The waiting is finally over this week for thousands of students, as they learn of their Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exam results. Nearly 60,000 have signed up to find out by email or text at 8am on Tuesday, while others will await the arrival of the postie.
We’ll be live blogging before and after the results – and associated statistics – come out, with plenty of reaction, analysis and advice.
Good night and good luck
OK, more than 24 hours after we started this blog and with just a couple of breaks – a planned one for sleep and an unplanned one during an unwelcome gremlins invasion – it's time to sign off. There's a host of news, analysis, reaction and advice to pore over below, for students, teachers, parents and anyone else with the remotest interest in Scottish education.
Good night and all the best, especially to those who maybe didn't quite what they were looking for today. It may not seem completely obvious how at the moment, but in the words of Bill Murray...
'I got a second chance'
We'll be rounding of our results-day blog soon, so it's a good time to round up some of the most memorable tweets reminding us that today is not an end point – there are plenty of ways forward for every single student who received results today, however good or bad they might have seemed this morning.
This time 12 years ago I was so disengaged from education that I didn’t even open my exam results. Lots of hard work, positive relationships, and a second chance at education later, I am getting ready to start my dream job as a trainee lawyer. Trust me, there is #NoWrongPath— Ryan McCuaig (@Ryan_McCuaig) August 6, 2019
Left school at 13 & signed off sick. No qualifications. Tried to go to college and uni but couldn’t finish a year. Started volunteering when I was 25, did Project Scotland, got my first job working with YP. Access summer school and now going into second year of CLD! #NoWrongPath— Marie (@mariesvoice_) August 6, 2019
I had no clue what I wanted to do when I left school, so I got a job to earn some money while I made my mind up.— Sharon Mars (@Sharon_Mars) August 6, 2019
Taking my time to decide was the best thing I did.
Good luck to those getting their exam results today - remember, this is simply the beginning. #NoWrongPath pic.twitter.com/QDtPXQpTOq
Higher computing entries fall by 21%
There were some eye-catching statistics released today by the SQA. Reporter Emma Seith rounds up how numbers for various subjects are looking at Higher level.
First minister presents care-experienced young people with their results
Aamer Anwar has a sock on his hand
We're not 100 per cent sure why.
Good luck to everyone receiving their #SQAresults today🤞🏼and many congrats to our new students @UofGlasgow #TeamUofG!💙 But everyone should remember 2day is one step on #MyLearnerJourney. There is #nowrongpath & yes as Rector at the Uni I am holding a sock🙈 pic.twitter.com/WKZOCTYICT— Aamer Anwar🎗 (@AamerAnwar) August 6, 2019
Key statistics from SQA results day 2019
There’s a lot of data to trawl through so reporter Emma Seith has handily highlighted some of the most significant figures released today.
Concerns over narrowing of subject choices
It's a debate that ran through 2019-20 and was highlighted in a parliamentary inquiry. Now, as relative calm descends on exam-results day, some post mortems are beginning – and some parents are not happy that their children do fewer subjects than pupils in other parts of Scotland.
1/x I’m actually really hacked off at seeing that some Scottish kids get to sit 8 Nat5’s and mine get to sit only 5. The current system is not fit for purpose and is unfair to those who are not given the same opportunities to learn @MrMcEnaney— Jules Niven (@julesscotpol) August 6, 2019
'I can't stand people saying "I failed every subject but I’m now a glorious success"'
Sam Tassiker takes issue with the trend in recent for years for well known faces to recall their exams failure and show how successful they are now. She explains why.
Apologies for the long hiatus. Unfortunately technical gremlins got in the way. We'll have a few more updates and stories to round up exam-results day, so stay with us a while longer. Thanks for your patience.
'It does not all come down to this day'
Another message for exam results day from a weel kent face – this time, sports and entertainment presenter Amy Irons.
Huge rise in practical maths uptake
Another emerging issue gets the scrutiny from reporter Emma Seith.
