- 1. Check if you can appeal
If you think the result that you are awarded isn't right, you may be able to appeal.
For 2020 results, SQA have set up a free appeals process for anyone who is awarded a grade that is lower than the estimated grade submitted by their teacher. If this applies to you and you wish to appeal, speak to your school or college as soon as possible as they will have to submit the appeal on your behalf. If you are appealing to get a grade you need for a college or university place, ask your school to submit it as a priority appeal.
Some of the key 2020 appeals submission dates:
- Appeals service opens on 4th August
- 14th August for those wishing to confirm a college/university place
- 21st August for all other appeals
If you're unsure about the appeals process or want to speak to someone about it, you can get in touch with the Results Helpline (more information below).
- 2. Speak to someone about it
Getting different perspectives about what the next steps could be can be helpful.
Your friends, family and teachers can all support you when you're deciding what might be suited to you. They might recommend resitting the subject next year or at a college, or they might suggest that you focus on another subject area in which they've noticed your talent. You could also speak to a careers advisor or someone working in an industry you are interested in for advice. Skills Development Scotland are running a Results Helpline if you want to speak to someone about your results and what you can do next.
Call: 0808 100 8000
The helpline will be open:
- 4th - 5th August, 8am - 8pm
- 6th - 7th August, 9am - 5pm
- 10th - 12th August, 9am - 5pm
You can also speak to them through Facebook Messenger if you'd prefer to chat to someone this way.
- 3. Look into re-taking the subject
If you didn't get the grade you wanted, there are other opportunities to try again. If you’re in 4th year you'll be able to complete your National 4s or 5s again in 5th year, and having that extra year's worth of learning could help you do extra well the second time round. If you're in 5th year you can sit your Highers in 6th year, and if you're about to leave school you can look into retaking some of your Highers at college.
- 4. Check UCAS
If you were missed out on the grades you needed to meet the conditions of your university offer, all's not lost.
Check with UCAS anyway, in some instances you may still be accepted onto a course, even if you didn't quite meet the conditions of an offer.
Universities also offer places that have still to be filled on different courses through a process called Clearing. UCAS also have lots of information about what Clearing is and how to apply for an available course.
You never know, it might even end up working out better than your original choice.
- 5. Explore alternative routes
There is #NoWrongPath, it's all about what is right for you.
If you want to find some part-time or full-time employment after school, speak to your parents, a careers advisor and browse some job sites to get an idea of what kind of job may be right for you.
You could also look into becoming an apprentice. Skills Development Scotland run a website dedicated to apprenticeships and providing you with information and opportunities. Check out our IGTV that highlights other young people who chose to go down the same route and how it benefited them.
You can also learn skills in an area that might not be taught at school. Not everyone takes to school subjects like Maths and English as quickly or as naturally as others and it may be that there are other subjects or skills you could learn that are better suited to you.
Why not have a look outwith school to gain more skills and qualifications that can help you move on in your career or education. Check out what courses are going on at your local college, or have a look online for online courses you could take; first aid, sign language, dressmaking and photography, are just a few excellent courses you could look into.
- 6. Go your own way
If you've got a brilliant idea for your own business, you don't need to go through years of education or working for other people before launching your own business. There are lots of opportunities available for young people to get funding and training to start your own business.
Get loads more advice on starting your own business from My World of Work.
- 7. Recognise the challenges
Remember: this year has been completely different to most as you didn't get to sit exams. Use this as an opportunity to try and think about how you learn best, and realise that learning doesn't always come in the form of a grade you get at the end of the year.
So if you're stressing about your exams and feeling the pressure, try and remember that if it doesn’t work out there are still plenty of options still open to you - try not to panic!
More Help & Information
The SDS Results Helpline is there to support you if you didn't get results you expected, and will help you explore your options. Whether that be college or university, taking on an apprenticeship, getting work experience or going straight into employment. You call them on 0808 100 8000. They will be open Tuesday 4th - Wednesday 5th August from 8am - 8pm, and Thursday 6th - Friday 7th August from 9am - 5pm.
The Prince’s Trust Scotland has a wide range of courses and support to help you to get into a job, further education and or start your own business.
You might have an idea of the kind of job you want to do but need skills, experience or qualifications to kick-start your career. Or you might not be sure of your strengths and want an opportunity to try new things and boost your skills & confidence.
Either way The Prince’s Trust Scotland can find the right option for you. Check out their website or call 0800 842 842 to find out more.