I’ve had a quick look at all SQA N5 unit assessments, projects, sample paper and past paper questions.
Nowhere does it require pupils to recognise or describe any of the standard algorithms other than Input Validation. (Sample paper question 7 is a find max, but pupils are only asked to identify data structure and type).
The most common N5 task is using loops for running totals (I didn’t see a count occurrences anywhere).
From SDD assessment standard 1.1 (reading and explaining code) pupils could potentially be shown pseudocode containing a short list and any standard algorithm, and asked to create a trace table or similar to find the output. (Just hope this doesn’t give the SQA any ideas.)
I think pupils are safe from find max/min, linear search and count occurrences algorithms for N5 – got to leave something for the Higher course – but obviously no guarantees.