Mathematics standard grade

Mathematics at Standard Grade is a compulsory subject within the Scottish curriculum. It is usually studied between S3-S4 at school.

Why study maths

Maths is a very versatile subject and a key skill in life. A Standard Grade in maths is often a requirement for science-based university courses, a lot of universities for any course, and many jobs.

Format of Standard Grade Maths

Standard grades are awarded grades from 1 to 7, where 7 is the lowest and a fail. There are 3 levels of difficulty of papers sat for the standard: Foundation, General and Credit. Each level has 2 papers, one which allows a calculator and one which does not. Both papers assess knowledge, understanding, reasoning and enquiring skills.

It is possible at Foundation level to gain grades 5 and 6, and consists of a 20 minute non-calculator paper, and a 40 minute calculator paper.

At General level, grades 3 and 4 are assessed and this consists of a 35 minute non-calculator exam paper, and a 55 minute calculator paper.

At Credit level grades 1 and 2 are assessed, and consists of a 55 minute non- calculator paper and a 80 minute calculator paper.

Towards the middle of the second year of the standard grade course students need to pick between Foundation and General entry or General and Credit entry. Towards the end of the year a final decision should be made, however it is possible to sit papers at different levels.


All levels cover:

  • Number and money
  • Algebra and relationships
  • Measure and Shape
  • Statistics

SQA Specifications

Standard Grade Mathematics Arrangements including content

Study help

Get help with you studying with our Standard Grade Revision Notes. Have you created your own revision notes? Why not add them to our library to share with other people?

Also See

Related Standard Grade Subjects

Other Maths Pages