How National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will be assessed in 2021-22 – a message for parents and carers

Information on national qualifications assessments in 2021-22.

30 September 2021 - SQA - Categories: Advanced Higher, Awarding 2022 Programme, Higher, National 5, Parents

National Qualifications

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a big part of our lives, we’re sure you want to know how it will affect your child’s National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher course assessments in 2021-22.

In education, the term ‘assessment’ is used to describe the way in which teachers and lecturers check or monitor your child’s level of skill, knowledge and understanding of their subject or course. Assessment is normally carried out by teachers and lecturers throughout the year.

Course assessment for National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers determines the overall grade for each course, for example A-D. This usually involves sitting an exam and completing one or more items of coursework.

Reassurance through times of uncertainty

During this ongoing period of recovery, we are aware that your child has faced, and may continue to face, disruption to their learning through no fault of their own.

We want to reassure you that we have taken account of this while discussing course assessment for 2021-22 with partners across the education system. Outlined below is a summary of the scenarios we are planning for, including the current plan for assessment and what will happen if the exams cannot go ahead.

How your child will be assessed, based on current public health advice

The Scottish Government has confirmed that exams will go ahead in 2022 if it is safe to do so. SQA exams – which include modifications – will therefore take place from 26 April to 1 June 2022, with results day on 9 August 2022. You can view the exam timetable here.

What are the modifications to assessment?

We have made changes – referred to as modifications – to course assessments to help make them more manageable and allow for lost learning and teaching caused by the pandemic. Depending on the subject, the modifications may include removing or reducing the exam or coursework, changing the exam to provide more choice or time, or removing a topic from the course.

How your child will be assessed, should there be increased levels of disruption

We are continuing to monitor public health advice and levels of disruption across the country. If there is further significant disruption to learning and teaching, and where possible, we may provide additional information to support your child’s revision and reduce stress in the run up to the exams. We will also continue to work with local authorities and Education Scotland to explore any other opportunities to support your child prepare for their exams.

How your child will be assessed, should public health advice lead to SQA exams being cancelled

If public health advice in Spring 2022 leads to SQA exams being cancelled, teachers and lecturers will decide your child’s provisional results based on the assessments they have completed throughout the year. This could be a mix of prelims, practical activities, performances and class tests. Teachers and lecturers will use their professional judgement to select the assessment evidence that best shows your child’s skills, knowledge and understanding of their course.

There will be no requirement for your child to undertake additional course assessment.

Additional support needs

If your child is disabled or has additional support needs, they can use specific assessment arrangements during their exams. Schools, colleges and training providers should ensure that appropriate assessment arrangements are put in place for assessments which are carried out during the year to ensure equity.

Please speak with your child’s teacher or lecturer to find out more about what assessment arrangements are available.

Where to find more information on assessment in 2021-22

We will do our best to bring you more information as and when it becomes available. To stay up to date, please visit and follow us on Facebook @ScottishQualificationsAuthority

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