Frequently Asked Questions


This section will be updated as frequently as possible to reflect the types of questions which reach us by phone, email and via our online contact form.
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Request & delivery of enabled DQP PDFs for ASN


Q: How can I order?

A: You can order by fax, by email, by telephone or online. Please see our how to order page for further information on ordering.

Q: When will I receive my order?

A: Orders for paper products are normally processed and despatched within 24-36 hours of receipt. Digital orders are normally processed and despatched on the date of receipt. (Pre-orders for next session’s 2024/2025 prelims received before 27/9/2024 will be despatched on publication, early-October, 2024. Orders received after publication are normally despatched/completed within 24-36 hours.)

All pre-orders received before 27 September 2024 for 2024/2025 prelims will be despatched after publication in early October (early-October, 2024). Secure download links for digital orders are issued by email to the verified centre-based email provided at the time of order.

Paper copies will be sent via Royal Mail (standard class) and are subject to normal delivery times/delays in your area. If a paper pack order is urgent, this should be clearly marked on your order. If First Class or next day delivery is required, order must be placed before 11am to guarantee despatch. There will be an additional charge (on top of current per item charges) of £5 for First Class and £10 per order for next day delivery (before 12pm). Ordering PDF ePacks will be a more convenient and cost effective option for most customers – again please ensure your order is marked urgent.

Orders for electronic PDF ePacks placed via our website (or placed by email, fax or telephone using the short codes given on our order form) will be fulfilled via a secure area of our website – customers will be sent a unique link via email for each pack ordered, valid for a set period (normally 4 weeks). Customers can also log into their account to download a copy of the invoice related to the order. See our download help page for more information. Download links are valid for 30-40 days unless otherwise stated in your unique order download links email.  (Please note that product downloads are monitored for the purposes of tracking licence/right of customers to download particular products, including IP address(es) of machines and accounts used to download, in line with GDPR regulations.)


Q: Do the SQA moderate P&N papers?

A: SQA do not moderate commercially produced papers – it cannot officially endorse any commercial product.

Nevertheless, all P&N writers/editors are highly experienced in exam setting in their own subject, and external scrutineers are employed to ensure P&N closely emulates the national standard. All our setters/scrutineers receive a guaranteed rate for their work similar to that paid by SQA. This enables P&N to attract and retain the very best setters.

Q: Can P&N papers be used for Post Results Service evidence (formerly “Appeals”) purposes?

A: All P&N papers fully conform to best practice regarding commercial production of papers. All P&N’s current year’s papers (2023/2024, published: October 2023) are guaranteed “sight unseen”.

2023/2024 unseen prelims comply with changes published by SQA in June 2021/April 2022. New “sight unseen” 2024/2025 prelim exam papers comply with arrangements for 2024/2025. P&N were the first commercial supplier of prelim papers to take all possible measures to attempt to safeguard the ‘unseen status’ of all our papers. The security notice which first appeared on the front of our 2002/2003 question papers (published September, 2002) was subsequently recommended by SQA to be adopted as a standard notice by all other commercial prelim suppliers (at a meeting in May, 2003)

This has continued to be an important factor for prelims in light of SQA’s new “Results Service” which has applied to all National Courses in and beyond 2017.

Q: Why doesn’t P&N publish prelim papers in Word or a DTP format to allow centres to ‘fine-tune’ material to what they feel is the current level of candidates at ‘prelim time’?

A: Word is not suitable for final publication and creating of DQPs and is only used at earlier stages of our setting procedures, as with SQA’s own workflow for exams. DTP software and fonts used by P&N are unlikely to be available to most presenting centres. All feedback from our network of contacts with senior examiners/setters indicate that departments risk ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ by electronically amending question paper material to suit their own candidates as this may not constitute a valid and reliable assessment resource. However, there may be times when taking out content or making minor changes to suit a specific candidature may be required.

Text may be copied (or exported in another convenient format) from our PDFs where necessary to support additional support arrangements or take out parts of the course which have not yet been covered. This is supported in all our PDFs. Where DQPs are required for candidates using ICT to complete prelim papers, these may be available for your subject ready-prepared. Please see note on requesting enabled DQP PDFs for ASN below.

Best practice is to:–

  • scrutinise test papers on receipt in early October
  • material which will not be fully taught by date of prelim should be set aside and kept under strict security conditions
  • prelim exam should as necessary be given a reduced time allocation and ‘set aside’ material used as a class test under exam conditions once course is completed. Marks/grades should then be aggregated (and cut-off scores amended as appropriate) to support any future use with SQA’s Post Results Service.