Dawdling posties, beware
Ha ha! Wonder how many posties fell victim to over-zealous parents today?
Wah, today really marks a decade since my mum ran down the road to snatch the brown envelope from the postie because he wasn’t walking quickly enough for her liking. Good luck to fellow Scots on #SQAresults day! 🏴 💪🏻— Caitlin E Hamilton (@CaitlinEHam) August 6, 2019
Exam changes had ‘no significant impact’
Our latest report from exam-results day, by Emma Seith, looks at whether new and extended exams have had an impact on attainment rates.
Video: SQA chief executive on impact of new and longer exams
Our reporter Emma Seith's third and final mini-video with SQA chief executive Fiona Robertson.
The changes to the way Higher candidates were assessed this year - with extended exams for some subjects and exams for subjects which previously had none - had “no significant impact on attainment” says @sqanews chief exec Fiona Robertson #SQAresults @TESScotland pic.twitter.com/QotNgovwh5— Emma Seith (@Emma_Seith) August 6, 2019
The joy of teaching
This really is what it's all about – the highs of teaching, of seeing your pupils take flight, are like no other profession. Larbert High, by the way, is doing some really interesting things with family learning and exams, as our Henry Hepburn discovered earlier this year.
Cannot describe the absolute pride I feel for this young lady. To go from rock bottom confidence to achieving an excellent set of results is an outstanding achievement. One of our Family Learning champions! No one deserves it more! https://t.co/AzZaPa1QD4— Miss Waterfall 📚 (@MsWaterfall_) August 6, 2019
Video: Education secretary and deputy first minister talks SQA results day
Here's John Swinney recalling when he got his exam results and setting out his hopes and advice for those receiving their results today. Thanks to Skills Development Scotland for the footage.
Video: SQA chief executive on Higher pass rates
When careers diverge wildly from your school qualifications
Some great replies to this tweet from broadcaster and former Scotland rugby international John Beattie – including one from Judy Murray.
I wonder how many of you have vastly different careers to your initial qualifications or highers? My Highers were Maths, Physics, English, French and Geography, then a degree in Engineering with Economics, then Chartered Accountant....and now.... well..... that's an issue. You?— John Beattie (@BBCJohnBeattie) August 6, 2019
EIS reaction to exam results figures
EIS union general secretary Larry Flanagan praised students and teachers for "a sound set of results...at a time when budgets have been declining and workload pressures increasing".
He said: "The statistics show a trend towards a significant drop in 'no awards' at both Higher and National 5, which is welcome as it suggests better alignment between presentations and subsequent success. Elsewhere, the slight variations from last year simply reflect the fact that Scotland continues to be successful in avoiding artificial grade inflation."
However, Mr Flanagan added: "There continues to be a debate about the articulation between the N4 and N5 courses, and schools remain concerned about the length of some of the exams at both Higher and National 5 – we would expect detailed analysis of the results to facilitate further examination of these areas."
Video: 'What happened after I failed my exams'
Amanda didn't get the #ExamResults she needed to gain entry to University. Watch to find out what next steps she took to ensure she achieved her learning and career goals. More help ➡️ https://t.co/rrVeXoz2D8 #NoWrongPath #MyLearnerJourney #ICYMI pic.twitter.com/OG269ZjDIm— SCQF Partnership (@SCQFPartnership) August 6, 2019
A message from the SQA chief executive
'Dust yourself down, regroup and go again'
Headteacher Billy Burke has plenty of useful advice this exam-results day – but also reminds us that there's so much more to schools and young people.
