SQA publishes 2017-18 Post-Results Services Statistics

students in exam hallWednesday 05 December 2018

SQA has published the statistics for its Post-results Services (PRS) following the 2017-18 academic year.

The key findings are:

Of the 498,067 entries in 2017–18, there were 13,543 (2.7%) requests either for a clerical check, or a marking review. This can be further refined as:

  • 2.6% of entries requested the marking review service;
  • 0.1% of entries requested the priority marking review service;
  • Less than 0.05% of entries requested the clerical check service.

More than ninety six percent (96.5%) of all requests were for a marking review. A smaller number of requests went through the priority marking review (3.1%) and, the clerical check (0.4%).
Across the three available services, 14.5% of the requests resulted in a grade change (1,958 of 13,543 requests). This is a decrease from 16.5% in 2016-17.

Post-results Services allows schools and colleges, to query candidates’ results if they are deemed to be unexpected, given their professional knowledge of a learner’s performance throughout the year. Three services are available to schools and colleges:

  • Clerical check - ensures all marks were correctly totalled.
  • Marking review - exam materials are reviewed by a Senior Examiner to ensure the original marker followed the agreed marking scheme and the exam paper was marked to the nationally agreed standard. It includes a clerical check.
  • Priority marking review - same as a marking review but is prioritised and is mainly used for candidates who have a university place pending on the outcome of the review.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive, and Scotland’s Chief Examining Officer, said: “Our approach to assessing and marking SQA courses and qualifications sat by candidates across the country remains high-quality, rigorous and fair. However it is right that schools and colleges still have the opportunity to query results on behalf of their learners, when they believe a genuine error has been made.

“SQA’s Post-results Services, which were designed in partnership with stakeholders throughout Scotland’s education community, have again shown that at the heart of all our
activities is a commitment to delivering our national qualifications to the highest possible standard.”

Subject summaries


In 2017–18, requests for all three services totalled 2,583 (3.1% of all entries in English at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher), resulting in 426 upgrades (16.5% of requests and 0.5% of all English entries) and zero downgrades.


Requests for all three services totalled 1,200 (1.9% of all entries in Mathematics at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher), resulting in 31 upgrades (2.6% of requests and 0.05% of all Mathematics entries) and zero downgrades.

Supporting documents

A copy of the Results Services Report - CEO Statement can be found here.

A copy of the Results Services Report Statistical Summary 2018 is available here.

Copes of the Results Services Report Statistical Tables 2018, and Results Services Report Trend Tables 2018 can be dowloaded from our Statistics 2018 page.