P&N produces closely scrutinised, balanced and secure prelims which cover the whole of a course, a prerequisite of material which might form the basis of an accurate estimate of likely candidate performance.

Nevertheless, some departments find it helpful to electronically archive prelim files for future homework/classroom use. Past papers are not licenced for use in prelim exams. There will be an additional charge where packs have already been supplied in paper format. Some schools may also wish to use PDFs to support exam accessibility. 2023/2024 prelim papers will be available as “ready to go” Digital Question papers to support candidates with additional support needs (T&Cs apply – see DQP FAQ below).

DQPs to support ASN pupils are normally supplied free of charge as electronic downloads, subject to availability and at P&N staff discretion. Packs which are required by a particular date can be guaranteed for a charge of £15 per pack. DQPs provided at no additional cost to customers of the relevant PDF or paper packs will be despatched ASAP (see DQP FAQ below). Please contact enquiries@prelims.co.uk if you require further details or clarification, but please see DQP FAQ below as this is likely to answer most of your questions.

Q: Will P&N “price-match” with other suppliers?

A: P&N compete and consistently leads on quality and therefore a price match is not available.

Customer feedback on our papers is highly favourable and our papers are set at a competitive price. We are confident of the high quality of our product and offer a full guarantee of satisfaction – “you get what you pay for”. P&N employ the best setters by head hunting only those individuals highly experienced in exam setting at national level in their own subjects. We produce the highest quality material which is independently scrutinised to ensure centres and candidates can be confident of robust, valid and reliable results from its use. See also our section on reasons to buy P&N. We are, of course, happy to discuss discounts for bulk purchases.

Q: Are P&N papers available as Digital Question Papers (DQPs) to support candidates with additional support needs?

A: Yes, this is a free-from-charge discretionary service offered to purchasing centres. Please see our DQPs information page.

Q: Why can I only see the front sheet/licence when I try to open the PDF ePack?

A: See Downloading your products for further help – the issue is often with local settings on your machine. (You need to open the downloaded file in Acrobat Reader DC or later versions as noted.)

A link is provided on the eCopyright Licence to download the latest freely available Adobe Reader software if this is required (but this software is usually installed as standard on almost all school/college computers). The files are “PDF portfolio” ePacks and can only be opened in Acrobat Reader (aka Adobe Reader) versions 8 and above (or fully featured compatible software). Usually if you are only seeing the front cover this is because the PDF viewer you are using is either an older version or another viewer which does not support this standard feature.

Q: I placed an order for electronic download versions of packs. Why does the order confirmation received by email show VAT?

A: Prices are clearly shown as ex VAT along with a breakdown of VAT on your order confirmation.

As stated on all our order forms and order details pages, we must charge VAT on all our packs. Prices shown on your order confirmation(s) are the pack prices along with a breakdown of the overall VAT due on the order. VAT is reclaimed by your centre and therefore does not come off your per-capita allocation.

Q: I have received a confirmation that my ePacks are ready to download. When I try to log-in to download my ePacks I get a message that my “account does not exist” and I am asked to create a new account. What’s wrong – is this a fault with P&N’s website?

A: No. This is caused when a customer is attempting to access download links which are not associated with their account or if a different email address is associated with their account.

Download help is also available here.

Q: I have purchased/will be purchasing a paper copy of a recent and/or new prelim for 2023/2024 (publication October, 2023). Can I get an additional electronic PDF copy? Q: Can I ask for a copy of previous year’s papers which I have purchased (archive material)?

A: Yes, but there may be an administration charge.

There may be a charge of £3.50 (ex. VAT) per licenced pack (up to a maximum of 2 years from this current year’s; beyond 2 years £5 ex VAT per pack 0r £6.50 per pack where licence/order details or references are not provided) to cover administration where packs have already been ordered/supplied in paper format. This fee may be waived at the discretion of our staff in acceptance of exceptional circumstances. Please provide your order or invoice number when requesting these. Please note copyright information regarding the use of our questions as part of other publications. None of our past materials may be used in prelim exams but can be used as homework exercises or extracts (appropriately referenced) in class tests.

Due to increased demand for this service and support requirements, we are regrettably unable to offer this free of charge as PDFs are available to purchase at the time of order.

Please send your request to the address provided on your copyright licence included with your pack – (OR to enquiries@prelims.co.uk) and include your order or invoice number. If this information is not included then fulfilment of your request may be delayed. Requests will only be fulfilled by download from a secure area of our website – customers will be sent a unique link for each pack via separate emails along with their new (or a reminder of current) secure account details.

Customers should check their email and download (and save) requested packs within 3 weeks of receiving their link emails. After this period links expire for security. See our download help page for more information.