'Everything works out in the end'
9 years today since I found out I didn’t get the grades I needed to get in to medical school but entering my 5th year working as a doctor tomorrow. Everything works out in the end. #SQAresults— Gareth Strachan (@GWS92) August 6, 2019
Good luck to anyone getting #SQAresults today, I remember the pain 😩 I failed higher maths but I’m now only 2 exams off being a chartered accountant, these exams aren’t everything!— Kirsty Fraser (@Kirstyfraser94) August 6, 2019
My careers advisor told me not to bother applying to uni because I wouldn't get in. I got in, graduated with a 2:1, travelled the world and I'm now going back to uni to do my MLitt. Don't let not getting the results you wanted hold you back! #SQAresults— Thing 2🔥🐨 (@OnFireFading) August 6, 2019
I failed higher English and now run a successful blog and have had articles published in national newspapers. I was also told that if I “just lose the belly”, a theatre company would hire me. Well, I kept the belly and I produce content for @bbcthesocial ☺️ #SQAresults— Mandy Rose Jones (@MandyRoseJones) August 6, 2019
Now for "you're" free Nando's
Once a teacher, always a teacher. In reminding pupils who sat exams that they're entitled to a free Nando's today, Larbert High's Miss Abercrombie also spotted a learning opportunity...
As results day looms I’d like to remind everyone of this very important information. @NandosUK are doing a freebie for N5 and Higher candidates on August 6th. Bonus points from me if you can spot the English error here.🐓 pic.twitter.com/E3wC8Q9Nln— Miss Abercrombie (@kabercrombieLHS) August 3, 2019
We aren't the only ones excited about all the SQA stats... right?
For the Tes Scotland stats geeks, today is like Christmas...
From interior design to nursing
You can plot a career path all you want, but sometimes there are a few twists and turns before you land your dream job. Great to see people sharing their stories to help maintain a bit of perspective, on what can be an overwhelming day for many young people.
'Why exams must not obscure everything else schools do'
It can all get a bit frenetic on exam results day, and it's possible to lose sight of the bigger picture of Scottish education. Here's Gordon Cairns to remind us that there's a lot more going on in Scottish schools than exam preparation.
'Don't compare yourself to others'
Advice (for students and parents) from depute head at Scotland's biggest school of education.
Get a back up plan. Some of our most successful students didn't have the Highers they needed either. They came to us through a range of different routes. Keep pushing. Dreams don't always fall into your lap. And DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. 2/2— Amanda Corrigan (@ajcorrigan) August 6, 2019
On the other hand, if your child is a superstar and got everything they needed, congratulate them, make a fuss and celebrate. They are in your house so you can tell them. You don't need social media's help for that. 2/2— Amanda Corrigan (@ajcorrigan) August 6, 2019
Higher attainment falls
Exam results day also marks the release of annual attainment data. Here are some of the headlines. We'll have more reaction and analysis later.
Some welcome perspective
Harriet Sweatman has just turned 17, her birthday celebrations somewhat put on hold until she learned her exam results. But she says that, whatever her results, they won't matter in 10 years from now.
There are options whatever your grades
Remember, there is plenty of help out there. Nairn McDonald remembers panicking on exam results day, but everything was alright in the end.
On #SQAresults its important to remember there is #NoWrongPath— Nairn McDonald 🗣️ (@NairnMcD) August 6, 2019
I had a conditional offer for UNI when I failed my AH and didn't get the grades I was needing to get in.
I had an hour of panic and stress until UCAS Track opened.
I ended up getting in, so breathe.#SQAresultsday pic.twitter.com/PsLbRU4i3H
'At the time of writing this, I'm nervous'
Don't forget that it's not all about school pupils today. Many college students are going through the exact same waiting game. Here's a piece by one of them, Carla Ford.
Rise and shine
It would be wrong to assume that every exam candidate expecting a letter through the door today is anxiously pacing around, waiting for the postie. As Vonnie Sandlan explains, sometimes it's the parents who are most stressed,
I pretty much haven’t slept. 16 year old is still out for the count. It may be a long day #SQAresultsday— Kirsty (@stripey_kitten) August 6, 2019
Primary schools also offering support
Nice to see that the good luck messages are coming not only from secondary schools, but also from primaries that may not have seen the pupils who sat exams for several years.
