Student Advice

SQA Results Day 2024

Ben Maples  · Sep 15th 2023  · 8 min

SQA results day is a day full of mixed emotions, you are bound to feel excited, but it is also completely normal to feel nervous.

Students getting their results

When it comes to the SQAs, plenty of students worry about the results, much like students do with GCSEs, A Levels and any other form of exam stress, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered for everything you need to know about SQA results day and your SQA results.

From the further study to apprenticeships and work placements, do not worry if you haven’t yet decided what is best for you, it is a big decision to make, and there is something available to suit everyone. Most importantly you should never feel pressured by anyone into taking a particular path or making a certain decision, parents, teachers or friends may hold strong ideas of their own, but these should never sway your decision, what is right for them might not be for you.

By the time SQA results have been released, you should aim to know what your next step will be and hopefully, you will be preparing to start work, undertake further study or to take some time out. But if you haven’t do not panic and rush into a decision!

Here, we will look into SQA text results, logging my SQA results, help with viewing SQA results online, how to prepare for SQA exam results day, when the SQA exam results date is and how to contact the SQA results service.

What you can expect on SQA results day

Firstly make sure you know how and where you are expecting to receive your SQA results and make sure you set the alarm to be up in time to receive them as soon as possible. It is even important to plan a good breakfast to help keep you focused on the case that important decisions need to be made. Finally, make sure you are familiar with the process of what steps to take if your results are not quite what you had hoped or in the case that they have exceeded all expectations.

After all the hard work put in across the year, there is a lot riding on your results, and for many, it can be the stepping stone to the next part of your life, be it a world of education, apprenticeships or to secure a work placement. Whatever happens, do not panic when you receive your result, whether good or bad, expected or unexpected there are plenty of options for everyone. For a minority of people, it can be a disappointing and hectic day, so it is important that you understand what to expect on SQA results day, right the way through to the SQA exam results text and your SQA email results.

What is SQA results day?

SQA results day is the day (the SQA results date) that students who have just sat their SQA higher results receive their sqa exam results.

When do SQA results come out?

Students will receive their SQA results by text or by email. The SQA results text will come out to you at around 08:00am, the same as your SQA results email - SQA results day will be Tuesday 8th August 2023..

By the time SQA results have been released, you should aim to know what your next step will be and hopefully, you will be preparing to start work, undertake further study or to take some time out.

Further Study

It depends at what stage you are currently at in your studies as to what your next step within education may be. If you have finished studying National 4 or National 5’s further study may be of interest to you. Studying Highers or Advanced Highers will enable you to apply for a university place, click and compare universities. Both Highers and Advanced Highers can be studied at your school or college.

University and UCAS

Once you have received your results, you should know exactly what university you will be attending, in terms of receiving and understanding your UCAS entry points. UCAS will automatically be informed by the SQA of your results on SQA results day, and they will then accept or reject your university choices via UCAS. You do not need to inform your university choices directly of your results. To see if you have been accepted, you simply need to login to UCAS on the morning of your SQA results, if you have been successful all you need to do is accept the offer and prepare for heading to university.

Enjoy a few weeks of the summer holidays before getting ready to embrace your next step of education, plan a shopping trip with your parents to get all of the university essentials from saucepans to stationery and if you are moving away from home, it’s a good time to get used to the thought of moving, probably for the first time! It’s a big step but also a very exciting time!

Your university will be in touch with you with any further instructions and to finalise living arrangements, start dates and anything you may need to do or buy in advance for your course.

What to expect on SQA results day

What time do SQA email results and what time do SQA text results?

So what time will SQA results arrive by text or email?

Exam results are emailed or texted to students at around 08:00am on SQA results day. You can also find results on SQA Connect, an online portal for schools, colleges and employers that have been approved by the SQA.

What time does the SQA text come?

This depends on the day. Generally, SQA texts are sent out from around 08:00am onwards.

You will also need to have gone through the sSQA text sign up process on the MySQA account. If you have not done so, you will not receive your results SQA text results.

What if I haven’t got into my first or second choice?

