Coronavirus: NQ learner support

SQA 2020 exams have been cancelled but you will still get your results on 4 August.

Your results will be based on estimate grades, which your teacher or lecturer will send to us.

How you will get your results

1 Estimates

Your teachers/lecturers estimate what grades you would have received.

Their estimates are based on all the work you have done across the year.

2 Awarding

We use the estimate information, as well as any results you may have achieved in previous years, to produce your 2020 results.

3 Results

Tuesday 4 August

We issue your results. (Sign up to MySQA for results by text/email).

4 Appeals

After 4 August

If you disagree with your results, speak to your school or college who may use the free appeals service.


We will not be marking coursework for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Courses. National 5 coursework that has already been received by SQA will not be returned but may be used as part of a free appeals service.

Get your results by text/email


Sign-up to MySQA to receive results by text and/or email.

If you have already signed up to MySQA, please make sure your contact details are up to date.

Latest coronavirus statements

Your questions answered

Which qualifications are covered by the guidance in this section?

The guidance in this section is currently relevant to the following SQA qualifications:

  • National 2 to National 5 courses
  • Highers
  • Advanced Highers
  • Scottish Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Project unit
  • National Certificates (NC)
  • National Progression Awards (NPA)
  • Skills for Work courses
  • Awards

Why did SQA take the decision to cancel the exams?

Following the latest medical and scientific advice, The Scottish Government decided to cancel the exam diet due to social distancing and to keep everyone safe.

What about pushing the exam timetable back to later in the year?

We did think about this however, as we don't know when your school or college will reopen, the Deputy First Minister asked SQA to look at another way to produce your results.

How will National Courses be certificated this year?

Experienced teachers and lecturers will review all the evidence that is available to them to assess whether you have met the course aims. They have a strong understanding of your performance and know how you compare to other learners in each department, and in previous years.

Your teachers and/or lecturers will take account of any available work that you have completed throughout the course. Using their teaching experience, and their knowledge of your work and your progress so far, they will make an estimate of the grade you would have achieved under normal circumstances.

Estimate grades will be based on how well you have demonstrated the required skills, knowledge and understanding for each course at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher. We will then have the information we need to adjust estimates where necessary, and to ensure consistency both across the country and in comparison, with previous years.

On Monday 20 April, we sent detailed guidance to your school or college on how to determine and submit this estimate information to us.

When and how should schools and colleges supply estimate grades to SQA?

On Monday 20 April, we sent detailed guidance to your school or college on how to determine and submit this estimate information to us.

We expect your teachers or lecturers to discuss your estimated grade with another teacher and senior member of staff before sending it to us by Friday 29 May.

Do I need to do any further work?

No. SQA does not need schools and colleges to set any more prelims or mock exams, or homework tasks to estimate your grade.

Its also important to remember that it is not necessary for teachers and lecturers to mark any other work that would have been externally marked by SQA.

What does this mean for National 2 to National 4 courses and the Scottish Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Project?

National 2, National 3 and National 4 qualifications are made up of units (including an Added Value Unit at National 4) which are internally assessed as pass or fail by the school or college, and externally quality assured by SQA.

Schools and colleges will continue to send us your unit results based on either existing evidence from assessments that have already been completed, and/or by using their teaching experience of your work from through the year. The same arrangement applies to the Scottish Baccalaureate Interdisciplinary Project unit.

What about other internally assessed qualifications, such as National Certificates, National Progression Awards and Skills for Work courses?

For National Certificates, National Progression Awards, Skills for Work courses, and other Awards, we are asking schools, colleges, employers and training providers to provide us with the results of their internal assessment decisions (where some evidence from the course already exists but further progress is not possible) using their teaching experience of your work through the year.

Why arent you marking my coursework?

Coursework for Higher and Advanced Higher courses are submitted later in the year, so as a result of the current public health advice on social distancing, you may not be able to complete it and we would not be able to receive it and mark it.

We looked at the possibilities of marking National 5 coursework that we had already received, however it became clear that we could not go ahead with marking it in a way that was safe and secure for the hundreds of markers who work with us over the course of the exam diet, or in a way that ensures all results are viewed with the same importance as those from previous and future years.

We know this will be disappointing news. But we have taken this difficult decision to be as fair as possible to all learners, whilst responding to and following the latest public health guidance.

When will we receive our results?

Results day will be on Tuesday 4 August as originally planned for National Courses and awards, National Certificates, National Progression Awards and Skills for Work courses.

We strongly recommend that you sign-up to MySQA to receive your results by text and/or email. If you have already received your results through MySQA previously, you will continue to do so, and we recommend that you review check your profile to make sure your contact details are correct up to date.

A free appeals service will be available for your school or college to use if you disagree with your result.

Will I be able to progress to the next stage of my education or employment with the grades I receive this year?

Yes. SQA is in regular discussion with UCAS (the University and College Admission Service), Colleges Scotland, and Universities Scotland, who are fully aware of the situation and will help you to progress on to the next stage of your education or employment.

We are also in close discussion with Skills Development Scotland, to ensure employers and their representatives are kept aware of the decisions being made.

Will schools and colleges still be able to question results, and use SQAs Post-results Services?

Everyone at SQA is doing everything possible to ensure your hard work is rightly and fairly recognised.

A free appeals service will be available for your school or college to use if you disagree with your result.

Can I sit my exams next year and use whatever result is better?

Yes, as in any year, you can sit the exams next year if you wish. All results will be listed on your SQA record of attainment.

I have been studying for a National Course at home/with a private tutor. I am registered with a school/college to complete the assessment, but the school/college has no prior knowledge of my performance or evidence on which to base an estimate. What arrangements are there for me?

As an approved centre, the school or college has a responsibility to gather the appropriate evidence that will enable them to submit a refined estimate for you. It is for the school or college to decide what evidence they are prepared to accept and review, such as work you have completed throughout the year at home or with your private tutor. The school or college needs to be happy to authenticate this evidence and use it as a basis for your estimate. They may wish to discuss this further with you.

If the school or college is unable to authenticate this evidence or they have no evidence upon which to base an estimate for you they will be unable to submit an estimate grade. If this is the case, they will have no option but to withdraw you from the course.

If the school or college chooses not to proceed, you will need to be entered for the course by another SQA-approved centre, and that centre will also be required to submit an estimate grade to us. Your local authority may be able to advise you of any centres in your area that will accept new entries for external candidates.