08 August 2023

Another bumper year for SQA exam entries

Pupils across Aberdeenshire have today (Tuesday) received their SQA assessment results.

Across the shire, 6,755 pupils took a total of 31,456 exams across a total of 76 different subjects.

Of those, 125 pupils achieved five straight A passes at Higher in S5; 89 pupils achieved more than three Advanced Higher Awards in S6, and 1,751 S4 pupils gained five qualifications at National Five level.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Education Vincent Docherty said: “I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all our young people who received their results today.

“This is the second year of exams being marked by the SQA following significantly different circumstances and awarding processes over the past few years - and last year where a ‘more generous approach to grading exams’ was carried out. 

“Our early analysis shows a positive performance for many of our pupils and today is about congratulating them for delivering this high level of performance. From us all at the education team, we’re really proud of our young people.”

Foundation Apprenticeship results are once again very strong and well above the national average. 

Foundation Apprenticeship results indicate at level four/five: of 326 students, almost 70% successfully completed the full FA award and over 80% achieved at least some parts of the award.

At level six, 455 students took part with over 80% successfully completing the full FA award and over 90% achieving at least some parts of the award.

Education and Children’s Services Committee chair Cllr David Keating said: “Congratulations to all our pupils, and those who supported them, both their families, and our teachers in academies across Aberdeenshire. It is very pleasing to hear of all that has been achieved across the various areas of study.

“Pupils have shown what they are capable of and should be proud of their achievements.    

“For those pupils who haven’t done as well just now as they might have hoped, please don’t be disheartened. There are always opportunities to be had and we provide a wide range of support, advice and guidance and to help you identify the one that is best for you.” 

Early analysis of the SQA figures shows this year’s pass rate:

•    National 2 going from 74.4% to 80.3% - a 6% increase on 2022
•    National 3 going from 84.5% to 73.2% - a 11% decrease on 2022
•    National 4 going from 76.6% to 86.3% - an 10% increase on 2022
•    National 5 going from 80.4% to 78% - a 2% decrease on 2022
•    Higher going from 78.1% to 75.6% - a 3% decrease on 2022
•    Advanced Higher going from 80.5% to 75.7% - a 5% decrease on 2022
In terms of wider exam attainment across Aberdeenshire, an initial analysis of the results across Aberdeenshire shows: 

•    44% of S4 pupils achieved five or more at SCQF level five (A-C)
•    54% of S4 pupils achieved five or more at SCQF level five (A-D)
•    36% of S5 pupils achieved three or more at SCQF level six (A-C)
•    43% of S5 pupils achieved three or more at SCQF level six (A-D)
•    28% of S6 pupils achieved five or more at SCQF level six (A-C)
•    34% of S6 pupils achieved five or more at SCQF level six (A-D)

Education and Children’s Services Committee vice-chair Cllr Anne Simpson said: “Our pupils can be confident their qualifications will provide them with a strong foundation for the next stage in their learning, training, or employment.  

“It is encouraging to see just how big an impact Foundation Apprenticeships are having on attainment across Aberdeenshire and by broadening the range of opportunities to achieve qualifications, we can help all our young people find a route to success that best meets their needs and interests.”

For any young person interested in undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship, visit: 

Skills Development Scotland is once again running its results helpline on 0808 100 8000. 

The organisation’s expert advisors can help pupils explore their options and provide career advice and guidance.