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Will SQA exams go ahead in 2022?

National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Exam Diet 2022

Many N5, H and AH students and their parents/carers still feel uncertain over the upcoming exam diet in 2022, and rightly so based on the previous couple of years. Saturday School Ltd has collated information from SQA and Scottish Government to put together this short blog to (hopefully better) explain the possible outcomes. We’ve taken information directly from the SQA news website and other reliable sources to ensure it is as accurate and as up to date as possible.

Q: Will the SQA exam diet in 2022 go ahead?
A: According to Scottish government Ministers, Yes it will.

Nicola Sturgeon herself has said it is her “firm intention” that senior students at secondary schools will sit SQA exams this year. Obviously, the Covid pandemic meant she could not guarantee this would happen and has therefore said “sensible and appropriate” contingencies have been put in place. These contingencies have now been translated into the "three scenarios" which are explained below.

Q: So, what are the three possible scenarios?

Scenario 1.

Exams go ahead – pretty much as normal – with exam papers, sat under exam conditions like the pre-covid days of 2018 and 2019, the last year we had "proper exams". The alternative certification model which uses coursework and class assessments to form final grades was used in 2020 and 2021.

Scenario 2.

Exams go ahead – but with SQA supporting learners with their final revision in the immediate run-up to the exams, for example guidance on topics, provided to help learners maximise their exam performance and reduce exam stress.

Be careful with this one! Some people are predicting that entire key areas may be removed from exams, e.g., questions on certain topics might not come up, but that does not seem to be the case, with SQA saying "There will not be any further changes to courses or course assessments, over and above those already in place through the existing modifications". The best approach here is to assume that SQA will give guidance on the most appropriate key areas to prepare for and they will provide materials to do so.

Director of Qualifications Development, Gill Stewart said, "If we move to Scenario 2, revision support will be issued in March for most courses, to allow as much time as possible for learning and teaching. The type of revision support will differ across courses, depending on the assessment approach and the modifications made at the start of the session. We will provide more information as soon as these are finalised".

SQA have also made it clear that this scenario won't apply to all subjects, whilst reiterating their point that assessments won't change:

"This (scenario 2) will not be possible in all subjects due to the types of modifications which are already in place. The actual assessments will not change under this approach".

Scenario 3.

If Covid strikes, no exams. Obviously, nobody wants this to happen but if we do see restrictions returning to the point that exams are impacted, then the alternative certification model which has been used in 2020 and 2021 would be adopted. This is where teachers use coursework, prelims and other assessments to form the final grade for pupils.


Here's a link to the more detailed information on the three scenarios taken from __________________________________________________________________________

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