Good luck to all our former pupils receiving exam results today. We hope you get what you want, if not try not to panic there is always another path to get to your destination #NoWrongPath #AimHigh @DyceAcademy @DyceGuidance pic.twitter.com/kDWGI0rpTQ— Dyce Primary School (@DycePrimary) August 6, 2019
The waiting is over (for some)
It's 8am, when many thousands will be finding out their results by text or email (others will have to wait a bit longer for the postie to arrive). At this point, it's safe to say that Mrs Paisley speaks for all of us.
Results day! Open the envelope/text & take a deep breath.. what’s in there does not define you. There are many routes forward so do not panic, message & come see your teachers; we are here to help. Your results do not define you, they are a stepping stone forward!#SQAresultsday pic.twitter.com/gR7Ht8Dghe— Mrs Paisley (O’Hara) (@OHara_Biology) August 6, 2019
‘Don’t panic if your exam grades fall short’
That's such an important message, spelled out here by headteacher Dorothy MacGinty.
No wrong path
'4 ways to survive the pantomime of exam results day'
John Loughton knows exam results day can be overwhelming. Here's his advice on how to deal deal with it and move on.
'We're already so proud'
There have been loads of messages of support from schools, colleges and teachers to their pupils over night. Here are just a couple:
GOOD LUCK to all our pupils @CCHSEdinburgh receiving their exam results! 🍀 We’re already so proud of all you’ve achieved and no matter what tomorrow brings we know you’ve tried your best! You all deserve the world! ⭐️⭐️⭐️ #CCHSstars #CCHSfamily— Shelley McLaren (@HTCraigroyston) August 5, 2019
Good luck to all receiving exam results in the morning 🍀 my fingers are crossed and I’ll be thinking of you all 🖤 Remember, exam results will never define you and there’s no such thing as a wrong path, hard work will always pay off in the end 💫🤞 pic.twitter.com/YigqYaca2w— Miss McDonald (@missmcdmods) August 5, 2019
Those important numbers
Don't forget there's plenty of support out there today. Key numbers:
Skills Development Scotland results helpline from 8am - the first port of call for candidates with questions about next steps in education, training or employment. Call 0808 100 8000.
For those who need to contact the SQA, it's 0345 279 1000.
Childline's free confidential helpline is on 0800 11 11.
It’s also worth noting that SQA staff are unable to talk to a parent, carer or any other third party about results. If, however, the parent and candidate are both on the phone, and the candidate gives the OK to do so, SQA is happy to discuss details with the parent.
If candidates haven’t received their results in any form, they should contact their school or college in the first instance, who should be able to help. If not, they should contact the SQA.
'What’s for ye will no go by ye'
One of the great things about exam results day in the social media age is that so many teachers share messages of support. Some also share details of their own life stories, to remind everyone that exam results day is just one step along the way towards where they're going. Here's one example.
3 things parents should remember on exam-results day
There's been huge interest in this piece by mum and former NUS Scotland president Vonnie Sandlan – it's the most-read article at tes.com/news just now.
We're back! We'll be live blogging through the day, with advice, reaction and analysis as thousands of people receive their exam results this morning.
Good luck, everyone
We're signing off for the night (back early tomorrow morning) and what better way to leave you than with some messages from the people who really know what they're talking about – teachers and students from around Scotland.
Good luck to all of my students awaiting their SQA results! If you do not get the results you’re expecting, then don’t feel defeated, this is just one part of your journey! Miss Farquhar was a hairdresser before going to uni at 25 to become a teacher! #NoWrongPath @DyceEnglish— Miss Farquhar (@MissFarquhar1) August 5, 2019
Good luck to all of the wonderful learners at Armadale Academy receiving SQA results tomorrow! You are all superstars and should be proud of yourselves (I’m very proud of you all!!) - regardless of the outcome! Remember there is #NoWrongPath to success 🥇💫 @ArmadaleAcademy— Miss Todd (@missctodd) August 5, 2019
GoodLuck to all students at @fifecollege who are receiving their exam results tomorrow and also my care experienced peer @whocaresscot @wecareatfife @2BHeardFife 💕 always remember there is #NoWrongPath 💕❤️ pic.twitter.com/kReP6LJSZ6— Jeanette Miller (@GirlchampJinty) August 5, 2019
We know it can be nerve-racking waiting for your #SQA #HigherResults.— Brechin High English (@BrechinEnglish) August 5, 2019
So, what can you do to unwind when you feel anxious? Talk to someone you trust; get some fresh air; lose yourself in a good book and remember there is #NoWrongPath Fingers crossed for tomorrow! 🍀 ❤️🧡💛💚💙
What happens after results day?
