Prelim Exams Jan/Feb 2018

The following documents provide information to pupils about the upcoming study leave for this year’s prelim exam diet. Assemblies will be held on Thursday 18 January to outline final arrangements and ensure all pupils are fully familiar with expectations of the school and code of conduct laid out by the SQA. The documents below are available to download in PDF format.

Please continue to check Google Classroom for any last minute updates to the exam timetable. It is your responsibility to make sure you check all information up until the day of your exam.

SQA Exams – On Results Day

This year’s SQA exam results are scheduled to arrive by post on Tuesday 8 August 2017. Some pupils may have signed up to MySQA in order to receive their results electronically. In order to receive a text and/or email with your 2017 exam results pupils are required to have signed up to MySQA by 5.00PM on the 18 July 2017 and activated their account by 5.00PM on 19 July 2017.

The following information, compiled from SQA documentation, may prove useful for some pupils once the results have been published.

Your Exam Certificate

If you’re unsure about what your certificate tells you, the SQA have a page and a video to help you:

Missing Exam Certificate

A missing exam certificate could be due to the volume of mail being handled by the postal service or to an incorrect address being held by the SQA. The school makes changes to addresses throughout the year as and when reported by parents and pupils. A final electronic transfer of all pupil names and addresses in our system was sent to the SQA by the deadline of 30 June to ensure certificates are issued to the correct address.

If your exam certificate has not arrived by the following day, Wednesday 9 August, please contact the school between 9:00AM and 3:00PM and someone there will try to help.  Note that you should not expect to be given exam results over the phone. This is in order to maintain pupil confidentiality and ensure data does not get released to an unauthorised individual. You should at least be able to provide your candidate number before any communication can be relayed.

If you have signed up to the aforementioned SQA’s results service, you should still receive your results even if your certificate has not arrived.

Missing Results

If there are results missing from your certificate, this is likely to be because you have scored less than the requirement for a grade D and will therefore have been given a ‘no award’ for the course. No awards are not displayed on your certificate. If you passed any of the units belonging to this course, these will still be listed in the National Units sections of your certificate (on the Summary of attainment and Detailed record of attainment pages).

It may also be that there are some unit results missing, which has prevented you from getting the full course award. To get a full course award you need to successfully complete all the units for the course as well as pass the external exam. Go to the certificate you have received and look under the National Units heading. If the subject shows, for example, X721 76 Drama: External Assessment, then there are either unit results missing or you have failed a unit. Alternatively, it might be that a unit was not passed in time for the certificate being issued. If you fall into the latter category, the SQA will issue you an updated certificate in September.

If there are any items missing which you know you have already passed, check to see if they were certified in a certificate issued previously.


There is no longer an appeals process for pupils who have failed or not performed as well as they did in their estimate exams. This process was removed by the SQA when the new National Qualifications were introduced in session 2013/2014. The SQA’s Exceptional Circumstances Consideration procedures can be followed during the actual exam diet if a pupil has been unwell in the exam itself or if there were other ‘exceptional circumstances’, perhaps due to family bereavement. Such appeals can only be made within 10 days of the exam being taken and are made at the discretion of the Head of Centre.

Once the results have been released, if there is evidence that a pupil has been consistently performing at a considerably higher level than that of their final exam result throughout the entire year, and not just in their estimate exam, the Head of Centre may feel that the exam paper should be considered for a clerical check and/or marking review, for which there is a charge of up to £40. A difference of one grade between the estimate and final exam is not normally sufficient for review and there must be a range of robust evidence for the entire course throughout the year to prove that the pupil has been performing at a much higher level than the final award.  As such, there are very few requests for clerical or marking reviews. Furthermore, not all exams are eligible for a clerical check; this can depend on whether or not they were electronically marked.

This year, requests for priority marking reviews have to be actioned before the end of the school holidays. A letter has already been issued to senior pupils and information posted on the school’s website here. Pupils must call the school office on Tuesday 8 August or Wednesday 9 August 2017 between 9:00AM and 3:00PM if they wish the school to consider and submit a priority marking review to SQA. Any non-priority marking reviews, i.e. those where a place at university is not dependant on a change of result, can be considered once pupils return to school on Tuesday 22 August 2017 and they have spoken to subject or principal teachers.

