SQA Results Day: What next if you're staying on at school?

This article was last updated on 24 June 2021.

Moving from National 5s to Highers or Highers to Advanced Highers? Just because you are staying on at school doesn't mean that you don't have choices.

Use our handy decision tree to work out what options might suit you best.

I’m going from National 5 to Highers, or from Highers to Advanced Highers. What happens next if...

...my grades are what I expected?

  • Well done you! You’re in a good position to carry on with your plans for next year.

  • If you’re moving from S4 to S5, and from S5 to S6, then you will already have started your new timetable before the summer holidays.

  • Of course, there’s no harm in assessing your options. Take a moment to think about your choices and make sure they line up with your future ambitions. You can always talk with your school careers adviser or a teacher to make sure you’re on track.

  • If you want to make changes to your timetable, just talk to your teachers and they will advise you on your options for when you return to school.

...my grades are better than I expected?

  • That's great! You could consider taking a course or apprenticeship at a higher level or applying for college.

  • Some colleges have late applications to fill courses before the end of term so, if this appeals to you, head online to see what’s out there.

...my grades are worse than I expected?

  • Try not to worry – you still have options no matter your results.

  • This year SQA is providing a free appeals service for schools, colleges and training providers. You will be able to appeal your provisional grades from Friday 25 June. The appeal service will be open until Thursday 12 August. If you have any questions about your results, speak to your school or college first. More information is available on the SQA website.

  • Don’t forget, college can also be a good option. It can be a fresh start as well as a useful introduction to more independent study.

Where else can I get advice?

The SQA will run its Candidate Advice Line on 0345 279 1000 on Tuesday, 10 August 2021, answering questions about your results, and your Scottish Qualifications Certificate.

The Skills Development Scotland Helpline number is 0800 917 8000 and is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. This is the number to call from now until 9 August to discuss provisional results and what they may mean.

Skills Development Scotland's Results Helpline will be available on Tuesday, 10 August 2021 from 8am until 8pm, contactable on 0808 100 8000. Their expert careers advisers will be on hand to discuss options and next steps such as course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, Confirmation and Clearing, Modern, Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships and jobs or volunteering.

As well as running from 8am to 8pm on results day, SDS's Results Helpline will also be open on 10 and 11 August from 8am to 8pm, 12 and 13 August from 9am to 5pm and 16 to 18 August from 9am to 5pm.

Your guide to SQA results day
Making decisions and changing pathways
Staying positive