Exams: What to expect from this year’s results

Now that the summer holidays have started the countdown to results day is on. We look at what you need to know about this year’s unusual results day and what to do if you are unhappy with your grades.

When Scotland’s lockdown started in March no one expected it to last more than three months and to wreak havoc on the 2020 exam diet. If you are concerned about how your results will be calculated you’re not alone.

From how your school and the SQA will decide on your grade to what you can expect on results day, we have you covered.


Due to the on-going measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 this year’s exams were cancelled, leaving young people across the country worried about what will happen next.

While this year’s exam diet won’t be rescheduled for later in the year, you will still be able to progress in school, to higher education or into the world of work.

The Scottish Qualifications Agency (SQA) have a plan in place to ensure you receive fair and accurate grades that reflect your hard work over the school year.

Getting results

You won’t have to complete additional coursework or sit any exams from home. Instead, the SQA are working with your teachers to formulate grades based on coursework and tests from throughout the school year.

Experienced teachers will review all evidence available to them to assess if you have met the course aims and what grade you should be awarded in each subject. Any available work that you have completed throughout the course will be taken into consideration along with their knowledge of your experiences and progress so far.

This evidence will be sent on to the SQA who will decide on your final grade in each subject.

Results day will be on Tuesday 4 August as originally planned, but it is strongly advised that you sign up to receive your results by text or email through MySQA. If you have already received your results this way previously, this will automatically happen.

It’s important to make sure all of your contact information is up to date and that you are signed up to the service. If you decide not to use MySQA, your results will be sent in the post as normal. 

What’s next?

If you applied to college or university, or are entering the world of work, the change in how results are calculated shouldn’t affect this.

The SQA are in contact with UCAS, Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland along with Skills Development Scotland to keep employers and higher education institutions informed on the situation.

It is possible that you won’t get the results you wanted or expected on 4 August. If this happens you can ask your school to appeal your grade in hopes that this can be increased. It is important to know that the SQA can lower your grade as well as higher it during the appeal process.

In this scary time knowing your results won’t be affected is one less thing to worry about. For more information on how your results will be calculated click here.

How do you feel about this year’s results day? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

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