Results

How were National Courses certificated in 2020?

Following the Deputy First Minister’s announcement on 11 August 2020, your results were awarded based solely on the estimates provided by your schools and colleges.

Experienced teachers and lecturers reviewed all the evidence that was available to them to assess whether you had 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/lecturers took account of any available work that you had completed throughout the course. Using their teaching experience, and their knowledge of your work and your progress so far, they made an estimate of the grade you would have achieved under normal circumstances.

I know that I will now be awarded my estimated grade as my final result. Will I also be awarded the estimated band?

Your school or college will receive your estimated band information. It is at their discretion to share this information with you.

Will all candidates receive a new certificate?

No. If you were awarded higher than your estimated grade, this award will stay the same and you would have been certificated on the 4th August.

If you were awarded lower than your estimated grade you will be upgraded to the estimate and you will receive a revised certificate.

When can I access MySQA to view my amended results?

MySQA is currently being updated with amended results for all learners and will re-open later this month.

How are National 2 to Advanced Higher courses graded?

Courses at National 2, National 3, and National 4 levels are not graded — the units that make up the course are assessed as pass or fail.

Courses at National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher are graded A–D. This year, certification is based on the estimated grades your school or college sent us.

How was my grade estimated when the subject was 80% practical (for example, Art and design)?

As part of the process of providing SQA with estimate grades this year, your teachers or lecturers will have reviewed a wide range of your work, for example classwork — including any practical work — homework, class tests and prelims. They will have also used their teaching experience to estimate your grade.

I didn’t get on with my teacher. Has this affected my grade?

Schools and colleges were given detailed advice and guidance on how to estimate your grade. This included discussing all their decisions with senior teachers/lecturers to ensure fairness and avoid any bias against candidates.

What is the fallback position for National Qualifications? Can I repeat my year If I want to?

There is no fallback, or other kind of automatic compensatory arrangements at any level. You cannot fail a Higher and be awarded with a National 5 course, or fail a National 5, and receive a National 4.

If you chose to undertake or repeat the course again, at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level, you will need to re-sit all components of the course assessment — attainment from one year cannot be transferred into the following year.

For some coursework components, such as projects or investigations, it may be possible to use your previous research or stimulus material. However, in all cases you will need to undertake a new coursework assessment. Schools and colleges make the final decision whether or not to re-enter candidates.

I have been awarded a grade D – what does this mean?

This means that you have been awarded a final mark between 40 and 49%.

Candidates who score less than 40% are not awarded a National Course and will receive a No Award result.

Can I see my grade banding / component mark?

Grade banding/component marks can only be obtained from your school/college. Please note, however, that even if your school/college has staff available during certification week, they may not have access to this information, as banding and component marks are issued directly to your school's or college's SQA Co-ordinator - we would advise waiting until the start of term for this information.

Is a Grade D in a National 5 worth more than a pass at National 4?

Yes. National 5 courses (which are graded A – D) are worth 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5. While National 4 courses (which are not graded) are also worth 24 SCQF points, it has a lower level of demand and challenge compared with the National 5 course.

Why is there no grade on my certificate for my course?

Courses at National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher are graded A – D. All other courses and awards are graded as pass or fail.

Ask your school or college which level you were entered for. If you're missing a Skills for Work course, remember these courses are not graded — the units that make up the course are assessed as pass or fail.

If your certificate is missing a grade for a National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher course, you have not achieved a grade A–D.

If you’re missing results, or there are results listed that you weren’t expecting to see, speak to you teachers or lecturers when you return to school or college.

Why have my National Units not been graded like my course results? Why are there no levels against my National Units?

If National Units are listed on your certificate, that means you have passed them. If they are not on your certificate, it is possible you have failed them, or that your school or college has deferred a decision until you complete the evidence needed for a pass.

Some National Units do not have levels. These are usually the units called ‘modules’ or ‘short courses’ that were offered by SQA’s predecessor bodies. Now, for certification purposes, we call them ‘unlevelled National Units’.

If you’re missing results, or there are results listed that you weren’t expecting to see, speak to you teachers or lecturers when you return to school or college.

I have additional support needs and most of my coursework was done without support. Has this been taken into account?

Your teachers or lecturers should be aware of your circumstances. In the first instance, speak to your school or college if you have any questions.

The estimates that your school or college sent us to be used as the basis of this year’s awards should be based on your likely achievement — including your use of reasonable adjustments or assessment arrangements.

What does ‘No Award’ mean?

Candidates who score less than 40% are not awarded a National Course and will receive a ‘no award’ result.

Any National Units you have achieved will be recorded on a separate certificate.

If you’re missing results, or there are results listed that you weren’t expecting to see, speak to your teachers or lecturers when you return to school or college.

What is the Detailed Record of Attainment on my certificate?

‘The Detailed record of attainment is a full, detailed, breakdown of the course content for all qualifications you have achieved in your exams this year. (Group Award & Units). For certain qualifications, the it might also include a recognition statement  — for example, a statement highlighting that a Course was assessed and achieved through the medium of Gaelic.

What is the Summary of Attainment section of my certificate

‘This part of the certificate summarises all the SQA courses, group awards and stand-alone units you have ever achieved — not just the ones you completed this current year.

What does ‘Exam Only’ mean on my certificate?

‘Exam Only’ means that you have passed the Advanced Higher course assessment, but you have not passed all the units required to achieve the overall course award.

For English Higher and English National 5 courses, a pass result must be submitted for the compulsory English: Spoken Language component.

I have a letter saying I’ve not been successful in achieving the full award(s) in the National Course(s)

This means that you have not attained grades A–D in any of the external exams for the National Courses you sat this year.

If you have passed any National Units that are part of the course(s), you will receive a separate certificate for these. Please speak to your school or college for further clarification and advice.