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Technology for SQA Assessment Arrangements - 2022

Posted by Paul Nisbet on the 26th September, 2022

New information from SQA reveals a 28% increase in the number of students for whom Assessment Arrangements were requested for the 2022 examinations compared to 2019, and a 30% increase in the number of requests. The figures also show that use of technology was requested far more frequently than readers or scribes.

Assessment Arrangements 2022

SQA have published information on Assessment Arrangements requested for the 2022 examination diet which shows that a total of 81,490 requests were made on behalf of 25,705 students. This is a 28% increase in the number of students and a 30% increase in the number of requests compared to 2019 when external examinations were last administered, and a 41% increase in the number of students and 42% increase in requests compared to 2018.

  2018 2019 2022 % change 2018-2022 % change 2019-2022
Number of unique learners






Number of requests for assessment arrangements






We don't yet know the underlying reasons for this increase, but from speaking to teachers, parents, carers and learners, I think it's probably due to several factors. Covid has obviously had a huge impact upon learners' education and so it seems very likely that this is a primary reason for the increase in assistance for students in examinations. The 30% increase in Scotland aligns with a similar rise in adjustments for GCSE/GCE reported in Impact of the Pandemic on Requests for Access Arrangements by Communicate-Ed. The Communicate-Ed report suggests that more students needed support because of an increase in anxiety and mental health conditions, lack of familiarity with formal external examinations, and an increase in the use of technology as the 'normal way or working'.

Technology and Assessment Arrangements

Certainly, the figures from SQA show that requests for arrangements involving technology have increased considerably since 2018 and 2019. In 2022, 30% of requests include the use of technology or digital question papers. It's interesting that requests for scribes have actually fallen since 2019 and the proportion of requests for readers and scribes have both dropped quite significantly.

It's likely that the use of technology as an assessment arrangement will continue to increase and so it's important that teachers and learners know what's available and how technology can meet the needs of learners in assessments and examinations.

Professional learning on technology and assessment arrangements

If you'd like to find out more, consider attending our online course this coming Thursday 29th September. We will also be running a free webinar on October 13th. Why pay for the professional learning course when I can go to the free webinar, I hear you ask? The course on Thursday will be a pretty detailed session on the use of Windows, Chromebooks and iPads as assessment arrangements, while the webinar is going to be more of a discussion on the way forward for 2022-2023.

If in doubt, why not attend both!

Number of requests for … 2018 2019 2022
Technology 15,585 17,030 24,260
Digital question paper 5,715 6,015 9,130
Reader 9,340 9,885 10,745
Scribe 5,715 5,820 5,560


Percentage of total requests

2018 2019 2022
Technology 27% 27% 30%
Digital question paper 10% 10% 11%
Reader 16% 16% 13%
Scribe 10% 8% 7%



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ASL & Technology 2024

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