It is important to bear in mind what you plan to do if your results are not what you expected. Results day can contain a wave of emotions and can often be very hectic, with so many people receiving results on one day it is easy to get caught up in the excitement. If you are unsuccessful in securing your first or second university choice, this does not mean you will be unable to attend university to study your desired course, but being prepared helps ensure you get to university.

UCAS Clearing is designed for students who are in this exact situation. Make sure you know your options before results day, keep a check on the Clearing search and be prepared to phone universities that still have open spaces if results did not go to plan. You will have received a Clearing number through UCAS which you can give to university tutors so that they are able to access your UCAS application and see your grades. After talking to various universities via the Clearing route, you may be asked to apply via UCAS to a new university.

Discovering if you have been successful in this route can take several days after results day, don’t panic and persist with the process, it could lead you to head off to university in a few short weeks and start you on the path to a career of your choice!

It is important to bear in mind what you plan to do if your results are not what you expected.

Can I get my results remarked or retake exams?

It may be that your results weren’t as expected and you were unlucky in getting into the university you had applied for. In this case, you can apply to retake exams to improve your SQA results. It is best to contact your school or college as soon as you can after SQA results day to discuss the option of retakes as it is up to the individual school as to whether they will facilitate you retaking the unit or parts of the course you have not passed.

If you or a school or college are concerned at the mark of a paper they can request a marking review, a clerical check will firstly be carried out to check that every part of the paper has been given a mark and that each mark is added together to give the correct score and that this score has been entered correctly into the SQA system.

An SQA examiner will then review the marks awarded and ensures it matched up with the national guidelines. You cannot request a re-mark, this must come from your school or college. If you have a university place on hold, your school or college can request a priority marking review to meet the UCAS deadline of confirming places.

What if university isn’t for me?

University definitely isn’t for everyone and your SQA results also set you up for taking the first step into a career, apprenticeship or even taking a gap year. Your results will stay with you for a lifetime, so don’t feel pressured into making any rushed decisions. Once you have your results, you can apply directly for a job, or you can even take some time out to travel before heading to university or into a career at a later date.

You can also apply for an apprenticeship. By applying for an apprenticeship, you will be earning a salary while gaining important skills and qualifications to aid a career in the chosen sector, although if you’re considering this route, you’ll need to be aware of the various apprenticeship entry requirements. Typically 30 hours a week, you will be working alongside skilled individuals to prepare you with the experience you need for full-time work. At the end of an apprenticeship, you may be able to apply to work for the same company, you could leave with a qualification such as an NVQ or BTEC setting you up for further job applications, or you could go back into education to study for a degree or a Diploma of Higher Education.

You can also study for an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) which offers you skills for a specific job, with a huge range of options from plumbing to health and social care. There are several levels that you will work your way through and be assessed on.

Alternatively, you can apply directly for a job. If you know what you wish to pursue as a career, it may be possible to start at entry level and work your way up. Make sure you do your research beforehand as it may be that you will only be able to get to a certain point before needing further education or training.

How to Prepare for SQA Results Day

Gap Years

A gap year could also be next for you, although if you consider this, you need to be aware of all of the pros and cons of a gap year, before making your decision. If you are not 100% sure on the next step, maybe a year away from education will help you decide on what you want to achieve in life. You are also at the time of your life with little commitment, little finance pressures and without the stress of leaving a developed career. It is often seen as the perfect opportunity to see some of the world. If you have accepted a university place, you may even be able to defer your university entry for a year in order to travel knowing your university place is waiting for you.

A gap year may seem very daunting to gather enough money to even book a flight especially if you plan on travelling alone, however, don’t feel worried, there are many different gap year agencies with the aim to plan trips or itineraries should you need it. A lot of individuals choose to live at home and work from results day until January time to save enough money, before travelling for 6-9 months before the university year starts the following September. You can choose to jump on a plane directly from SQA results day and apply for a working holiday visa in a country of your choice; this will enable you to work while away to fund your living and travels. Or you could look into finding a volunteer role or a paying job before you leave, this way you have a more structured plan and job security which can suit some individuals more. Whatever route you choose, you are sure to have an adventure of a lifetime!

You may even make the decision to retake your exams during a gap year, making it essential to plan your trip well!


