Highers - finished!

Relaxation all round in our house tonight. The last of our daughter's 5 Highers was today. Phew. This is part of the second paper of the two Modern Studies Higher papers. From Higher English on 13 May, through History, Italian and Music, it's been a long 3 weeks. No maths or science, you'll note. They were left behind with a sigh of relief after last year's Standard Grade and Intermediate 2 exams. As we don't have a baccalaureate system (tho daughter's school is going to be the first Scottish school to offer the International Baccalaureate alongside Scottish qualifications), there are no compulsory subjects. You might argue that this produces lop-sided students, tho plenty mix History and Physics, or Chemistry and Art. You could also argue that it lets students play to their strengths. I know it took every ounce of willpower that I had - and zero understanding - to scrape a pass in the equivalent of Standard/Intermediate 2 Maths, dyscalculic that I am. Don't ask me to explain the difference between Standard Grade and Intermediate 2, or why we have a mixed economy at this level. They're going to be replaced by the new 'Curriculum for Excellence' soon.

The exam timetable is centralised, so all over Scotland school students will have been sitting the same papers at the same time.
Exams are set by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. If you're really interested, you can access the timetable here.

I'm impressed by the Modern Studies syllabus and exam. The syllabus covers contemporary social and political issues in Britain and worldwide. I would say that my daughter has a greater understanding of these issues than I do. As well as the knowledge base, the exam format really nails transferrable skills. The 'decision making task', above, involves using information from a variety of sources, including statistical data, to make a reasoned case for or against a proposal.

The earlier paper this morning took the form of 'classic' discursive essays on four topics, which in daughter's case were on voting behaviour, the interactions of health and wealth, social and economic change in China, and factors affecting development in Africa.

So now all that remains is to wait for the results in August.


  1. Sounds like classes I would like to take. My daughter is heading into a 2 yer diploma program in music to transfer to a degree program at UVic. If she does well, she can slide right into third year. Kwantlen, her new Polytechnic University, (a glorified college) is where I took my RN refresher and they hope to have degree granting priveleges in the next few years.
    More confusing, eh?

  2. I know she must be relieved that it is over....now on to the results.

  3. That sounds way more interesting than what I got to do in high school. I'm dyscalculic as well and I had to endure math all through high school, much to my dismay. My Sweetheart is so going to be the one to help the kids with their math eventually.

  4. happily exams for me are old history ;) Hope your daughter will pass !

  5. Many congratulations to you all - I'm sure your daughter had lots of help and support from you along the way as well. I hope you really can all relax now and forget about exams (if not factors affecting developing countries and the like) for a while.

  6. Well I hope she gets plenty of sushine now to lie around in.
    Modern Studies sounds like somehting that shoud be compulsory. It wou have done me a lot of good as I am clueless.
    Dyscalculic. They were talking about that on the radio recently. Wasn't the man on the radio saying that the word could be used for people who are just no good at sums? hee he. Only joking :)

  7. Congratulations to your daughter! My stepson has one year of high school left.

  8. Hi Linda,
    How interesting it all sounds, so very different to the path my daughters are on. They have just spent 2 years at an I.B. Academy, very top heavy, 6 hours study every night and more on weekends was in my mind pointless so they started a pre-university course and will be going into their degrees next year. I have a feeling your daughter will do very well but what a long time to wait for her results. Hope she can put it out of her mind for the most part.


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