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Using this site

Understanding Standards materials

We have a wide range of Understanding Standards materials that are tailored to each subject.

Candidate evidence and commentary materials. 

Marked exam paper to indicate candidate evidence and commentary materials

These contain examples of candidate evidence for an assessment, with a written commentary from an SQA Senior Examiner that explains why the candidate has or has not achieved the required standards.

Webinars and audio-narrated presentations. 

Man with headphones to indicate webinar recordings and audio-narrated presentations

These give a guided overview of the assessment requirements for a course or award. Some webinars and audio presentations focus on specific assessments such as a question paper (exam) or coursework task.

Video and audio recordings. 

Picture of camera lens looking at a man to indicate Video and Audio Recordings

We have videos and audio recordings that demonstrate the standards required in performances and practical assessments. These include examples of products produced by candidates or recordings of performances.

Practical skills videos. 

Building blocks with the words Practical Skills to indicate Practical Skills Videos

These demonstrate some of the practical skills and techniques that can be applied in assessments such as practical activities and portfolios.


Password Protected Content

A small number of areas of the website are password-protected and you will require a login to access these. The logins are different for each of these areas and you will find details of how to obtain the login you need in the relevant subject pages. Once you have logged in, password-protected content will display with an asterisk (*).

Go to login page.

SQA Secure Website

Some Understanding Standards materials are available from the SQA Secure website, for assessments where the evidence must be kept secure and confidential. You can arrange access to secure Understanding Standards materials through your centre’s SQA Co-ordinator.

Past papers and marking instructions

Some candidate evidence and commentaries may be available without past papers and marking instructions from 2017 and before. This is due to the removal of past papers and marking instructions from the main SQA website to comply with copyright laws after a 5 year period. If you require assistance on this issue then please visit the contact us section of this website.

Colour Coding

Where appropriate, we are including colour-coded notices to make it easy for you to identify the status of published Understanding Standards materials. These are:

 SQA Secure website  - Secure materials that are held on the SQA Secure website.
 New  - Newly published material

View changes to published Understanding Standards materials

Please note: if you are viewing video content on an Apple device, there is a known issue with Safari browser, which will not play the mp4 files used on this website. If you are a MacOS user, we recommend using Chrome or Firefox to view this content. We recognise that the options for iOS (on mobile devices) are more limited, so we are exploring solutions for this.