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  • Oct 19 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Examinations


Schools in consultation with pupils and parents usually decide which exams pupils sit.  If no agreement is reached, the school will respect the parent’s wishes and respond accordingly.

How to understand exam results

The Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) is the national body which make awards.

The new National Qualifications

The table shows how the new National Qualifications replace current qualifications:

SCQF Level New National Qualifications Replaces Current National Qualifications
1 and 2 National 1 and National 2 > Access 1 and Access 2
3 National 3 > Access 3
Standard Grade (Foundation level)
4 National 4 > Standard Grade (General level)
Intermediate 1
5 National 5 > Standard Grade (Credit level)
Intermediate 2
6 Higher (new) > Higher
7 Advanced Higher (new) > Advanced Higher

You can find out more about the new qualifications and how they compare with existing qualifications at www.sqa.org.uk/scqf.

How the will be graded?

All Courses will continue to contain Units that are marked throughout the year by teachers. These Units will be assessed as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ as is the case with current qualifications.

Courses at National 3 and National 4 will not be graded, but assessed as ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’.

Courses at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher will be graded A to D, or ‘No Award’.

If a learner does not achieve a Course assessment at National 4, National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher, they will still receive credit for any Units they have achieved at that level. So when the learner receives their qualification certificate, the Units they have passed within the Course will appear on the detailed record of attainment section of their qualifications certificate.

For SQA modules the “percentage of pupils achieving” under any heading is calculated by expressing the number of pupils achieving as a percentage of either the combined S3/4 roll or the combined S5/6 roll, as appropriate, at September.

The S4 to S5 staying on rate is calculated by expressing the S5 roll at the start of the second term, January, as a percentage of the roll of the same group of pupils when they were in S4 at September of the previous school year.

Where a pupil is presented for an examination at standard grade in the same subject at more than one level, account is only taken of the highest grade attained.