THE SCOTTISH Qualifications Authority (SQA) has said that this year’s exams have been graded “generously” owing to the two years of disruption caused by Covid.

The first exams since before the pandemic took place earlier this year after results in 2020 and 2021 were determined through teacher judgement, supported by assessment resources.

Pupils across Scotland who sat their National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications are currently awaiting their results, which are due to arrive on Tuesday August 9.

The SQA recognised that the cancellation of exams throughout 2020 and 2021 could result in lower outcomes for learners overall.

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As a result, it has “taken a more generous approach to setting grade boundaries”.

The awards body added that “this year’s learners are sitting exams in very different circumstances from the pre-pandemic years” and that the grade boundaries have been set “to help ensure fairness for learners while maintaining standards”.

Asked about comparing results in 2022 with other years, a spokesperson for the SQA said: “Given the unique circumstances facing learners in 2022, and our approach to awarding, comparisons with other years should be treated with significant caution, noting it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions on any changes in education performance during this time.

“However, universities, colleges and employers can be confident that standards and integrity have been maintained in 2022.

“Learners can also be confident that the qualifications they receive are credible and fair, and reflect the knowledge, understanding and skills they have acquired in challenging circumstances.”

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The SQA confirmed in April this year that changes to course assessments for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, which took into account the disruption caused by Covid, will remain in place over the next academic year.

The spokesperson added: “Carrying the assessment modifications forward into the new academic year will help to provide some certainty for learners, teachers and lecturers and help free up more time for learning and teaching of the course content while maintaining the integrity and credibility of their qualifications.”