SQA Results Day 2023: Important Information About How to Get Scottish Exam Results



After a busy academic year, thousands of eager pupils are waiting to get their hands on their exam results from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). Whether you’re a student who’s taken exams this year or the parent of a child nervously awaiting results, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about SQA Result Day 2023. 📜

Tutor on computer giving free trial lesson

How does the school system work in Scotland?

The Scottish education system differs to that of the rest of the UK. Between the ages of five and 12, children attend primary school. Then, they transition to secondary school for up to six years from the age of 12 to 18.

What is the curriculum in Scotland?

Designed to provide a flexible learning experience, Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) aims to cater to individual needs, abilities and learning capabilities. The Scottish curriculum is designed to prepare students for 21st century life, by helping them gain relevant knowledge, skills and attributes.🌱

The curriculum is built around four main aims, referred to as fundamental capacities, which lead to children and young people becoming:

These four capacities show that education is not limited to a student’s school days, and that learning can be a lifelong experience.🐘

The Scottish curriculum places children’s and young people’s rights at its core and states that every student should be able to experience:

  • A coherent curriculum from the ages of 3 to 18
  • A broad general education that includes: understanding the world, Scotland’s place in it and the environment
  • A senior phase for students aged 15 to 18 which provides students with opportunities for attainment. This includes studying for qualifications, awards and other activities which help young people in the development of the four capacities.
  • Opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work.
  • Opportunities to make the most of individual potential, with the benefit of support and appropriate challenge
  • Support to help them move on after finishing school🚀


What exams do Scottish students take?

Most students in Scotland take National Qualifications (NQs) set by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The majority of school or college leavers have at least one National Qualification.🎓

The National courses have seven different levels.  Many students take National 1 to 5 courses when they are in S3 or S4 (when students are aged 14 to 16) but this can vary depending on how well they are doing in individual subjects. Highers and Advanced Highers are usually taken when students are in S5 and S6 (when students are aged 16 to 18).✍️

In response to the new measures, the SQA said: “In recognition of the disruption that learners have faced over the last two years, and the different approaches to assessment, this year we are prepared to be more generous in our approach to grading than in a normal year to factor in the impact of the pandemic on learners.




National 1 

stand-alone units that don’t make up part of a course of study designed for students who require additional learning support subjects consist of one or more units. National 1s can progress to other National 1 subjects or move on to a range of subjects at National 2 level assessed (pass /fail) by a teacher/lecturer students can pass units separately to achieve a National 1

National 2

courses consist of one or more units some units are mandatory as they provide the foundations for learners to achieve more units in the same subject area at National 2  assessed (pass/fail) by a teacher/lecturer learners need to pass all units to achieve the qualification

National 3

learners at this level are required to develop basic knowledge and understanding of the subject the ability to apply skills to a range of simple tasks in familiar contexts, with guidance from teachers. assessed (pass/fail) by a teacher/lecturer.

learners need to pass all units to achieve the qualification

National 4

courses consist of units, including an added value unit, which assess how learners perform across the whole course.

assessed as pass/fail by a teacher/lecturer. 

learners need to pass all units, including the added value unit, to achieve the qualification

National 5

courses are generally taken in secondary schools (S4-S6) and in further education colleges. Students usually need at least five National 5 qualifications (A-c) to progress to Highers. assessed via exams and/or coursework  - mostly marked by SQA for some subjects, coursework is marked by a teacher/lecturer The courses are graded A to D or 'no award'.


generally taken in secondary schools (S5-S6) and in further education colleges. Some students leave secondary education with Highers and go on to further/higher education, training or employment. Highers are the standard entry requirements for higher education in Scotland. assessed via exams and/or coursework  - mostly marked by SQA for some subjects, coursework is marked by a teacher/lecturer The courses are graded A to D or 'no award'.

Advanced Highers

generally taken in secondary schools (S5-S6) and in further education colleges Advanced Highers provide good preparation for learners moving on to further and higher education. assessed via exams and/or coursework  - mostly marked by SQA for some subjects, coursework is marked by a teacher/lecturer The courses are graded A to D or 'no award'.


What date do Scottish exam results 2023 come out?

This year, SQA results day is on Tuesday 8th August 2023.🗓️

How do get my Scottish exam results?

Students awaiting results for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will get their SQA results by post. Candidates who have signed up to MySQA will also receive their results by text or email on Tuesday 8th August 2023.📲

Universities and colleges will automatically be informed of candidate results through UCAS. If, for any reason, a candidate does not receive their results, they should contact their school or college as soon as possible.

SQA Results day

Scottish exam results 2023: FAQ

There’s no such thing as a stupid question! With that in mind, here’s a quick run-through of some frequently asked questions about SQA Results day 2023.

What date do SQA results 2022 come out?

All SQA results for National 5s, Higher and Advanced Higher exams will be released on Tuesday 8th August 2023.

How do I sign up to receive my results by email/text?

If you’re taking National Qualifications this year, you can sign up to get your exam results by email and/or text on MySQA. You register using your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) and then you’ll be sent an activation email to activate your account. After you’ve activated your account, you can select whether you wish to get your exam results by email or text. Remember that registration for MySQA closes a few weeks before results day, so be sure to register early!🐦

How do I find my Scottish candidate number?

You can find your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) on one of your previous SQA certificates. If you don't have an SQA certificate, you can speak to your school, call the SQA directly on 0345 279 1000 or complete their Candidate Enquiry Form.

Is there a deadline for signing up to MySQA?

Yes! If you want to be sent your results by email or text on Tuesday 8th August 2023, you need to sign up and activate your account by 5pm Wednesday 19th July 2023. After that date, registration to MySQA will be closed as they prepare to send out exam results. Registration for MySQA will open again at 9am on Wednesday 9 August 2023.

Are appeals possible for Scottish exam results 2023?

Yes. There is a free appeals service that candidates can use if they have concerns about their results. Candidates can appeal directly to SQA or ask their school to do it on their behalf.

The appeal service will open on SQA Results Day, Tuesday 8th August at 9am. The learner direct submission deadlines are:

  • Tuesday 15th August at 11:59pm for priority appeals
  • Tuesday 29th August at 11:59pm for all other appeals

Appeals can be prioritised if a candidate has a conditional place at university or college, or if they have an offer for training or employment that depends on their grades.

If I register for MySQA will I still receive a paper certificate on results day?

Yes! If you have registered with MySQA you’ll still get a paper certificate on results day - just make sure your address is correct on your MyProfile page. If the address is incorrect, get in touch with your school or college and ask them to update your details with the right address!📩

GoStudent CTA for free trial

If you’re already thinking about your next steps and want to get ahead before your next course begins, why not try a free trial lesson with GoStudent? Our expert tutors know all about further education and can help you make the most of your academic abilities! 🗝️