If you still feel in the dark about what to do next, even after receiving your results, there are numerous people that can advise you on what is best for you. Although you may feel like you have left school, it is not too late to talk to an advisor or tutor at your school or college, and they will be more than happy to help. Although they will not be able to tell you what to do, it is always a good option to talk through your concerns, thoughts and worries, sometimes getting it out in the open allows you to see things from a different angle. They will also have the knowledge of educational or career routes that you may not have considered. Even your parents are a great source of knowledge, after all, they do know you the best and once upon a time they were in your exact situation! Nobody can tell you what to do, it ultimately has to be your choice, but the more people you talk to about your concerns, the easier a decision will come.

Always remember, whatever you chose to do after receiving your SQA results it is the right thing even if it isn’t what your friends are doing, you should never be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. Your results stay with you forever, so you can always change your mind at a later date should you wish to re-enter further education or to start a career or apprenticeship. Most of all, enjoy the time off you have before starting your next step!

If you still feel in the dark about what to do next, even after receiving your results, there are numerous people that can advise you on what is best for you.

Check that your personal details are correct

This sounds like an obvious point, but it is essential that you check that your school or college has the correct personal details registered to you. Any personal details linked to your Scottish Candidate number (SCN) have to be correct in order to obtain your exam certificate. Before results day, check these are up to date and correct, either make contact with your school or college or log in online to your MySQA account. Your name, address and SCN number should all be correct, if you have a change of address or if any of the details are incorrect you must tell your school or college immediately to ensure the correct details appear on your SQA results.

What date is SQA results day?

Make sure you have the correct day, for SQA results 2023 will be released on Tuesday 8th August, it may sound obvious, but there is nothing worse than waiting on a wrong day and becoming panicked when results haven’t arrived. Check with your school or college, peers or log in to your MySQA account closer to the time to double check the exact time and date you should be expecting to receive your Scottish Qualification Certificate. Make sure you check with your school when your SQA Results Day is and see what their plans for the day is, like whether or not they want you in at a certain time etc…

How are you planning on receiving your results?

Your SQA results will automatically be delivered via post, so you don’t need to worry about going anywhere to pick them up. Although it can be exciting to wait for the post, it is common for results also to be delivered by email or text message, as these often arrive earlier than the post and at a more guaranteed time.

If you want to receive your results in this way you must make sure you have signed up for this option prior to results day online. Simply log in to your MySQA account and change your preferences, you must have set up and activated your account in advance. However, regardless of what option you may have selected online, your SQC (Scottish Qualification Certificate) will still be delivered in the post on results day as confirmation of results.

SQA Results Day Preperation

Will you be away from home on results day?

If you are planning to be out of the country or away from home on SQA results day, it is important that you prepare in advance if you wish to receive your SQA results at the same time as your peers. By signing up in advance to MySQA online you will be able to login to your account to request to have your results emailed or sent to you via text message, this removes the stress of having to organise somebody else to open physical results when they arrive in the post and allows you to instantly make the next steps should anything need to be sorted and arranged on results day. Make sure you have signed up, activated and changed your preferences online well in advance of SQA results day.

Do I need anything for SQA results day?

There are several things you should keep in an easily accessible location in case you need to make any quick phone calls or checks during results day. You should make sure you have your UCAS letter with any conditional or unconditional offers listed, contact details for these universities and your personal UCAS number.

Make a copy of your personal statement (if you haven’t written one, you’ll need to get on that right now! Use our Personal Statement Editor and check out our useful Personal Statement Examples, too) and the copy of any references you may have, by having everything printed out and listed in front of you, things will be much clearer to see quickly, should you need it.

Your UCAS and application details will make it easier should you have to call up your university choices to double check any offers or to verify details. Should you go down the Clearing route or if you try to change university, keeping your UCAS number and application details close by relieves any unnecessary stress of trying to locate these in a panic and rush on results day. If everything goes to plan you may not even need any of these precautions, but it is much better to be prepared! You never want to make rushed decisions or lose out on time or a university place because you weren’t organised!

