SQA results day 2020: What you need to know

We look at when results for SQA courses - including National 5 and Higher - will be out, and what students should do if disappointed

Emma Seith

SQA results day 2020: What you need to know

When will pupils receive their results – including their grades for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher – this year?

Results day this year is on Tuesday 4 August.

How do pupils receive their results?

Students will receive their Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) by first-class post on Tuesday 4 August.

If they have signed up for the MySQA service, students can receive their National 4, National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher results via text and/or email.


Background: Exams cancelled in Scotland due to coronavirus

Opinion: Young people can still flourish despite missing exams

A headteacher's view: 'SQA results not sole measure of success'

Coronavirus: SQA grilled over fairness of system replacing exams

Looking ahead: SQA exams 2021 – how will Highers be taken next year?

In England: All GCSEs and A levels to be offered this autumn


How were the results decided this year?

Because the exams were cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown the results this year are based on teacher estimates of pupil performance. However, in a bid to “provide additional reassurance to the system” the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has been moderating teachers' judgements, which were submitted at the end of May, using schools’ historical attainment data and any existing data on a pupil’s past performance.

What should I do if my results don’t arrive?

If the post has been delivered but your certificate isn't there, or you've signed up for MySQA but not received anything, contact your school or college for your results. If they cannot provide your results, contact the SQA candidate advice line on 0345 279 1000.

There are results missing from my certificate – who should I contact?

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.

Your school or college will look into this for you. SQA will only send you an updated certificate once the school or college has provided the necessary information.

What if I’m not happy with my results – can I resit?

In England, GCSE and A- level candidates will be able to take “the full suite” of exams in the autumn if they have been unable to receive a teacher-assessed grade or would like to improve their grades, but in Scotland there are no plans for resits. It should, however, be possible to repeat the course again in the coming school year. 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.

Can I appeal my results?

It is possible to appeal but the SQA does not accept requests for reviews from pupils or their families – it is the school that asks for an appeal. Usually there is a charge but due to the cancellation of the exams the appeals process is free this year. It is only possible to appeal this year if the final grade awarded is lower than the teacher estimate.

What is the best way to contact the SQA?

The candidate advice line mentioned earlier is reached on 0345 279 1000 and is available from 8am on results day and then from 8.30am in the days that follow, up to and including Friday 7 August.

The SQA can also be contacted:

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Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for TES Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

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