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SQA results 2018: next steps for Scottish students

Results day is a stressful affair, so we run through everything that Scottish students (and parents) need to bear in mind for the day itself

Whether you’re an S5 student receiving your Highers grades, or an S6 student finding out how well you did in your Advanced Highers, Which? University has you covered with everything you need to know moving forwards.

First things first, here’s what you should receive when you get your results:

  • a cover letter from the SQA Executive, which outlines all the documents enclosed, your Scottish Candidate Number and SQA contact details
  • a summary of your grades
  • a detailed record of attainment
  • a profile of five core skills that you’ve achieved from your qualifications.

You’ll receive these in paper format – but those who have signed up to MySQA will receive results via email or text.

If your results are what you need to help you fulfil your ambitions – congratulations! If you haven’t received your desired grades, don’t panic. There are plenty of options still open to you. You could even consider appealing your grades (more on this below).

Which? University course search – narrow down your options and find the perfect course for you, using your Scottish Highers results.

S5 students: what happens next?

Start researching where your SQA qualifications could take you. You may already have the qualifications required to apply for your dream course for a 2019 start.

If you’re considering retaking some Highers courses, don’t just jump straight in. It’s worth taking the time to question the value of this – some courses don’t consider retakes, preferring students to take qualifications in one go. The Which? University website lets you quickly find entry requirements for all courses in the UK.

Applying to uni for a 2019 start? Get ahead of the game by reading our quick guide to student finance if you’re from Scotland.

Should I take extra Highers or Advanced Highers?

Many courses in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales don’t require Advanced Highers, so your Highers grades may well be enough to put in an application.

However, according to Audit Scotland, over the last decade the number of university applications has grown at a faster rate than the number of funded places available. This means competition is greater, so additional qualifications may give you an edge over other applicants.

Some very competitive subjects, such as medicine and law, demand Advanced Highers qualifications.

Read more: will doing Advanced Highers give me a better chance of getting into uni?

S6 students: what happens next?

If you’ve received the results you needed for your course offer, start preparing for uni!

If you haven’t, check Ucas Track immediately to see the status of your offer. If it says ‘conditional’, the university is still deliberating whether to accept you. You may also want to ring your chosen universities to speak to someone.

If neither your first nor insurance choice accepts you, hope is not lost – you can enter Clearing to find an alternative course.

Take a look at our Clearing survival guide to quickly get to grips with your situation and next steps.

How to appeal SQA exam results

A school or college can request a clerical check or marking review. You can’t appeal your grades by yourself – it comes from your head teacher or principal.

A clerical check makes sure that all parts of the qualification materials have been marked, and that the marks given for all answers have been totalled correctly.

A marking review goes further by also checking that the marking is in line with the national standard and that the correct result has been entered.

What are the timings?

  • 7 August 2018 Appeals service opens.
  • 17 August 2018 Deadline for priority marking review requests. These are for when a candidate hasn’t met the grades required to secure a conditional offer.
  • 27 August 2018 Deadline for priority marking review results.
  • 28 August 2018 Deadline for clerical check and marking review requests.
  • 28 September 2018 Deadline for clerical check and marking review results.

Take a look at our bumper guide on SQA results day for everything else you need to know.

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