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Are five highers really that challenging?

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    I've just chosen my choices for 5th year and I've opted to do 5 highers as that is what I need to get into university. I was just wondering if doing 5 highers is as challenging as everyone (teachers included) makes it out to be?

    I was also wondering if anyone could tell me briefly what each course entails and which ones are the most challenging.. Out of higher English, maths, human biology, chemistry and German. Also, which subject will I probably have to spend most of my time on..?

    Thank you. Also, this is my first ever thread so sorry if I'm doing it wrong or whatever!
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    In my opinion it's not that challenging if you're prepared to put the work in. Many people in my year took 5 highers last year, and a fair few got 5 A's. It can be a bit of a jump from Standard Grade to Higher, but I know quite a few people who managed to pass their 5 highers in one sitting. However, there are people who don't manage to get the grades so it's something to think about, as you may be better off doing 4 highers and getting all A's, than doing 5 and getting poorer grades

    Last year I took maths, english, french, biology and chemistry; and the one I did worst in was English, though I think I would say chemistry was most difficult as there's a bit more understanding required compared to standard grade. Hope i've helped!
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    Okay, thank you. Yeah at first I was going to do 4 highers and one int2 but I didn't like the sound of any of the int2s so I thought I'd put it down and see what my teachers said.. They seemed to think I'd manage so I think I'll go ahead with it. I'm prepared to put the work in in 5th year as I know it is a very important year.

    Yeah, a lot of people have said to me that English has been the biggest jump from standard grade to higher.. I'm pretty nervous about that as I already am not all that keen on the subject. Any advice on how to get a good grade in higher English?

    Thanks again! Totally new to this, haha.
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    I suppose it depends on what you are good at. For example, I am rubbish at English so i find that the hardest.

    As for what each course entails, to my knowledge, Maths, Bio, Chem, 3 units and 3 NABS fairly simple to Understand.As for English There are 3 parts that make up your final grade: Close Reading, Critical Essays and a folio.Internally: you need to do a Close Reading and textual ANaylsis NAB.Finally, for German( I did French and teh formats the same)/ Internally , you need to pass Speaking, Reading, Listening and ERV. Where as the final exam is made up of these parts. BEWARE, Listening is the hardest part of teh exam , it is the only part of the exam , that you would be proud of getting half of the marks.

    Another word of warning, For your BIo and Chem courses, SQA are implementing new Higher science courses from 2012, so there will be no study books and Past papers that are the same as the ones you are going to sit. But they may publish something over teh summer.

    A final thing , Maths, i am good at maths but when it cometo the exam it is murder. I passed the uNit 1 NAb(100%) coping easily with the coursework and finding the homework relatively easy for the full year. BOOM, come Febuary, the prelim, the whole year was nearly reduced to tears after coming out of teh prelim.Most difficult exam ever. The point is that for ALL your subjects, DONT BE LED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY BECAUSE YOU ARE BREEZING THROUGH YOU'RE NABS AND COURSEWORK, the final exams are a different kettle of fish.

    Anyway, Good Luck and best of all enjoy it ( though i can hardly say that, i am in 5th year and at times , i want to kill myself, 5 highers, not easy!)
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    (Original post by kaleidoscope)
    Okay, thank you. Yeah at first I was going to do 4 highers and one int2 but I didn't like the sound of any of the int2s so I thought I'd put it down and see what my teachers said.. They seemed to think I'd manage so I think I'll go ahead with it. I'm prepared to put the work in in 5th year as I know it is a very important year.

    Yeah, a lot of people have said to me that English has been the biggest jump from standard grade to higher.. I'm pretty nervous about that as I already am not all that keen on the subject. Any advice on how to get a good grade in higher English?

    Thanks again! Totally new to this, haha.
    If you think you can do it then go for it! If you feel you aren't coping then you can always drop one of your subjects. In my school there was the option to do the higher over two years, they sat the nabs but not the final exam, and their sitting the exam this year so they'll get a better grade

    5th year's definitely the most important year, if you can get the grades you need now, 6th year is a lot more relaxed as you have the chance of getting unconditional offers for uni.

    Hurm, in terms of English, there was a bit of a big jump, but some people find it quite formulaic, some people can churn out high-marking essays without even fully reading the book and only looking at sheets. Personally, I struggled with English and I didn't really get on with my teacher (he was useless!) so I'm maybe not the best person to give you advice on how to get the best grade in it!
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    (Original post by animelover123)
    I suppose it depends on what you are good at. For example, I am rubbish at English so i find that the hardest.

