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International Centres - Guide to SOLAR

The sections below explain what SOLAR is, how to get access and where to get support.

What is SOLAR?

SOLAR is SQA's online eassessment system. SOLAR allows approved centes to register candidates to complete tests for their specified subject.

Before candidates are registered on SOLAR, they must be registered with SQAConnect. You must also submit results from SOLAR to SQAConnect for candidates to get their certificates.

SOLAR is free to use by SQA approved centres for approved subjects.

*For the purposes of SOLAR all assessments are called tests.

What subjects are available?

To see what subjects and assessments are available to your centre please view our List of Available Assesments. The 'International' filter includes the available assessments for SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas. The list provides details of assessment timings, delivery methods, the marks or percentage rates required to pass each assessment and other relevant information.

Your centre can only be given access to subjects that your centre is approved to deliver. We do not automatically give access to new subjects so you would request these using our online form which can be found under the menu listing: Contact Us - SOLAR Helpdesk Form. Or you can click this link - Helpdesk Request Form.

How do I get started?

Approved centres can request access to SOLAR. You should check if your centre is already on SOLAR by using the Contact Us tab and SOLAR Helpdesk Support form. If your centre is already registered on SOLAR we can send you details of users who can create you an account. If your centre is new to SOLAR you can use this short form to request access, System Access Request. All users who will be accessing the system must watch the training videos in our Guidance Section These videos will help you understand basic functions of the system and how it works.

The system currently requires the use of Flash Player and allowing of pops ups through your browser for the SOLAR website. Adobe Reader is also required to be installed to use to see reporting information .Please refer to the Guidance Documents to download the Surpass Viewer to use the system.

Please refer to the full site document of the SOLAR website to show you what each section of the site contains.

How do I schedule assessments for my candidates?

Once you have received your account login you would use the SOLAR website to login and schedule your candidate(s).

Using the training videos from the Guidance Section you will understand how to add candidates into the system, schedule assessments and how to use the access codes (Keycode) to start the assessments. 

You will need to add candidates to SOLAR to be able to schedule them for an assessment. When this is complete the system will create access codes (Keycodes) for each candidate. This keycode is used only once by the candidate to complete their assessment.

If a candidate does not pass the assessment and needs to sit the assessment again, they should be given time for feedback and revision. Use the same steps as before to schedule an assessment to create a new keycode. Please read SQA's Guide to Assessment for information.

Centres must always use SOLAR's content under full assessment conditions.

Can I see what an assessment looks like?

Formative content is available for subjects through the OpenAssess Menu on the Homepage of the SOLAR website. These are practice questions for some SOLAR subjects which can be accessed without any Keycodes. Please note they are not full tests.

Once your centre has an account you can create a 'dummy' candidate for you to practice setting up an assessment and running this in the system. (The best way to create this test candidate is to name them your centre and include test and not to enter a 'Candidate Reference'.) You can use this a maximum of six times for each test and then this candidate becomes invalid.

What do I do if I have a problem?

The search box at the top of the site can be used to look up problems that you have and see FAQs. The Contact Us section on the SOLAR website has a form called SOLAR Helpdesk Support which you can use to contact us with a problem or if this is urgent you can call us on 44 141 500 5060 and we will respond during office hours. These are 9 am to 5 pm British Standard Time.

Full details of the available dates of the helpdesk are listed on the Homepage News. The homepage of the SOLAR website will also show our news about new, or revisions to current tests