Deliver National Qualifications

Since 2000 and in line with its statutory obligations, SQA has been responsible for delivering the national diet of examinations in Scotland. With the exception of the last two years, the diet typically runs from end of April to the beginning of June with results day on the second Tuesday in August. This is also the plan we will follow for 2022.

The main diet consists of a series of exams (question papers) for National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers and in 2019, the timetable consisted of 201 exams. In addition to exams, SQA marks and verifies other components to determine awards, for example, Art and Design folios.

The annual cycle

The annual cycle starts with the setting and vetting of the question papers for the diet. These are reflective of the qualifications and coursework content arrangements. Question papers are developed by experienced subject specialists (appointees) overseen by Qualifications staff.

There is significant work supporting the development, print and distribution of question papers to centres. 

This must be handled securely to avoid any breach of question paper confidentiality.

To ensure that the correct question papers are delivered to the right learners, centres submit entry data to SQA in November.

This data is also essential in helping: