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    Hello there,

    I've just finished my fourth year prelims for Standard Grade/Int. 2 and I'm looking at my Higher subject options. Basically we're all expected to take five subjects as standard, however, there are some vague options about taking crashes and supplementary subjects outside of the standard column arrangement.

    Would it be possible for me to take an exam for a subject if I self-teach myself at home without class time during school? In theory this would be the best option for me but I have no idea about the dreaded SQA and their policies.

    If it's any interest to you, I'm thinking about taking Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Studies and perhaps a crash higher in Economics or Biology. If I was allowed to be examined for a self-taught subject I'd imagine it would be Biology as my twin has already completed the standard grade course so will have all his notes and we'd both be taking it in S5 so we could study together!

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Oliver
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    (Original post by Habitué)
    Would it be possible for me to take an exam for a subject if I self-teach myself at home without class time during school? In theory this would be the best option for me but I have no idea about the dreaded SQA and their policies.
    I'm sure it's been done before. As long as your school is okay with the situation, remember you'll need to complete all three NABs for the subject and it might be worth asking if they'll let you sit a prelim.

    If it's any interest to you, I'm thinking about taking Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, Computing and perhaps a crash higher in Economics or Biology. If I was allowed to be examined for a self-taught subject I'd imagine it would be Biology as my twin has already completed the standard grade course so will have all his notes and we'd both be taking it in S5 so we could study together!
    Just a suggestion, but do you not think it might be easier for you if you self-taught one of the Highers you did at Standard Grade/Int 2 and went to class for the one you're crashing? I'd do that if you choose Economics, because you have more support with Biology.

    I think Ecosse_14 self-taught a Higher, maybe ask for his advice.
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    As long as your school are willing to accept you as an external candidate for Biology, you should be fine

    (Not from personal experience, however I can't think of any other reasons stopping you)
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    I say go for it, I did Higher Biology last year, its very straight forward. More memorising of facts rather then actual understanding and applying of information. Although, it would make sense to self-study a subject you've done before. I'm self-studying Higher Physics as a crash this year and finding it perfectly fine so far, and if you have the background knowledge in the subject then you should find it even easier.
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    Taking 6 Highers causes you to die immediately in a pit of raging fire and snarling snakes if the SQA ever finds out.

    lol jk

    Taking an extra Higher depends on what all your subjects are. I did Higher Music as an extra subject last year. Basically, I did no work at all (beyond my usual weekly piano and cello lessons which I have been having since way before I took Higher Music) until about late February/early March for performing (examined in mid to late March) and no work for Listening until April, and I got an A band 1, because Music was very easy for me. I had the background in playing piano/cello, which meant that I didn't need to be taught anything for performing (60% of the mark), and the Listening could all be learnt online, since there are 2 or 3 brilliant websites.

    On the other hand, I am now in S5 and I'm doing Higher Latin as an extra, and it is much harder, partly because there is more to learn in Latin than in Music, and partly because my other subjects are giving so much more work. Don't underestimate the step-up in difficulty from S4 -> S5. I don't have any experience in Biology or Economics at Higher, but judging from Int 2 Biology I think crash Higher Biology as an extra would be a horrible amount of work. Still, I'm sure people have managed it before. Economics I have never taken, so I don't know.

