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National 5 English
Updates and announcements, subject updates.
- October 2019 subject update (181 KB)
- October 2018 subject update (267 KB)
Course modifications 2022-23 (18/08/22)
National Course modification summary: English
Alternative certification model
The alternative certification model is how National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses will be resulted this year, following the cancellation of the 2021 exams. It involves five different stages.
View the alternative certification model and see what will happen at each stage.
This explains the overall structure of the Course, including its purpose and aims and information on the skills, knowledge and understanding that will be developed.
- N5 English Course Specification July 2018
2022 revision support for learners ( Mar 2022 )
We have updated this document to provide information on the modifications made to course assessments (coursework and exams) at the start of academic year 2021-22.
- 2022 revision support for learners: National 5 English
Past Papers and Marking Instructions
Access all past papers by subject/level
Additional question papers resources
These illustrate the standard, structure and requirements of the question papers learners will sit. These also include marking instructions.
- English: Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation Specimen Question Paper National 5 June 2018
- English: Critical Reading Specimen Question Paper National 5 October 2018
There were no exams in 2021. The 2020-21 question paper resources are, for most subjects, modified papers which reflect the modifications put in place for session 2020-21
- National 5 English Critical Reading question paper
- National 5 English Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation question paper
- National 5 English Critical Reading marking instructions
- National 5 English Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation marking instructions
Coursework ( 06/12/2022 )
This section provides information on marking instructions and/or the coursework assessment task(s). It includes information that centres need to administer coursework and must be read in conjunction with the course specification.
- Instructions for the submission of National 5 and Higher English coursework December 2022
- English Coursework Template - Microsoft Word
- English Coursework Template - Google Docs
- Coursework assessment task for National 5 English
- Guidance on conditions of assessment
Information on the production and submission of SQA-assessed coursework for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
- Coursework for External Assessment (261 KB)
Understanding Standards ( 23/01/2023 )
Please note: for session 2022-23 there are modifications to this course. understanding standards materials should therefore be viewed along with the national course modification summary available in the course information 2022-23 section..
- Examples of candidate evidence with commentaries
Course assessment overview
National 5 english webinar (changes to course assessment from academic session 2017-18 onwards).
- Download webinar
- Overview of Course Assessment Presentation with audio (2 minutes)
- Overview of Question Paper Presentation with audio (4 minutes)
Changes to understanding standards materials
- Changes to published Understanding Standards materials
Please note: Understanding Standards materials are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain up to date.
Additional resources session 2021-22
Please note: Additional Understanding Standards resources published during sessions 2020-2022 are currently under review.
New – new materials not previously published
Updated – published in 2020/21 but amended for 2021/22
Carried forward – published in 2020/21 carried forward to 2021/22
- New - Question paper 2 Critical Reading commentaries and evidence
- New - Question Paper 1: RUAE commentaries and evidence
- Carried forward - Overview of Understanding Standards resources - RUAE, critical reading and portfolio
The pre-recorded webinars below and accompanying presentations can be found on SQA's secure website. You can access these through your SQA co-ordinator.
- Question paper 1 - pre-recorded webinar and accompanying presentation.
- Question paper 2 - pre-recorded webinar and accompanying presentation.
Course reports ( September 2022 )
These reports provide information on the performance of candidates which it is hoped will be useful to teachers, lecturers and assessors in their preparation of candidates for future assessment.
- 2017 National 5 English Course report October 2017
- 2018 National 5 English Course Report August 2018
- 2019 National 5 English Course Report September 2019
- 2022 National 5 English Course Report September 2022
2021 Key Messages
The Alternative Certification Model included a national quality assurance activity, carried out in May 2021.
This report provides information on any common themes and key points from the evidence submitted.
- National 5 English 2020-21 key messages June 2021
- English Verification Key Messages Round 1 March 2017
- English and Communication Qualification Verification Summary Report June 2019 June 2019
Additional CPD support
Where any particular areas of concern are identified, which are not addressed by our Understanding Standards events or support materials, we will offer free continuing professional development (CPD) training, subject to request. CPD support is subject-specific and can be tailored to cover one or more qualification level. To find out more about this service visit our CPD page .
Scottish Texts in English Courses
Scottish text list for National 5 and Higher English courses:
- Scottish set text list 2018-19
In 2016, we carried out a consultation with teachers and other key stakeholders on the refresh of the Scottish set text list for National 5 and Higher English courses. Based on the findings of this consultation, we have refreshed the Scottish set text list for use from session 2018-19 onwards. The report below details the findings of our consultation.
