FOI22/23 044 Missing Exam Scripts

Date published: 29/09/2022

FOI reference: 22/23 044

Date received: 08/08/2022

Date responded: 18/08/2022

Information requested

I’d like to find out how many SQA exam papers went missing this year (2021-2022), for all levels of assessment from Nat 5 to Advanced Higher. In other words, students papers that were lost while in the possession of the SQA, either physically or digitally. If I could receive a total number of missing papers and a breakdown for each qualification level


SQA handles almost a million exam papers a year. Given the volume of papers that are handled, a small number do go missing, which is regrettable. This is an issue common to all awarding bodies. Therefore, SQA has an established contingency process in place to cater for such instances.

In session 2021/22, there were a total of c837000 exam papers processed by SQA. Of these, a total of 63 were confirmed by SQA as missing. The breakdown by qualification level is as follows:

National 5 : 16

Higher: 40

Advanced Higher: 7