    As for what each course entails, to my knowledge, Maths, Bio, Chem, 3 units and 3 NABS fairly simple to Understand.As for English There are 3 parts that make up your final grade: Close Reading, Critical Essays and a folio.Internally: you need to do a Close Reading and textual ANaylsis NAB.Finally, for German( I did French and teh formats the same)/ Internally , you need to pass Speaking, Reading, Listening and ERV. Where as the final exam is made up of these parts. BEWARE, Listening is the hardest part of teh exam , it is the only part of the exam , that you would be proud of getting half of the marks.

    Another word of warning, For your BIo and Chem courses, SQA are implementing new Higher science courses from 2012, so there will be no study books and Past papers that are the same as the ones you are going to sit. But they may publish something over teh summer.

    A final thing , Maths, i am good at maths but when it cometo the exam it is murder. I passed the uNit 1 NAb(100%) coping easily with the coursework and finding the homework relatively easy for the full year. BOOM, come Febuary, the prelim, the whole year was nearly reduced to tears after coming out of teh prelim.Most difficult exam ever. The point is that for ALL your subjects, DONT BE LED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY BECAUSE YOU ARE BREEZING THROUGH YOU'RE NABS AND COURSEWORK, the final exams are a different kettle of fish.

    Anyway, Good Luck and best of all enjoy it ( though i can hardly say that, i am in 5th year and at times , i want to kill myself, 5 highers, not easy!)
    Don't be disheartened by your maths prelim! In my experience the prelim was way harder than the final exam. In fact, one guy in my class failed the prelim and went on to get an A in the final exam. Also he's now doing advanced higher maths
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    (Original post by animelover123)
    I suppose it depends on what you are good at. For example, I am rubbish at English so i find that the hardest.

    As for what each course entails, to my knowledge, Maths, Bio, Chem, 3 units and 3 NABS fairly simple to Understand.As for English There are 3 parts that make up your final grade: Close Reading, Critical Essays and a folio.Internally: you need to do a Close Reading and textual ANaylsis NAB.Finally, for German( I did French and teh formats the same)/ Internally , you need to pass Speaking, Reading, Listening and ERV. Where as the final exam is made up of these parts. BEWARE, Listening is the hardest part of teh exam , it is the only part of the exam , that you would be proud of getting half of the marks.

    Another word of warning, For your BIo and Chem courses, SQA are implementing new Higher science courses from 2012, so there will be no study books and Past papers that are the same as the ones you are going to sit. But they may publish something over teh summer.

    A final thing , Maths, i am good at maths but when it cometo the exam it is murder. I passed the uNit 1 NAb(100%) coping easily with the coursework and finding the homework relatively easy for the full year. BOOM, come Febuary, the prelim, the whole year was nearly reduced to tears after coming out of teh prelim.Most difficult exam ever. The point is that for ALL your subjects, DONT BE LED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY BECAUSE YOU ARE BREEZING THROUGH YOU'RE NABS AND COURSEWORK, the final exams are a different kettle of fish.

    Anyway, Good Luck and best of all enjoy it ( though i can hardly say that, i am in 5th year and at times , i want to kill myself, 5 highers, not easy!)
    Ahh, okay, thank you. I really wish our school told us what the courses entail!
    Oh so for chemistry and biology my final exam will be different to previous ones? So the past papers won't be all that useful?
    Haha, thanks!
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    Hey and welcome to TSR

    I'm not trying to say 5 highers will be a doddle cause it won't, but its not so completely absolutely mind-bogglingly omg difficult, at least not like everyone makes out.

    You need to be organised and make sure you're keeping your head above water, and you need to spend more time doing more work than in standard grade, but thats just to be expected,

    If you stay on top of things it should be fine and not TOO hard, but if you don't stay on top of everything you will face as a teacher described to me a 'tsumani of bricks', just keep up with homework and revision/extra work for topics you find paticularly hard or near NABs and tests (and obv the prelim and exam) and you will be ok, your teachers obviosuly think youre capable of 5 highers if theyre letting you do them

    Feel free to PM with specific questions about Higher English, Maths or the set up of German cause although I don't do it I do other language highers

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Harley)
    If you think you can do it then go for it! If you feel you aren't coping then you can always drop one of your subjects. In my school there was the option to do the higher over two years, they sat the nabs but not the final exam, and their sitting the exam this year so they'll get a better grade

    5th year's definitely the most important year, if you can get the grades you need now, 6th year is a lot more relaxed as you have the chance of getting unconditional offers for uni.

    Hurm, in terms of English, there was a bit of a big jump, but some people find it quite formulaic, some people can churn out high-marking essays without even fully reading the book and only looking at sheets. Personally, I struggled with English and I didn't really get on with my teacher (he was useless!) so I'm maybe not the best person to give you advice on how to get the best grade in it!

