SQA's evaluation of the 2022 Approach to Assessment of Graded National Courses

Thousands of learners and educators across Scotland have taken part in our evaluation of how National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers were awarded in 2022. Hundreds of parents and carers also shared their views.

The research findings are part of a wide-ranging evaluation programme that has contributed to making decisions for the 2022-23 session and has contributed to future considerations of the qualifications and assessment system.

The research findings were also one part of a holistic suite of insights and evidence from across the education community that was used to make decisions about the 2023-24 session. These included:

The programme engaged with stakeholders across the education sector and relevant national and local government stakeholders and reflects the diverse and sometimes conflicting views of learners, parents and carers, and practitioners, and the importance of the review of qualifications and assessment.

Both the National Qualifications Group and the SQA Advisory Council, whose wide-ranging membership includes the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), School Leaders Scotland (SLS) and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), agreed that the best decision, on balance, was to remove modifications. This was determined to be in the best interests of learners.

2022 evaluation reports

Evaluation summary report

A summary of our approach and lists the key themes from the research findings.

Reflections of senior appointees and qualification teams

Engagement with senior appointees (Principal Assessors and Depute Principal Assessors) and SQA qualifications teams who support the delivery of National Courses, enabling an evaluation of the approach to the assessment of National Courses in 2021-22, as the education system returned to formal external assessment and exams.

Learner and practitioner experiences main report

Surveys and in-depth interviews with learners and practitioners to understand their lived experience of assessment in 2022, helping us to build a picture of how the 2022 assessment approach worked in practice.

Learner experiences report

Detailed analysis of learner lived experiences of assessment in 2022.

Practitioner experiences report

Detailed analysis of practitioner lived experiences of assessment in 2022.

Approaches to certification in Scotland and other jurisdictions

A detailed piece of desk-based research placing Scotland’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a wider context, covering how assessment and certification in 2020, 2021, and 2022 were undertaken in a range of jurisdictions.

Relationships between teacher estimates and results in Scotland

Teachers in Scotland routinely submit estimates each year to SQA to use in awarding National Qualifications. This report contains analyses of the correspondence between estimates and grades awarded in August for 2022 and for 2017 to 2019.

Appeals Statistics 2022

Summary of appeal outcomes for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in 2022.

Attainment statistics 2022

Attainment statistics for National Qualifications, Skills for Work, Awards, National Progression Awards and National Certificates for December 2022.