Information to help you prepare for your upcoming exams

This blog outlines the exam services that will be available for learners and the approach to grading in 2023-24.

8 March 2024 - jenniferfairlie - Categories: Awarding 2024 Programme

National Qualifications

National Qualifications exams start on Monday 22 April and we know that you will be busy preparing and studying. To help support you with your studies, we will be sending copies of ‘Your Exams’ to schools, colleges and training providers to hand out. We can also confirm the exam services that will be available for learners and the approach to grading.

Your Exams

Your Exams will be sent to schools, colleges and training providers later this month and your teacher or lecturer will give you a copy. The booklet tells you what you need to know about exams and gives helpful information and advice so that you can do your very best on the day.

It also contains rules, which are there to make sure that exams are fair for everyone. It is important that you read and understand these before your exams start. If you are not sure about the rules, speak to your teacher or lecturer. They will be able to help you and tell you what could happen if you break the rules. You might want to share and discuss this information with your parent or carer.

A digital version of the booklet will be available next week at

Exceptional Circumstances

The Examination Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service (EECCS) is available if:

  • you have been unable to attend the exam, or were prevented from completing the exam, due to a personal circumstance beyond your control (such as a medical issue);
  • you have been affected during the exam by a disruption, or other exam circumstance, reported by the chief invigilator; or
  • your performance in the exam was affected by a personal circumstance, or an unplanned incident on the day, which was beyond your control.

Exam nerves, distraction or loss of concentration during an exam are not valid reasons to use this service. If you want to use this service, you must speak to your school as soon as possible after the exam, giving them all the information about what happened to you.

To use the service, you must have completed all the compulsory parts of the course that are in addition to the exam, such as coursework, performances and portfolios. You must also have an estimated grade provided by your school.

If you are eligible for the EECCS, SQA examiners will review evidence submitted by your school, college or training provider along with any exam or coursework that you completed to determine your grade.

If you use the EECCS, the grade you are awarded may be different from the estimated grade provided by your school, college or training provider and you will not be able to appeal against your grade through the appeals service.


We appreciate that you might be completing coursework for the first time in 2024. To ensure fairness for all learners, we will look at coursework marks from across Scotland, as well as exam papers, when determining the grade boundaries this year.

More information on grading will be shared on Results Day.


Once you receive your certificate on Results Day, if any of the grades don’t look right, you might consider using the Appeals Service.

You will be able to appeal any of your final grades by requesting a marking review of your SQA-marked assessment components (such as exams or coursework). Alternative assessment evidence will not be required.

In keeping with last year, the service continues to be free and you will be able to access this directly via the SQA website or through your school, college or training provider when it opens. There will also be a priority service if you have a conditional offer for further education, training or employment.

We are working with UCAS to ensure the outcome of priority appeals will be released ahead of their deadline.

More information on appeals, including roles and responsibilities for you, your school/college/training provider will be published soon.

If you have questions about any of this guidance, please speak to your teacher or lecturer. You can also contact us be completing the Candidate Enquiry Form.

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