SQA publishes 2018–19 Post-Results Services Statistics

Wednesday 04 December 2019

SQA today publishes statistics for its Post-results Services (PRS) following the 2018-19 academic year.
The key findings are:
Of the 497,926 entries in 2018–19, there were 11,528 (2.3% of all entries) requests either for a clerical check, or a marking review. This can be further refined as:
  • 2.2% 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 (96.6%) of all requests were for a marking review. A smaller number of requests went through the priority marking review (3.0%) and, the clerical check (0.4%).
Across the three available services, 14.6% of the requests resulted in a grade change (1,685 of 11,528 requests). This is a 0.1 percentage point increase from 14.5% in 2017-18.
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.
Fiona Robertson, SQA Chief Executive, and Scotland’s Chief Examining Officer, said: “SQA’s Post-results Services allows schools and colleges to query candidates’ results if they believe they are unexpected and it is right for schools and colleges to have that opportunity on behalf of their pupils. Our approach to checking the marks awarded to candidates across the country remains high-quality, rigorous and fair.
“Our Post-results Services were designed in consultation and partnership with stakeholders throughout Scotland’s education community. Again we have shown that our commitment to delivering Scotland’s national qualifications to the highest possible standard is at the heart of all our activities.”

Subject summaries


In 2018–19, requests for all three services totalled 2,330 (2.8% of all entries in English at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher), resulting in 424 upgrades (18.2% of requests and 0.5% of all English entries) and zero downgrades.


Requests for all three services totalled 1,087 (1.7% of all entries in Mathematics at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher), resulting in 54 upgrades (5.0% of requests and 0.1% of all Mathematics entries) and zero downgrades.
Full copies of the Post-Results Services statisitics; including the Post-results Services Chief Examiner's Statement 2019; the Post-results Services Report Statistical Summary 2019, the Post-results Services Report Statistical Tables 2019, and the Post-results Services Report Trend Tables are available on the SQA Statistics page.