SQA exam results day 2018: In numbers

The figures that reveal the huge scale of the operation that ends with students getting their crucial exam results

Joshua Morris

SQA results day 2018: In numbers

As students eagerly awaited their Scottish Qualifications Authority exam results on Tuesday, they certainly weren’t be alone. SQA sent certificates to a huge number of candidates – almost equating to the entire population of Dundee.

It’s easy to forget the scale of the exam season when all that you’re focusing on is a few letters on your certificate. Here is a breakdown of SQA results day 2018 in numbers.

135,000 The number of candidates due to receive certificates on Tuesday.

59,000 Candidates who signed up to receive their results by email and/or text through the MySQA service – still just 44 per cent of all candidates.

634,331 Overall course entries for national qualifications, down from 657,528 in 2017

77.4% A-C attainment rate for National 5, down 2.1 percentage points on 2017

76.8% A-C attainment rate for Higher, down marginally from 2017 (77.0%) and 2016 (77.2%)

106,033 Entries at National 4, down from 116,032 in 2017 and 130,876 in 2015

281,785 Entries at National 5, down from 293,220 in 2017.

191,951 Entries at Higher, down from 194,813 in 2017.

24,331 Entries at Advanced Higher, up from 23,795 since 2016, the first year of the new Advanced Higher.

155 Entries for the Scottish Baccalaureate

12,474 National Progression Awards achieved this year, up from 11,082 in 2017, National Certificates have dipped from 6,662 to 6,201 this year

8,145 National 5 French entries, down from 9,078 in 2017.

36,185 Higher English entries, which bucked the trend of falling uptake across most subjects at this level (up from 35,716 in 2017).

Over 4 million Data transactions handled by SQA leading up to results day. Imagine having to do all of this before there were computers...

524 Unique qualifications that had entries in the 2017-18 academic session. These include Awards, National Certificates, National Progression Awards, Skills for Work and National 2 to Advanced Higher courses.

Over 758,000 Exams were taken over the 2018 exam diet, from 30 April to 4 June. That's three-quarters of a million exams. It's hard to get your head around how many hours of revision and sheets of frantically scribbled notes that equates to.

480 School and colleges where SQA exams were taken.

14,000 "Appointees" – teachers, lecturers, subject specialists and invigilators – who help SQA to set, monitor and mark qualifications. That’s a lot of people making sure that every single mark is accounted for.

Over 40 Volunteers brought in last year to help to the SQA support team handle more than 5,200 calls. Nearly 4,000 of those calls came on the first day, most of which were about not receiving the certificate (usually due to incorrect address details).

All in all, that’s hundreds of thousands of hours put in by teachers, students, volunteers and SQA staff this exam season. We would love to think that everyone who received their results on Tuesday got what they hoped for – but that's never the case, and those who didn't should know that there is lots of help out there.

If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about your future, there is help, advice and support available should you need it. You can contact the Skills Development Scotland helpline on 0808 100 8000 from 8am or online on Twitter @mywowscotland

If you need to contact SQA, there are several ways:

Email, completing the candidate enquiry form, at www.sqa.org.uk/candidate

Phone: 0345 279 1000

Facebook: facebook.com/ScottishQualificationsAuthority

Twitter: @sqasupport

*Information sourced from SQA

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Joshua Morris

Joshua Morris

Joshua Morris is staff writer at Tes

Find me on Twitter @joshua_tes

Latest stories

GCSE exams 2021 reform

3 reasons GCSEs need to change – and 3 alternatives

Our students deserve better than the national disgrace GCSEs have become, write three founder members of a movement aiming to radically reform the exam system
Bill Lucas, Peter Hyman and Al McConville 27 Sep 2020