Exams get underway in Scotland

Today (Wednesday, May 4) sees the start of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exams period for tens of thousands of pupils and students across Scotland.

Among the 142,512 pupils and students who will receive their results this summer are candidates who have undertaken qualifications which are continually assessed throughout the year such as National 1, National 2, National 3, National 4, Skills for Work Courses and awards.

Candidates sitting National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will begin an exam schedule which started at 9am today with Lifeskills Mathematics and concludes on Friday, June 3 with Politics.

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For the first time candidates will sit new Advanced Higher examinations, which have been developed to support Curriculum for Excellence. This is the first year the entire suite of new qualifications – National 1 to National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher – has been available to Scotland’s learners.

In total, over half a million exams will be sat during the four and a half-week exam period, with candidates receiving their final results on Tuesday 9 August.

At all levels where exams form part of the qualification, students’ final grade will also reflect the combination of coursework, projects,and results from internal assessments conducted through the academic year.

More than 133,000 candidates in 470 schools and colleges are undertaking courses, which include an exam as part of the external assessment, which is marked by SQA.

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Dr Janet Brown, SQA chief executive and Scotland’s chief examining officer, said: “After months of work and hours of study, tens of thousands of candidates are now preparing to complete their qualifications and take the next step in their education or into work.

“I’d like to wish everyone sitting examinations and taking qualifications at schools and colleges the best of luck between now and the end of the term.

“The new National Qualifications, including the new Advanced Higher, provide candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding they’ve acquired and prepare them for further study, employment or training. Our qualifications are robust, relevant, and designed to equip young people with a wide range of skills.”

Each year SQA’s in-house team of assessment experts is supported by some 15,000 ‘appointees’ who help to set, invigilate, and mark more than one million exam scripts,and quality assure the internal assessments.

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Dr Brown added: “We very much value and rely on the expertise of our appointees and nominees – teachers and lecturers who bring with them a wealth of experience from the classroom. I want to thank them, and SQA’s own hard-working staff, for their continued support and commitment to maintaining the high standards of Scottish qualifications.”

Candidates who have signed up and activated their personal MySQA accounts are reminded they can choose to receive their results by text and/or email from 8am on Tuesday, August 9.

They need to log onto www.mysqa.infoand register by Monday 18 July and activate their account by Wednesday 20 July. This year, over 39,000 candidates have already registered for the service. In addition to electronic delivery, all candidates will continue to receive their results by post on Tuesday, August 9.