Higher Maths Exam Harder Than Expected

4 August 2015, 10:38 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50


The new Higher maths exam sat by pupils in Scotland this year was "more demanding than intended'', the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has said.

Almost 143,000 students are receiving their exam results today after sitting the new Highers for the first year and National 4 and 5 qualifications for the second year.

The new qualifications were brought in as part of the Curriculum for Excellence reforms.

Many students had complained that the new maths exam was more difficult than they had expected, with the SQA stating that its marking process had taken this into account.

A total of 10,854 pupils sat the existing Higher maths while 10,220 sat the new Higher maths.

The attainment rates were 73.1% and 70.8% respectively, similar to that of previous years.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA's chief executive and Scotland's chief examining officer, said: "As in every year, we carry out a review of assessments to ensure candidates have been able to display their skills, knowledge and understanding.

"If required, grade boundaries are adjusted to take account of any assessments that were easier or more demanding than intended to ensure all candidates received the grades they deserved.''

Education Secretary Angela Constance said: "This is another strong performance by Scotland's young people.

"They have worked hard and I congratulate each and every one of them, as well as the families and carers and teachers and lecturers who have provided support.

"Scotland has seen record numbers of Higher and Advanced Higher passes. Students are performing particularly well in English and in modern languages.

"Despite concerns about the new Higher Maths exam, it's clear that the system worked, that candidates have been treated fairly and that standards have been maintained.''

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