Results Day 2022

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Near record pass rates for National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers in an exam year.

Pass rates for National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers have increased to near record levels for any exam year since current qualifications were introduced.

The overall percentage of A grades is also higher than 2019, when exams were last held, and the number of skills-based qualifications, awards and certificates has increased to a near record 64,240.

– Graeme 

Today’s results illustrate the wide range of qualifications that learners are choosing, and I welcome the increase in skills-based awards. These qualifications equip young people with the skills they need to enter apprenticeships or go into the workplace, where they will support Scotland’s economic recovery after COVID-19.

Some learners may not be receiving the results they were hoping for today. This year there is a free, direct appeals service for those whose National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher awarded grade is less than the estimate submitted by their school or college. There is also plenty of help available on next steps, including from the Skills Development Scotland Results Helpline.

Almost 138,000 learners are receiving Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) results today – the highest number since 2017.

These show:

  • the National 5 pass rate was 80.8% (250,730 passes) – up from 78.2% in 2019
  • the Higher pass rate was 78.9% (148,540 passes) – up from 74.8% in 2019
  • the Advanced Higher pass rate was 81.3% (22,940 passes) – up from 79.4% in 2019

Today’s results also show the gap between attainment levels in the least and most deprived areas has narrowed from the 2019 level:

  • for National 5, the gap was 14.6 percentage points – down from 17.1 percentage points in 2019
  • for Higher, the gap was 15.0 percentage points – down from 16.9 percentage points in 2019
  • for Advanced Higher, the gap was 13.2 percentage points – down from 13.6 percentage points in 2019

– Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville

This is one of the strongest ever sets of results for any exam year, which is particularly impressive given the significant challenges learners have faced as a result of the pandemic.

Pass rates for National 5s, Highers and Advanced Highers have increased compared with 2019, with A passes also up, and skills-based qualifications are close to the highest ever figure.

It is important to note, though, that although 2022 saw a return to exams, it was not a return to normality. The approach to exams reflected the disruption to teaching and learning that young people faced and a wide-ranging package of support and modifications was put in place.

I am confident that the approach, which was informed by views from across the education system, as well as learners, has delivered a credible, consistent and fair set of results for our young people. Indeed, universities have assured learners that they support the 2022 approach to assessment, and industry leaders have spoken publicly about how much they value this year’s qualifications.

There are many different pathways to success and I want to celebrate the full breadth of learners’ achievements and to pay tribute to our young people for working so hard and showing such resilience.

I’d also like to thank our incredible teachers and education staff, and, of course parents and carers, who have supported learners during another very challenging year.

While the results show the gap between attainment levels in the least and most deprived areas has narrowed from the 2019 level, we know that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted learners from more disadvantaged backgrounds. We are determined to accelerate the progress that has been made and we are investing a record £1 billion in the Scottish Attainment Challenge during this parliamentary term.