Pupils and parents need to be aware that previous reviews have resulted in pupils’ marks going down as well going up. For example, a pupil awarded a grade B with a score of 62%, could find a check identies marks given in error, thereby resulting in the pupil’s score being brought down below the threshold for a B and the result being downgraded to a grade C.

University and College Places

If you have not achieved the results you hoped for to pursue a particular course at university or college, do not become despondent. There can be various ways to purse your chosen course and several sources of guidance.

In terms of Further Education, UCAS (the Universities & College Admissions Service) have information for pupils who not achieved the results required for the chosen course. The leaflet explains that the university may still accept them for the course or offer them an alternative. Further details are available by clicking here. Information should also be available through their website:

Similarly, for careers advice, call the Skills Development Scotland Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000. Qualified Careers Advisors will be on hand to offer careers advice, and discuss clearing vacancies and alternative options. Details will be released by SDS nearer results day. Information will be posted on their website:


SQA Marking Reviews

The SQA operate a Post-Results Service where a centre has concerns about a candidate’s certificated grade, if that grade has been determined via external assessment (ie marking undertaken by SQA).

Centres can request a clerical check (except for exams that were scanned and marked electronically) or a marking review of the candidate materials that were submitted to SQA for marking if they believe an error has occurred with either the marking or totalling of marks.

A priority marking review (PMR) is the same as a marking review, but will be considered and resulted earlier. Priority marking reviews are only for candidates with a current conditional university/college offer.

Criteria for centres to submit a marking review are provided by the Association of Directors of Education Scotland below:

  • Schools will submit Post Result Services requests to SQA where it holds clear and compelling evidence that there is a reasonable possibility that an error may have occurred with the marking or totalling of marks in a pupil’s examination script. That is, the pupil’s final grade is markedly at odds with the totality of assessment evidence gathered during the course and out of line with the performance of other pupils with similar profiles.
  • It is not sufficient for a pupil’s final grade to be below the grade anticipated by any estimate submitted to SQA or that achieved in a mock examination. The clear expectation is that there will be compelling evidence from all aspects of assessment carried out by the school including class tests, Unit tests, coursework and estimate exams.

Post Result Services should not be requested where:

  • The pupil’s final grade is in line with the estimate submitted to SQA and the expectation of the school based on performance throughout the course.
  • The final award is within the same grade as that predicted by the assessment evidence held by the school. [Example: School Estimate Grade B, band 3.  Pupil achieves Grade B, band 4].
  • The pupil’s performance has shown inconsistencies during the year such that the final award falls within the range of performance evidenced.
  • The pupil’s original estimate is found to be overly optimistic in the light of the actual performance of the class cohort in the examination. In other words, the majority of the cohort have also performed less well than the grade predicted by their estimate exam.

In addition, the SQA point out that they review pupils’ exam papers where marks are close to grade boundaries, i.e. a pupil’s exam result of 69% where grade boundary for an ‘A’ is 70%, as a double check that they have been awarded the correct grade.

This year, August 2017, the deadline for Priority Marking Reviews to be submitted was recently announced as falling within the local authority’s school summer holidays.

We have discussed this in school and have agreed to process the priority marking reviews as follows:

If you wish to request a priority marking review, please call the school office on results day, Tuesday 8 August 2017 or Wednesday 9 August 2017 between 9:00AM and 3:00PM. You will then be required to submit the following information before a review can be requested:

  • Subject and Level;
  • Name of university the result should be sent to;
  • Contact name at the university;
  • E-mail address of the contact person or university to whom the result should be sent.

Please note that reviewed results can go down as well as go up and that this could have undesirable consequences on any offers you may have for other universities.

If you do not have a current conditional university/college offer but wish to discuss a normal marking review, you should wait until the school resumes on Monday 21 August 2017 before speaking to your teacher and/or Principal Teacher for the faculty.