- Summary Report: Scottish set text refresh consultation
Ushare open learning resources
Where can you take this course?
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- Accessibility Help
The National 5 English course is assessed on folio writing, a spoken language assessment and a final exam in addition to revision and coursework throughout the year. Structuring your answers and understanding the marking can help you get the best result.
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How to Pass National 5 English
There are four parts to National 5 English assessment:
- 30 marks/30%
- Exam time: 1 hour
- 40 marks/40%
- Exam time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Achieved/not achieved
National 5 English is a challenging and fast-paced course. You will be required to undertake self-study and revision activities; additionally, you will be asked to work on folio pieces at home. It is important that you keep on top of deadlines and coursework. Revision should be ongoing throughout the year.
At National 5 there is a total of 100 marks available to you.
The 100 marks available are made up from a mix of coursework and a final exam. In order to achieve the full award at National 5, you will also be required to undertake a Spoken Language assessment.
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Mrs Sutherland's English Classroom
RUAE – National 5
Resources for the RUAE unit
- National 5 CR Unit
- Types of Question Presentation
- Close Reading
- CR Prep Nat 5 PP
- Imagery new
- linking qs extra
- Sentence Structure new
- Word Choice new
- Close Reading Revision
- Question Types S4
- Sentence Structure 2
- Word Choice 2
- Word Choice 3
- RUAE revision sheet
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National 5 English 2016-17 SQA past papers with answers
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Youtube channel video: knowledge builder 1, saturday, january 31, 2015, youtube channel video: skills booster 1, sunday, august 31, 2014, update: intermediate/higher page (2014 past papers), update: intermediate/higher page, monday, april 14, 2014, national 5 english exam: 2014.
Specimen question papers are available for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications. These show what a question paper looks like - how it is structured and the types of questions it contains. They also include marking instructions. Find them under 'Past Papers and Marking Instructions' on our NQ subject pages. Digital question papers
National 5 English English National 3 National 4 National 5 Higher Adv Higher Subject updates Course modifications 2022-23 (18/08/22) Course Specification When are the exams? Past Papers and Marking Instructions Coursework (06/12/2022) Understanding Standards (23/01/2023) Course reports (September 2022) CPD Scottish Texts in English Courses
National 5 English Learning and revision resources to support the SQA National 5 English specification (Set texts from 2018) Part of Learn & revise Topics Reading Exam skills Analysing...
The National 5 English course is assessed on folio writing, a spoken language assessment and a final exam in addition to revision and coursework throughout the year. Structuring your answers and...
National 5 English Past Papers Links for all past papers for National 5 English have been added to the National 4 / National 5 page: 2017 National 5 (SQA): Critical Reading & RUAE .pdf 2017 National 5 (SQA): Marking Instructions .pdf 2016 National 5 (SQA): Critical Reading & RUAE .pdf 2016 National 5 (SQA): Marking Instructions .pdf
Resources for the RUAE unit National 5 CR Unit Types of Question Presentation purpose-and-audience a-craze-for-loombands-ruae n5_english_all_2014 n5_english_all_2015 Close Reading CR Prep Nat 5 PP Imagery new linking qs extra question-types Sentence Structure new Word Choice new Close Reading Revision Close Reading n5-ruae-types-of-question Imagery 2 Imagery 3 Imagery new Question Types S4 ...
tesseract 5.0.0-beta-20210815 Ocr_detected_lang en Ocr_detected_lang_conf 1.0000 Ocr_detected_script Latin Ocr_detected_script_conf 0.9313 Ocr_module_version 0.0.13 Ocr_parameters-l eng Old_pallet IA-NS-2000440 Page_number_confidence 91.49 Pages 166 Partner Innodata Pdf_module_version 0.0.15 Ppi 360 Rcs_key 24143 Republisher_date 20210911194233 ...
S4 National 5 Past Papers | English Department Website S1 Homework S2 Homework Higher for CfE Higher Past Paper Questions Higher Notes Critical Essay Miss Murphy – The Godfather Set Texts Men Should Weep The Cone Gatherers Extra Curricular Public Speaking Year- group Information S4 National 5 Past Papers
National 5 English Exam: 2014. The National 5 English exam is on Wednesday 30th April 2014. There are two papers: Reading for Analysis and Evaluation 1 pm- 2 pm. Critical Reading 2.20 pm- 3.50 pm. I've updated some of the links on the S3/S4 page to provide more revision support; here's a selection of the new ones: