SQA Results Day Guide

This year, SQA results are out on Tuesday 10 August 2021

It’s a day of nervous energy, anticipation and excitement but what actually happens on SQA (Scottish Qualification Awards) Results Day? 

Our guide gives you the inside information so you can capitalise on your SQA results.

What will happen on results day?

You will receive your results in one of two ways. Either delivered in the mail by your friendly postman or if you’ve previously signed up to MySQA, sent by email or text.

This is a great idea (especially if you’re going to be away on holiday on the day) as the emails and texts are sent out in batches from 1am up to the latest at 9am.

This can be crucial in managing the ‘waking early syndrome’ that can happen to the best of us on results day! 

Your SQA results will feature an SQC (Scottish Qualification Certificate), which is a record of all your past achievements (you’ll sometime see this referred to as a summary of attainment) along with a covering letter, a detailed record of this year’s attainment and a core skills profile.

Please keep your SQC in a safe place as this acts as proof of your achieved results.

If you’re waiting on these results for a UCAS college or university place, the great news is that the Scottish Qualification Authority will automatically send these results to UCAS at the same time.

I didn't receive my results - what should I do?

If you haven’t received your results by text, email or post, don’t just sit worrying and don't panic!

Contact your school or college directly and they'll be able to give them to you.

If there’s anything missing or wrong with your certificate, call the SQA Candidate Advice line on 0345 279 1000.

What’s next?

This depends on which qualification you have just received results for:

1. National 5

If your results at National 5 aren’t as good as you hoped to allow you to progress to study Highers, don’t be too downcast.

The ultimate decision on whether you can study at Higher is down to the individual school/college, so if you’re just on the borderline, this is your chance to persuade your teachers you’re capable of a higher level of study. Phone and speak to them as soon as you can. Don’t put it off. 

Alternatively if you don’t pass your national 5, you may still be awarded a National 4 as part of the Scottish Recognising Positive Achievement arrangements. If this happens it’s best to contact your school to discuss what options you have available as these will differ by individual institution. 

2. Highers

If the results are your Higher grades that allow you to progress into Advanced Highers (congratulations) but you’d like to improve one of your grades to apply for a different university course with more stringent entry requirements, you may be able to resit this Higher while studying your Advanced ones.

Again it’s worth chatting to your teachers as the options can differ by school/college. If you are going to go down this route, please study the entry qualifications for your university/college course in great detail to ensure they will allow resits. 

3. Advanced Highers

If your Advanced Higher grades haven’t given you the entry requirements for your university course firm offer, there’s still lots of options including accepting your insurance offer or applying for Clearing vacancies via UCAS

On the flip side, if your results are better than predicted, you can still accept your firm offer or you may wish to consider UCAS Adjustment, a service that allows to apply for university courses with higher entry requirements which still have places available.

You’ll also need to phone and chat with the university tutors as well. It really is worth reading our guide to UCAS Clearing 2021  for more great info.

Although you’ve received awesome results, you may have decided you no longer want to go to university.  Please consider carefully all the pros and cons.

Once you’ve made your final decision, there are numerous other choices available too that you might want to consider as an alternative to university:

Further information

For more tips and advice on life after school or college, please see: