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Exam Results and Appeals

It’s normal to feel worried when waiting on your exam results or the outcome of an appeals decision.

It’s OK to feel disappointed, upset or frustrated if the results aren’t as hoped or expected.

But it’s important to remember that your grades don’t define you.

Whatever your results turn out to be, you have options for your future.

Lots of people in interesting jobs haven’t taken a straight or obvious path to get there. There’s no wrong path.

If you don’t get the results you were hoping for and have concerns about one or more of your grades, then you have the right to appeal.

Below we explain what appeals are and also outline the key dates for 2023.

Click here to jump to advice if you are feeling anxious about appeals.

What are appeals?

The appeals process gives you the opportunity to request a review of any grades you have been awarded by the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority).

You can appeal an exam result if it is unexpected or you don’t think it’s a true reflection of your performance.

It’s important to know that after being reviewed, your result could stay the same, go up or go down.

If you have a conditional place at university or college, or for training or employment that depends on your grade, you can request a priority appeal. It is called ‘priority’ because it means that your appeal will be processed faster.

Priority appeals must be validated by your school, college or training provider, so you need to tell them if you have a conditional offer or employment opportunity.

How do appeals work?

This year, the appeals process opens on Tuesday 8 August at 9am.

You can make an appeal yourself or instead ask your learning centre (your school, college or training provider) to do it on your behalf.

If you want to make an appeal yourself, then you would use the Learner Direct Appeals Servicethis can be accessed via the SQA’s website.

The SQA advise that learners should discuss appeals with their teacher, lecturer or another member of staff before submitting one. This is recommended because it is important to make sure an appeal is in your best interests.

key dates to know

Tuesday 8 August 2023

  • Results day
  • Appeals service opens 9am

Tuesday 15 August 2023 at 11:59pm

  • Deadline for learners to submit their own priority appeals

Monday 21 August 2023

  • Deadline for learning centres to submit priority appeals

Tuesday 29 August 2023 at 11:59pm

  • Deadline for learners to submit their own non-priority appeals

Friday 1 September 2023

  • Deadline for learning centres to submit non-priority appeals

Monday 4 September 2023

  • SQA issues results of priority appeals to learning centres

Tuesday 5 September 2023

  • SQA confirms results with UCAS (the Universities and College Admission Service)

October 2023

  • SQA issues results for non-priority appeals

November 2023

  • Replacement certificates issued to learners

Feeling anxious about appeals

It’s natural to feel worried when waiting to hear about the outcome of an appeal decision.

Here are 5 things you can to to help:

  1. Try not to worry about results when awaiting news of an appeal. Remember that lots of your peers will be feeling the same.
  2. Social media and the news can make you feel anxious. At this time of year there are lots of stories about exam results. If you find they stress you out then take a break and limit how much you look at them. Remember that you are in control – you can always delete apps or unfollow people if they’re making you feel more anxious.
  3. Feeling worried about your future? If so, there are organisations in Scotland who can help you plan your next steps – find out more about them here.
  4. Sharing how you feel helps – it’s better out than in. Talk to someone you trust, for example, a friend, family member, teacher.
  5. There are also lots of organisations that can provide support when you are . Take a look at a few options below…

Who else can help?

Young Scot have lots of advice about dealing with exam results and have also compiled loads of resources about next steps and people who can help.

An image with a transparent background and the Childline logo - the word 'Childline' in blue. Blue text below this reads 'Online, on the phone, anytime.

If you’re struggling and feeling stressed, then Childline has online 1-to-1 counselling and information to help. You can also call Childline on 0800 1111. If you are deaf you can use SignVideo.

If you need urgent help, then you can text YM to 85258 to contact YoungMinds. Their website also features stories from other young people and has great advice about looking after your mental health.

SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) also has a range of support services. These include a helpline as well as online resources to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing.

More Info about Anxiety

You can also find out more about anxiety by visiting our All About ASL: Anxiety page.

It has lots more information about the things you can do when you’re feeling anxious.

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