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Last Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK
Results lessons 'must be learned'
Exam hall

Scotland's exam body has said lessons need to be learned after thousands of students were unable to access their results online.

Almost 35,000 pupils registered to receive their Higher and Standard Grade results on the web a day earlier than they would be delivered by post.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) admitted there had been glitches.

It said about 3,000 students lost their login details, while others received error messages on the website.

At midday the SQA e-mailed candidates saying: "Close to 6,000 candidates have already logged on since the system opened at 4am today, and have obtained their results."

"The system is operating as expected - please keep trying if you do not access at the first attempt."

SQA director of communications Mike Haggerty later told BBC Radio Scotland that in a "limited number of cases" students had experienced difficulty logging on to the site.

'New system'

But he said the internet traffic problems the site had experienced earlier on Monday, which were believed to have caused many of the error messages, had been resolved.

Mr Haggerty added: "We have had 24,000 successful hits on the website, so 24,000 people already know what their results are.

"Clearly the response we are getting from people is that this is the way they want us to go, so it is important that we get it better than we are doing just now.

"We just need to learn the lessons. It is a new system and we all have to learn to make it better."

Mr Haggerty said the number of candidates who had lost or forgotten their login details was much higher than had been expected.

We have to find a way of balancing making it easy for candidates to get their results with the ultimate need for security
Mike Haggerty
SQA

Students who had lost their logins were asked to contact the SQA, who then sent out password reminders.

"As far as we can tell some 2,000 to 3,000 people have lost or misplaced their passwords," Mr Haggerty said.

"We have to find a way of balancing making it easy for candidates to get their results with the ultimate need for security in the system.

"What has happened in terms of losing the logins is perfectly understandable, and we need to find a smarter way of perhaps reminding candidates closer to results time than we have done this time around."

Fiona Page, a teacher from Fife, spent 10 hours trying to help her sons access the information.

She said: "The children got sent e-mails with the correct information. They had letters to the school with the correct information.

"That was saved by us. It was ready to hand. If we could only get on the website.

"I am absolutely furious that they are saying it is people's fault for missing the password."

More than a fifth of candidates chose to use the online service, which was made available across Scotland for the first time.

About 6,000 results were sent successfully by text message.

A further 120,000 students preferred to wait until Tuesday, when their results are due to be delivered by post.

Dozens of people awaiting results contacted the BBC Scotland news website complaining that they received an error message when trying to access the web page.

A message on the SQA site said the system was operating as expected and advised those waiting to keep trying if it did not work at the first attempt.

Are you among the students receiving their results online? Contact us at newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Students logging on to find out their results



SEE ALSO
Candidates unable to see results
06 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Results hit by internet problems
06 Aug 07 |  Scotland
How to get exam result assistance
06 Aug 07 |  Scotland
Exam results 'will be delivered'
02 Aug 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Thousands sign up for e-results
26 Jun 07 |  Scotland
Online grades for exam hopefuls
07 Aug 06 |  Scotland
Pupils to sit first online exams
02 May 06 |  Scotland

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