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7 August 2018, 10:22
Higher passes for pupils sitting Scottish exams have remained largely in line with last year, official figures show.
Tens of thousands of youngsters are finding out their grades as the Scottish Qualifications Authority publishes exam results on Tuesday.
SQA figures show there were 191,951 entries for Higher exams in 2018, with 147,419 attaining a pass grade of A-C.
The attainment rate of 76.8% is only sightly lower than 77% in 2017, when there were 194,813 entries.
Figures from the SQA also show an attainment rate of 91.1% for the National 4 exams, with 96,613 passes, while pupils achieved 218,201 passes at National 5, with a success rate of 77.4%.
The figures are down slightly on 2017 when the attainment rate for National 4 was 92.8% and 79.5% for the National 5.
Advanced Higher passes rose to 19,585, with a pass rate of 80.5%.
Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney said: "My congratulations to the thousands of young people on their hard work and effort leading up to today, and to the teachers and lecturers who have worked tirelessly to prepare them.
"Results day is a time to celebrate the achievements and dedication of learners right across the country, especially in this the Year of Young People.
"Higher passes remain stable despite a continuing fall in the number of young people on the school roll while the number of Advanced Highers being taken continues to grow.
"It is important to remember that we will always see slight variations in pass rates and the results show that we have a robust, credible assessment system in place.
"To address pupil and teacher workload, this is the first year where unit assessments have been removed from National 5 and the overall pass rate remains high at 77.4%.
"It is clear that our young people have performed strongly, against rigorous standards, and are now in an exciting position to decide what they go on to do next.
"Anyone who did not receive the results they had hoped for, or who is just unsure about their next steps, should get in touch with the SDS exam helpline for access to expert careers advice."
Dr Janet Brown, SQA's chief executive and Scotland's chief examining officer, said: "Today's results are testament to the hard work and dedication of the thousands of candidates across Scotland, and we'd like to congratulate everyone for their efforts.
"In today's fast-changing world, the diversity of qualifications offered by SQA ensures young people can display the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of employers, training providers and educators.
"It is also encouraging and important to note the different paths candidates have taken in their pursuit of success this year. Whatever candidates decide to do from today onwards - whether onto work, training or into further education - they should be immensely proud of their achievements.
"This year we've worked with around 14,000 'appointees' - teachers, lecturers, subject specialists and invigilators who help us to set, monitor and mark our qualifications, and we thank them for their professionalism, expertise, and commitment."
The Skills Development Scotland (SDS) dedicated line to support young people will be open from 8am until 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 9am until 5pm from August 9 to 15. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.