How to prepare for unexpected results

Ahead of SQA results day, you should make sure you understand all of your options in any scenario, if your results are better than expected, as expected, or worse than expected. You will have received your university offers, and it is most likely that these are conditional and dependent on your SQA results. Check what grades you need to meet the conditions of your university choices so that on results day you immediately know what your likely outcome is as soon as results arrive.

If your results are lower than expected and you have been unsuccessful in securing a place at your university choices, do not worry, there are plenty of options available to you. If this situation occurs, firstly check your personal UCAS account as you may still have been accepted, however, if you haven’t you can apply through UCAS Clearing for a university place.

From 5th July 2023, the clearing options are displayed on UCAS, listing the universities with places still available for specific courses, so it is worth checking this out before results day, so you know where to find it and what sort of course and universities are still available, if you need to use it.

If your exam results are better than expected – firstly massive congratulations, achieving better results calls for a big celebration! However, if this happens, it might be worth considering if you want to accept your current offers or if you want to change university to one that may not have been an option with lower predictions. To do this, you must go through UCAS Adjustment. If you receive your expected results – well done! This is a massive achievement, and you should be very proud of yourself. Make sure you have got into your university choice and accepted your preferred university offer!

If your results are lower than expected and you have been unsuccessful in securing a place at your university choices, do not worry, there are plenty of options available to you.

How to prepare if you’ve changed your mind

If you are panicking ahead of results day because you are having doubts about your university choices, course choices or even if you want to go to university anymore, do not worry. Having these thoughts are completely normal, but you should carefully consider what they mean. When you receive your results, it can be very tempting to get swept up in the day and accept whatever is thrown at you.

Although it may feel scary to change your mind on such a big decision, you can change your course or university on the day of results and apply through UCAS Clearing to study a completely different course. Or, if you’re having second thoughts about further education, you can reject your university offers to pursue a career, apprenticeship or even to take a gap year. If this is playing on your mind it is worth thinking about options ahead of SQA results day, but just bear in mind if you get accepted into your universities, you will have to give a reason as to why you wish to be released from their offer.

The night before SQA results

It is also a good idea to talk to your parents about how your result day will work. By doing this, they will be able to help you should you need their advice, or steer clear if you need some time alone. By letting your parents know the process, they are less likely to ask you irritating questions in the middle of a stressful day, and they can be there to hopefully celebrate whatever your next step may be! Just as you would when you're given your PGCE degree results or your NVQs.

Once you feel as prepared as you can be for SQA results day the best thing to do is to get an early night. It could be a restless night with lots of thoughts on your mind, and you might find it difficult to get off to sleep, so make sure you plan for this with a relaxing Monday, both during the day and towards the evening. Try having a soothing bath, hot drink and reading a book before bed, try to avoid using mobile phones, plug it in to charge away from the bed – you’ll need full charge for the big day and avoid talking to friends too much, their emotions could have a negative impact on your sleep and make you panic or stress more. Whatever happens, results day is bound to be a long day so get as much rest as you can!

What should I do the morning of results day?

Start the day with your favourite breakfast and try to stay focused. If you receive the results you want it is likely, you will be rushing off to celebrate with friends and if you don’t, a long day of phone calls and decision making may be on the cards.

Either way, you will need to have the energy to stay on the ball so fuel your body with some healthy and nutritious food. Most of all try and enjoy results day as much as possible and stay focused on what you want. Fingers crossed that the day will go smoothly and how you want it to go, but either way, if you follow the above steps to be prepared, you can remain calm and make rational decisions for your best future.

How will I receive my results on SQA Results Day?

All SQA results will be delivered by first class post to the address registered to your personal Scottish Candidate Number (SCN), this is the number you will have used throughout all of your assessments and exams. Your SQA results will be presented as a Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC). If you have pre-registered online, you may be expecting to receive your results as a text message or an email slightly earlier than waiting for the post, so make sure you keep your phone and laptop nearby to check for results.

Even if you have signed up to receive your results via text or email, you will still receive your official SQC in the post. It is important that you store these certificates in a safe place as they will be used to prove your examination results in further applications.

Receiving your SQA results

When will I get my results?

For all results sitting this year, results day 2023 will fall on Tuesday 8th August 2023, sent out via the post.

