Exams will take place next year if safe to do so.
National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams will be held in spring 2022 if public health advice allows.
The decision has been informed by public health advice and by the views of partners, including those on the National Qualifications Group, which includes representatives of young people, parents, teachers and other education professionals.
Course content has been reduced compared to a normal year to take account of the disruption to learning that young people have experienced. These modifications have already been confirmed by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
Due to uncertainty over the pandemic, two contingency plans will be in place.
If there is further significant disruption to learning as a result of COVID-19, but it is still safe for exams to go ahead, there will be further modifications to courses and assessment.
If public health conditions do not allow for an exam diet to take place, awards will be made on teachers’ judgements based on normal in–year assessment.
Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Exams will take place next year if safe to do so.
“Fairness for learners sitting exams in 2022 is at the heart of our plans. Assessment modifications across national courses for the next academic session have already been confirmed by the SQA in recognition of the disruption to learning that young people have experienced. We will set out details on further support available for learners in September..
“Careful contingency planning has taken place in case there is further significant disruption to learning or if public health conditions do not allow for the holding of an examination diet.
“These contingencies offer stability for teachers and learners in the coming academic session and will allow their focus to be on normal practices in teaching, learning and assessment. More detailed guidance will be issued by the SQA at the earliest opportunity.”
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has modified course assessment requirements for each National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher course. This will reduce the volume of assessment, which will allow for any lost learning caused by the pandemic. It will also ease teacher, lecturer and learner workload, while still maintaining the credibility of the qualifications.
For most courses, these are the same modifications that were put in place for session 2020-21. For some courses, SQA has, in response to feedback from teachers and learners, adjusted the modifications to give learners more opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
The SQA has published modification summary documents that provide more detail on these modifications and explain the assessment requirements for this year.
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