SQA Past Papers and Marking Instructions.

All SQA past papers can be found by using the following link – SQA past papers

You should practice past papers on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately with this being a relatively new course there are a limited number of past papers available on the SQA website. These will build up as the years pass. If you require additional practice, see the suggested textbooks section. Hodder and Gibson have  published specimen papers and Leckie and Leckie have published practice papers.



  • To begin with, concentrate on the questions you can do from the chapters we have covered.

  • In addition look out any questions that are problem solving, these will not pertain to any one chapter.

  • As a rule of thumb, if it is a 1 mark questions  you will be required to provide 1 correct point, if it is a 2 mark question you will be required to provide  2 correct points and so on.

  • Use the marking scheme to mark your paper. Take a note of questions which were wrong and revisit them at a later date to see if you have learned from your mistakes.

  • As you become more confident complete papers under timed conditions. Another rough rule of thumb is one minute for one mark, this will leave you enough time to check over your paper at the end.

  • If you are stuck at a question do not dwell on it, move on…. do the questions you feel confident with first and return to those you are unsure of at the end.

  • The golden rule of exams is to, READ ALL QUESTIONS CAREFULLY…. especially essay questions, decode the question, ask yourself “what is it asking me?”.

  • Your spelling does not have to be perfect, however make sure your paper is legible, if an marker cannot clearly read it they will mark it wrong.

  • Lastly, DO NOT leave blank spaces, attempt ALL questions, if you have to take an intelligent guess! You might scrape a mark, this could be the difference between an A or a B.

Following the above advice will ensure you are equipped with the skills you require to pass your final exam. It takes practice to  understand the types of questions you are asked, and to answer them in the language that is expected of you. This is why analysing the marking instructions is so important.


N5 Past Paper 2014

N5 MI 2014

N5 Specimen Paper 2013

N5 Specimen Paper 2013 MI


Education Scotland and SQA have identified questions from Standard Grade Credit and Intermediate 2 papers from the last three years and matched them to Key Areas in the N5 Biology Curriculum.






L&L Practice paper A

L&L Practice paper B

L&L Practice paper C

L&L Practice Paper A MI

L&L Practice Paper B MI

L&L Practice Paper C MI


Biology N5 PP Guidance Advice of where to find questions from Intermediate 2  and Standard Grade past papers.

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