However, if you are too impatient to wait for the post, or if you won’t be at your registered address on results day, you can sign up in advance to SQA’s MySQA online system, which gives you the option to receive your SQA results via text or email from 8am on the morning of results day.

Signing up to this online service also enables you to check your record throughout the year which will minimise any surprises on results day, while allowing you to take note of your progress. Make sure you have signed up well in advance of results day and carefully selected the options to ensure you will receive the results in the way you want. It will be disappointing if all your friends have received theirs and you are still waiting!

How will I find out if I have been accepted into university?

If you are planning on continuing onto further education and have applied to a university or college, the SQA will electronically send your SQA results to the Universities and Colleges Admission Services (UCAS). On the morning of receiving your SQA results, you will be able to log into your UCAS Track account, using your unique login, to see if your university choice has been accepted for your further study. From this, you will also be able to gauge what your results might be if you have not yet received your results.

What if I have not been accepted into my first choice university?

If you have not been accepted into your first choice university, this will be shown when you log into UCAS on SQA results day. It may be that you have been accepted into your second choice university; however, if you have been unsuccessful on both options, you can go through UCAS Clearing to secure a university place to commence study the same year. Clearing provides a list of all universities and courses that have places still available.

On receiving your results you are able to phone these specific universities to check their availability of places and using your unique Clearing number, available on your UCAS account, a university tutor will be able to see your full UCAS application. You may then be asked to apply to the university using the Clearing choices on UCAS. Your SQA results are obviously extremely important, but having a secondary choice available will be very important if you don't get into your first choice university.

If you are planning on continuing onto further education and have applied to a university or college, the SQA will electronically send your SQA results to UCAS.

What if I am out of the country on results day?

If you are expected to be out of the country on SQA results day, you can still receive your SQA results on the same day as your peers by using the text or email system in place. Prior to results day, make sure you are registered to receive your results in this way by creating an account online to MySQA. Once your account has been created and activated, you can log in you can change your preferences and update your email and phone number. You will still receive your Scottish Qualification Certificate in the post.

It is also worth planning for what may happen should you need to use UCAS Clearing options or if you need advice from a school or college tutor. Before you leave, check if your holiday accommodation has accessible Wi-Fi, write down an email address of a tutor who will be able to help you should you need it and check if you are able to use your phone abroad without being overcharged. Hopefully, all will go to plan, and you can enjoy your holiday celebrating!

How to receive your SQA results

What if I do not receive my certificate in the post?

Firstly do not panic! If you do not receive your Scottish Qualification certificate in the post, it is essential that you contact your school or college as soon as possible. By contacting your school or college, your tutor will be able to confirm your SQA results and will then chase the postal arrival of your Scottish Qualification Certificate.

What if I do not receive a text or email containing my results?

There may be several reasons why you have not received your exam results via text or email. If this case arises it is worth double checking you have previously registered for a MySQA account, activated the account and have signed up on this account to receive exam results via text or email. It is only if you have followed these steps before results day that you should be expecting to receive your results in this format.

If you are confident that you have opted in for this service, check online that your mobile number and email address are correct. If you are abroad, it may be that your mobile phone does not have enough credit to receive the text message, or an email may have incorrectly landed into a junk folder instead of your inbox. If you have followed these steps and are still concerned that you have not received your results, use the help email or phone number provided by MySQA.

If you are unsure what your results mean or the layout of your certificate, or if you think you are missing something, there is a telephone advice line for you to call.

Telephone support

If you are unsure what your results mean or the layout of your certificate, or if you think you are missing something, there is a telephone advice line for you to call, this number will be found on the letter accompanying your certificate and is open from Tuesday 9th August until Friday 12th August 2023.

However the advisers will not be able to help you with specific marks or any breakdowns, they will be unable to talk to a parent or carer without your permission, so it is always best if you make the initial call, even if it is your parents that have a query regarding the appearance of the certificate.

What if anything is wrong?

If you think that anything is incorrect with your SQA results, it is important that you contact your school, college or centre to discuss this with them as soon as possible.

Most of all it is important to celebrate your results with friends and family. You will have put in a lot of hard work throughout the year to receive your SQA results and results day is a chance to recognise your successes and prepare for the next step!

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