Loads of useful advice here on what happens after everyone's results come out.
It's not just school pupils waiting on results
Here's Grant Ritchie, principal and chief executive of Dundee and Angus College, on the view from FE sector.
Rooting for you
Safe to say that this teacher's message will be echoed by his colleagues right across Scotland.
Wishing everyone a massive good luck for tomorrow. I am proud of each of you, no matter what happens. Just remember there is #NoWrongPath I am rooting for you all! #SQAresults pic.twitter.com/0o03RPkenT— Mr Young (@Mr_YoungModS) August 5, 2019
Education secretary tweets
John Swinney visited exam results helpline staff today – the all-important number is 0808 100 8000.
Delighted to visit @skillsdevscot exam results helpline today. Staffed by experienced advisers it offers essential support and advice for young people, parents and carers. All good wishes for the results and if you need to please call 0808 100 8000. https://t.co/2Qad3tvF1d— John Swinney (@JohnSwinney) August 5, 2019
Where to find help on exam-results day
A headteacher writes
"Where results were not as you wished, dust yourself down, regroup and go again," writes Billy Burke, who explains why success in school is about much more than exam grades.
A message from Gary, Tank Commander
"Try not to worry because there's so many options," says actor Greg McHugh.
"Don't let exams overwhelm you. They're a part of it. Try your best and that's all anyone will want you to do."@gregjmchugh AKA Gary Tank Commander gives his advice to young people on the run up to Exam Results Day!#NoWrongPath ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nmyqCemtxR— DYW Glasgow (@DYWGlasgow) July 31, 2019
Exam results 'don't define us as people'
Some timely messages here from one of the many thousands of students awaiting their results tomorrow.
What matters most
Stats, glorious stats
While students are receiving their results, exam-results day also sees reams and reams of data being published. Here are some of the things to look out for.
No wrong path
#NoWrongPath is likely to feature prominently on social media tomorrow, with plenty of reminders that – whatever happens – there's a way ahead from exam-results day for everyone.
I wrote an article for @TESScotland with some advice for young people ahead of #ExamResults tomorrow. STAY POSITIVE AND DON'T DWELL, GO EXCEL. Give it a wee read. #NoWrongPath @teshttps://t.co/JzTh14m3HK— John Loughton (@JohnLoughton) August 5, 2019
3 things parents should remember on exam-results day
There's been a great response to this sage advice from mum and former NUS Scotland president Vonnie Sandlan.
..to our live blog for Scotland's exam-results day.
We know, we know – exam-results day is tomorrow. At 8am, thousands of candidates will receive their results by text or email, while many others will be awaiting the more traditional slap of an A4 envelope on the welcome mat.
In the meantime, we'll get you up to speed with our coverage so far and take an early look at what's going on in the world of social media. Over the next 24 hours or so, we'll have an array of reaction, advice and analysis.
To everyone who is waiting on their results, we hope that you hear the news your're hoping for. And if you don't, remember that there are still plenty of options – and there's no shortage of advice either – out there for you.
Back for the new session next week and raring to go!! But first the SQA results tomorrow!! Wishing all @Grove_Academy and all Dundee City pupils success in their results and hopefully they achieve the grades they want and need for that next step! #nowrongpath #dundeelearning pic.twitter.com/TOl57t8hq0— Graham Hutton (@ghutz1) August 5, 2019