National Qualifications 2022-23

SQA realises there is an ongoing impact on your learning and teaching caused by Covid-19 disruption. The following information explains what we are doing this year to support you with your National Qualifications. In summary, we are:

  • keeping modifications to assessments for 2022-23
  • planning for exams in 2023
  • providing general information booklets to help you prepare for coursework and exams
  • continuing to provide guidance for teachers, lecturers, and training practitioners on how to determine your estimates
  • continuing to work with the whole education community on key decisions, contingency arrangements, and communications

This year we have kept the changes we made to assessment in National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses, as well as some National 3 courses and freestanding units. We call these changes ‘modifications’ and they vary by subject and level.

All modifications to assessment are already in place. There are no plans to make any further changes or to provide any additional advance notice of topics and content. Depending on the courses you are taking, we may have done one or more of the following:

  • removed an exam or an item of coursework
  • removed or reduced parts of an exam or coursework
  • removed one or more topics or sub-topics from an exam
  • provided more choice or more time in an assessment
  • provided your school, college, or training provider with information about what will or will not be assessed in the 2023 exam
  • reduced the amount of work you need to do for a unit assessment

In National 4 courses, we have also removed the requirement to complete added value unit assessments, which normally take place towards the end of the course.

Please speak to your teachers, lecturers, or training practitioners for more details about how you will be assessed in your courses.

Exams will take place in 2023, as they did in 2022. They will start on Monday 24 April and finish on Thursday 1 June 2023.

View the exam timetable

Appeals service 2023

Following extensive research with teachers, lecturers, parents, carers and learners, we have made some changes to our appeals service for 2023. This will bring it more in line with the service we had prior to the pandemic. Appeals 2023 will open on Results day – Tuesday 8 August. It will be a free service and available to all learners.  

What is changing? 

  • A senior SQA marker will review your assessments marked by SQA 
  • Alternative assessment evidence will not be needed. 

What is staying the same? 

  • The service is free of charge  
  • You can register your intention to appeal directly with SQA 
  • You can ask your teacher or lecturer to submit an appeal for you  
  • You can request a priority service if you have a conditional offer for further education, training or employment  

We will continue to provide information on Appeals 2023 over the next few months. 

Examination Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service (EECCS) 

The EECCS, which involves the review of alternative evidence for candidates with exceptional circumstances, will remain in place. 

The service will be available to learners who are unable to attend an exam and widened to include those whose performance in the examination may have been affected by a personal circumstance, or an unplanned incident on the day, which is beyond their control. This could be a medical condition (including Covid-19 related absence) or bereavement, or disruption on the day of the exam as reported by the Chief Invigilator. 

More information about this service will be made available before the exam diet starts. 

Your National Qualifications booklet

By now you should have received your copy of ‘Your National Qualifications’ – a booklet for learners that tells you what you need to do when completing coursework. It also contains some useful information about preparing for exams.

Printed copies have been sent to schools, colleges and training providers to be distributed to learners studying National Qualifications.

At the end of March, we will publish another booklet called ‘Your Exams’, which will provide you with essential information about preparing for and sitting exams.

We are not publishing any additional course-specific revision resources this year. Instead, we will include exam and study tips within the Your Exams booklet.

2022 past papers

Past papers are a useful resource to help you revise for exams. The 2022 past papers are available to download for free from our website. These are copies of the question papers and marking instructions that were used in the 2022 exams.

Some of the 2022 past papers are labelled ‘modified’. This means we made changes to the question paper as part of the modifications to assessment in 2021-22. For example, a modified past paper may be shorter, have fewer marks or contain fewer topics than past papers from previous years. This will give you an idea of what the 2023 question papers might look like.

Find past papers

e-Sgoil study support

e-Sgoil is continuing to provide online study support resources for learners working towards National Qualifications. These include subject-specific webinars.

Visit e-Sgoil study support

SQA is part of the National Qualifications Group. This group provides invaluable advice to SQA and the wider education system to help inform decisions that affect learners, schools, colleges, and training providers.

Membership includes representatives from: Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES); Colleges Scotland; Education Scotland; Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS); National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS); School Leaders Scotland (SLS); Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS); Scottish Government; Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA); and Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP).

The National Qualifications Group will continue to work together in 2022-23 to build on what performed well last year.

We realise that continuing to live through Covid-19 can be unpredictable. We also know that this is a concern for you, your parents or carers, and your school, college, or training provider, as you progress through your courses.

While we are planning for the exams to go ahead in 2023, we recognise the importance of having another option available should exams be cancelled due to public health advice.

Each year, your teachers, lecturers, or training practitioners send estimates to SQA. An estimate is an indication of your final grade (the grade your teacher, lecturer, or training provider thinks you are likely to achieve) based on how you have been performing in assessments throughout the year.

To determine an estimate, your teacher, lecturer, or training practitioner will look at evidence they have gathered from your normal in-year assessments (such as prelims, practical activities, performances, and class tests), which shows your skills, and your knowledge and understanding of the course. They will use their professional judgement to review this evidence against the national assessment standards for the course.

Following ongoing discussion with education partners, if the exams were to be cancelled due to public health advice, your estimates would form the basis of your results.

We are continuing to provide guidance for teachers, lecturers, and training practitioners on how to gather evidence and produce estimates. We are also running our annual programme of Understanding Standards support for teachers, lecturers, and training practitioners, which focuses on the national standards for assessment, to help ensure the evidence they gather for estimates is valid and reliable.

To stay up to date, please visit National Qualifications home.