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EDITIONS
Monday, 13 August, 2001, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Students' fears over exams
History papers
Exam results are being sent out to students
Scottish students have had an added worry as they sweat over their exam results - the performance of the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Last year, thousands of pupils received late or inaccurate results as the exams descended into crisis.

The SQA has voiced confidence that this year's results will be accurate and on time, with thousands of certificates printed ahead of schedule.

Alistair Turner
Alistair Turner is awaiting Higher results
And schools, who received those results by e-mail on Friday, have also told of improvements in the way this year's certificates are being handled.

But some pupils are still voicing fears that everything will not go according to plan.

Alistair Turner saw the effect of the exams crisis on fellow pupils at Cumnock Academy last year - and now he in turn is waiting for his Higher results.

He said he had confidence in his own performance, but lacked the same confidence in the SQA.

"My fears for this year are that the administration still won't be sorted and that there will still be incomplete or inaccurate certificates.

Gordon Bell
Gordon Bell: "A lot better this year"
"But I do feel that the actual markers themselves will get the results right, the mistakes may be in transferring them onto certificates."

However, staff at the school have noticed a clear difference between last year and this year.

Headteacher Gordon Bell said: "Last summer during the holidays there were a lot of requests from the SQA for additional information or information that we had already sent them.

"This year we have had senior staff on call and we have had no requests, so it has been a lot better this year."

In Clackmannanshire, Alva Academy student Teagan Main is also eagerly awaiting her results.

'Learned from last year'

Last year she received three Cs in her Highers - and failed to get the results upgraded on appeal.

Now she is looking for four Bs to clinch her place at university.

"All my friends have learned from last year that no matter what happens we have to work hard and we have to have some confidence in the SQA that they might get it right.

"It can't be any worse than last year," she said.

Teagan Main
Teagan Main: "It can't be any worse"
The SQA has continued to work to clear more than 1,000 cases where oubts still remain.

However, Education Minister Jack McConnell has given an assurance that no-one will be left in the dark.

"They will receive their certificates," he said.

"If for some reason they have failed all their courses they will receive a letter telling them that.

"If there is anything on their certificates that they don't understand the answers should be in the schools and colleges, who are receiving all the other information."


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Changes imposed

Last year's problems

Background:

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Go to BBC Student EssentialsExam results?
Essential advice and information for students
See also:

10 Aug 01 | Scotland
09 Aug 01 | UK Education
03 Aug 01 | Scotland
21 May 01 | UK Education
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