Worried You Won't Get the Results You Wanted?

Your results can feel like the be all and end all of your future success, but even if you don't get all passes you still have plenty of options ahead of you to take the next step in your career or further education.

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 2022 results, the SQA are setting up a free and direct appeals process for anyone who wishes to appeal a grade. Grades can be appealed on the following grounds:

  • Your estimate must be higher than the grade shown on your certificate
  • Your school, college or training provider must have submitted an estimate to SQA for the subject and level you are appealing
  • You must have taken and/or submitted all SQA coursework and formal assessments, including exams.
  • Your course must include at least one assessment that is marked by SQA

You can use the SQA appeals decision tree to understand if you're able to appeal your results.

The appeals service opens at 9am on 9th August. You can submit an appeal yourself or ask your school, college or training provider to submit an appeal for you. 

More information about the appeals process is available  on the SQA website

You can contact SQA regarding general enquiries by calling them on 0345 279 1000 or by completing an enquiry form.

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 917 8000

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 no wrong path, 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 apprenticeshipgetting work experience or going straight into employment.  You call them on 0808 917 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.