National Qualifications

Music student and teacherAs an awarding body, we devise and develop qualifications, including the National Qualifications that have been introduced to secondary schools and colleges in Scotland.

Examinations 2015

The 2015 exam diet featured question papers for the previous Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications and the new National 5 and Higher qualifications. This was part of our dual-running approach, to allow candidates who had studied under the previous system to complete their National Qualifications under that system. As a result, there was a significant increase in the number of question papers produced by SQA for use in the diet.

We produced 531 question papers in 2015:




Results day 2015

On 4 August 2015, we issued results certificates to 142,862 candidates across Scotland. More than 1.1 million exam scripts were marked by almost 6,000 markers.




National courses

The following shows the attainment rate for National courses certificated in August 2015. This includes new and previous qualifications.

Post-results Services 2015

Our Post-results Services allow schools and colleges to query unexpected results for individual candidates, based on their professional knowledge of how the candidate has performed throughout the year. In 2015, we received 12,077 Post-results Services requests. 94.7% of requests were for marking reviews, where exam materials are reviewed by a senior examiner to ensure that the materials have been marked in line with the national standard.

A smaller number of requests were made for priority marking reviews or clerical checks. Of the 12,077 requests we received, 2,378 (19.7%) resulted in a change to a candidate’s grade.

Further support for schools and colleges

Throughout session 2015-16, we provided additional support for teachers and lecturers to help them deliver the National Qualifications.

Understanding Standards

Our Understanding Standards programme continued and featured a programme of events and the publication of candidate evidence and commentary materials.

Throughout session 2015-16, we delivered 180 subject-based continuing professional development (CPD) training sessions for teachers in local authorities and independent schools, and for college lecturers. These training sessions were delivered subject to request.

We published Understanding Standards materials for assessment in National courses. These materials contain real examples of candidate evidence along with a commentary explaining why the evidence has or has not met the required standards. We published 342 candidate evidence and commentary materials for unit assessment and we also published a range of candidate evidence and commentary materials for course assessment in 49 subjects.