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In Scottish schools, Preliminary Examinations (commonly known as Prelim Exams) are exams set in high schools after about two-thirds of a subject's course has been completed, often around December for S4 pupils, and February for S5/S6 pupils.
They are very similar in format to the SQA Exams, and are designed to give the pupils a mock run, showing them how they would perform had that been exam day. The grade a pupil receives has no bearing on their final result on exam day: a pupil can get 0% in a Prelim, and pass a final exam. Schools use prelims as an early warning system of sorts, to note which pupils need to push harder, or need help. Pupils often look at their prelim results, work in the areas where improvement is needed, and improve their mark in the final exam.
Should a pupil get a better mark in their prelim than their exam, the school can appeal on behalf of the pupil to the SQA. However, not all appeals are accepted.
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