    Yeah, I was thinking that I could drop to the int2 if I find it too bad!
    Okay then. Yeah, definitely hoping I get the head of English for higher! I'll be pretty sad if I don't because I don't think the rest of them are that great to be honest. Ahhh so worried about highers and I've not even done my final standard grade exams, hahaha.
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    (Original post by kaleidoscope)
    Ahh, okay, thank you. I really wish our school told us what the courses entail!
    Oh so for chemistry and biology my final exam will be different to previous ones? So the past papers won't be all that useful?
    Haha, thanks!
    As far as i am told, maybe someone in this fourm will know?
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    (Original post by Harley)
    In my opinion it's not that challenging if you're prepared to put the work in. Many people in my year took 5 highers last year, and a fair few got 5 A's. It can be a bit of a jump from Standard Grade to Higher, but I know quite a few people who managed to pass their 5 highers in one sitting. However, there are people who don't manage to get the grades so it's something to think about, as you may be better off doing 4 highers and getting all A's, than doing 5 and getting poorer grades

    Last year I took maths, english, french, biology and chemistry; and the one I did worst in was English, though I think I would say chemistry was most difficult as there's a bit more understanding required compared to standard grade. Hope i've helped!
    All big and brown and covered in hair?

    Anyway, for Higher Maths, in every Nab you need to pass all 5 mini-sections (or outcomes, as they're called) that were covered in the unit in question. You may get 90% overall, but if you only got 4/10 on the section on double angle formulae, for instance, you'd still have to resit that section. Odd, I know.

    And how challenging it is completely depends on your ability and your target grades. Getting AAAAA at Higher is challenging (for 99% or the population) but getting CCCCC is less so.
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    (Original post by kaleidoscope)
    Oh so for chemistry and biology my final exam will be different to previous ones?
    It's up to your school when they switch to the new courses, so you should ask... In our school they've swapped Physics this year, Chemistry next and Biology not until the year after at least, it just completely depends on the teachers.
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    (Original post by (:emily.)
    It's up to your school when they switch to the new courses, so you should ask... In our school they've swapped Physics this year, Chemistry next and Biology not until the year after at least, it just completely depends on the teachers.
    Oh okay, thank you. This is the first I've heard of the courses changing but I'm sure they'll tell us when I'm actually in 5th year. If not, I'll just assume they haven't yet changed!
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    I did 5 highers (English, Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Economics) and got 5 A's. I had a bit of a melt down half way through the year because of the work load and the content of some subjects but I got through it =) It is definitely do-able.
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    (Original post by laughylolly)
    I did 5 highers (English, Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Economics) and got 5 A's. I had a bit of a melt down half way through the year because of the work load and the content of some subjects but I got through it =) It is definitely do-able.
    How did you manage to pick yourself up? :fluffy: Congratulations on the 5 As and being able to get through it!
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    It does sound really difficult when you put it down as "five highers" but if you think of them all separate subjects, you really tackle the work load and have the drive to do well, you will.

    Make sure you have a system of studying after the October holidays though, that's when it started getting most intense for me (I'm in 5th year atm).

    I'm doing English, Maths, Computing, Human Biology and Chemistry and they're all very demanding subjects, especially English! I got A's for Human and Maths, B's for Computing and Chemistry and a C for English in my prelims, so I know I need to up the game to get a B for it now!

    English is by far the biggest jump, because it's skills based rather than actually learning facts and applying them. For English, I would say constantly practising your essay writing skills perfect and getting two solid folio pieces is more important, as they are worth 20% of your mark!

    Oh, and make sure you pass your NAB's first sitting, you don't want re-sitting NAB's lingering!
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    (Original post by Quick-use)
    How did you manage to pick yourself up? :fluffy: Congratulations on the 5 As and being able to get through it!
    Well my friends definitely helped. I just got stuck in with the work and put in the effort and tried not too worry too much. I knew I needed the 5A's if I wanted to apply for Mathematics at some English universities so I guess it helps if you have something to work towards or for.

    I must say though that most people in my school did take 5 highers so the teachers were supportive to an extent... I must also say that 60-something people in my year out of 180 or something got 5 A's. My school is a little crazy... but yeah the majority of people can cope with 5 highers so I wouldn't worry too much. Good luck with your exams this year and hope all goes well with your highers as well =)
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    Wow, 5 A's. Only about 10% of my school get 5 highers, never mind A's.

    I find it pretty challenging, but if you relax a little bit and get on with the work it isn't too bad. There's always at least one Higher that you will find more challenging and it's hard to spread time equally and get results.
    I'm doing English, Modern Studies, Maths, Physics and French. I find physics and french harder so I spend more time on them. Maths is one of those subjects that starts off confusing, but you get there eventually. French (which I'm assuming is similar structure to german) is pretty solid, but mainly because I started out thinking it was going to be easy and never put the work in to begin with.

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