerical Check.
  • A Priority Marking Review - same as a Marking Review but is prioritised and is mainly used for candidates who have a university place pending on the outcome of the review.

The key findings for the 2015 National Qualifications examinations were as follows:

  • A total of 12,077 requests for a Clerical Check, a Priority Marking Review or a Marking Review of candidates’ externally assessed materials were received.
  • The majority of the requests (94.7%) were for a Marking Review. A smaller number of requests (4.7%) went through the Priority Marking Review and/or the Clerical Check (0.6%).
  • 2.4% of all eligible entries requested a Results Service review;
    • Of the eligible entries for Marking Review, 2.2% requested this service. 
    • Of the eligible entries for Priority Marking Review, 0.1% requested this service. 
    • Of the eligible entries for Clerical Check, less than 0.05% requested this service.

Across the three services, 2,378 (19.7%) of the 12,077 requests resulted in a grade change. This compares to the 2,175 (25.7%) grade changes of the 8,448 requests received in 2014. 

The 2015 grade changes are broken down as follows: 

  • The total number of requests for Clerical Checks was 69 of which two (2.9%) resulted in a grade change.
  • For Priority Marking Reviews, the total number of requests was 571 of which 150 (26.3%) resulted in a grade change.
  • The total number of requests for Marking Reviews was 11,437 of which 2,226 (19.5%) resulted in a grade change (0.4% of the total eligible entries).

In 2015, a total of more than 1.1 million scripts from over 142,000 candidates were marked by almost 6,000 markers.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive, said: “At the heart of all our activities is a commitment to the highest possible standards in Scottish qualifications. As part of that commitment, we have put systems in place to ensure that our approach to assessing qualifications is high-quality, rigorous and fair for all candidates. Post Results Services were designed in partnership and consultation with representatives from across  Scotland’s education system. We constantly review our procedures to enhance and improve them with the aim of ensuring the best possible outcomes for candidates.”

The NQ 2015 Results Services Report Statistical Summary is available now. The NQ 2015 Results Services Report Statistical Tables, can be downloaded from the SQA Statistics web page.


Further information:

SQA Results Services comprises of two destinct services:

1.     Post Results Services

The Post Results Services operate after candidates have received their certificates in August. If a school or college is concerned by a candidate’s result, they can request a clerical check and/or a marking review of the script.

If this check/review of the marking of the script, leads to a change of grade (either up or down), this will be amended on our system and a new certificate will be issued to the candidate. There will be no consideration of ‘alternative evidence’ with this service. If the original grade remains unchanged after the check/review of the marking of the script, the school or college will be charged for this service. Centres are advised of those subjects and components eligible for Post Results Services in the relevant policy document. 

2.    Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service

The Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service operates prior to results being published in August. If a school or college believes that a candidate has suffered as the result of exceptional circumstances such as bereavement or illness, centre staff can inform SQA. If accepted, centres can submit a wide range of evidence of the candidate’s attainment from throughout the year which will be considered. During the 2015 diet, a total of 3,318 Exceptional Circumstance requests were certificated in August.