    Basically, it's up to you. I can tell you that the SQA couldn't care less, and I can tell you that doing 6 Highers is a lot of work. However, I can't tell you whether you'd manage or not. What did you get in your prelims?
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    As others have said, it won't be a problem with the SQA, so providing your school is happy to let you do the NABs and exams, it should be fine
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    Sorry, another thing I forgot to mention. What you could find out would be if you could have maybe an hour after school one day each week with one of the teachers, and if you work hard during that hour, you'll take a lot of the pressure off yourself. That's what I did with Int 2 Computing and I'm doing it with Higher Latin this year. It means that you can do all the tests and homework that the class gets, so that you keep on top of things, and you can actually get taught the tough stuff instead of struggling with it on your own. Obviously, it depends whether one of the teachers is prepared to give up that time, but it's well worth asking, and I would think there's a good chance you'll find someone. I did Int 2 Computing over S3 and S4 with the same teacher I had for S1 and S2, and she was a really lovely person and a great teacher. Now I'm doing Higher Latin with my Int 2 teacher and he's actually not my favourite of the three Latin teachers, but he's been kind enough to give up the time and the other person I'm doing it with and I are keeping up with the class well (although I expect there'll be a lot of Christmas homework ).
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    Six Highers? I hope you know what you're letting yourself in for. Highers are much harder than Standard Grades and Int 2s, and require much more time and hard work. You would need to be committed if you wanted to do six, but I suppose it would be very much possible. If your school won't let you self teach it, you could maybe do it through distance learning. This would mean that you would get notes and have to do assessments (just like in normal classes except you're not in direct contact with your tutor). Might be worth considering.
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    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    Taking 6 Highers causes you to die immediately in a pit of raging fire and snarling snakes if the SQA ever finds out.

    lol jk

    Taking an extra Higher depends on what all your subjects are. I did Higher Music as an extra subject last year. Basically, I did no work at all (beyond my usual weekly piano and cello lessons which I have been having since way before I took Higher Music) until about late February/early March for performing (examined in mid to late March) and no work for Listening until April, and I got an A band 1, because Music was very easy for me. I had the background in playing piano/cello, which meant that I didn't need to be taught anything for performing (60% of the mark), and the Listening could all be learnt online, since there are 2 or 3 brilliant websites.

    On the other hand, I am now in S5 and I'm doing Higher Latin as an extra, and it is much harder, partly because there is more to learn in Latin than in Music, and partly because my other subjects are giving so much more work. Don't underestimate the step-up in difficulty from S4 -> S5. I don't have any experience in Biology or Economics at Higher, but judging from Int 2 Biology I think crash Higher Biology as an extra would be a horrible amount of work. Still, I'm sure people have managed it before. Economics I have never taken, so I don't know.

    Basically, it's up to you. I can tell you that the SQA couldn't care less, and I can tell you that doing 6 Highers is a lot of work. However, I can't tell you whether you'd manage or not. What did you get in your prelims?
    Haha interestingly I too play the piano and cello, not relevant but high five!

    Music was something else I'm considering, I have a couple of good friends who are also thinking about taking it as an extra subject as it would certainly be the easiest one for us to do! Judging from your experience and your consequent grades; I'll definitely look into it with the department.

    Another option is that I'm currently doing Standard Grade Latin but because of a major **** up with the columns our class (there are 10 of us) are likely unable to take Latin as a Higher without jeopardising other subjects. Our teacher is willing to take us for after school classes as there would be a fair number of us doing this. I heard that the Latin Higher course blends in well with the S/G course, is this true?

    I know I have a while to think about all my options but it's frustrating not really knowing what to do.

    As regards to other posts, the suggestion that I should crash a course I don't know and self-teach a known subject is a very good one. I'll talk to my school and ask their opinion, especially about taking NABs, etc. In terms of my prelims I've done fairly well with all As apart from a B in Maths (fists clench).

    I'm aware that it will be a lot of hard work, to be honest if it seems out of my depth then I'll stick to the 5.

    Thank you all for your responses, they are fantastic!

    Oliver
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    (Original post by Habitué)
    Haha interestingly I too play the piano and cello, not relevant but high five!

    Music was something else I'm considering, I have a couple of good friends who are also thinking about taking it as an extra subject as it would certainly be the easiest one for us to do! Judging from your experience and your consequent grades; I'll definitely look into it with the department.

    Another option is that I'm currently doing Standard Grade Latin but because of a major **** up with the columns our class (there are 10 of us) are likely unable to take Latin as a Higher without jeopardising other subjects. Our teacher is willing to take us for after school classes as there would be a fair number of us doing this. I heard that the Latin Higher course blends in well with the S/G course, is this true?

    I know I have a while to think about all my options but it's frustrating not really knowing what to do.

    As regards to other posts, the suggestion that I should crash a course I don't know and self-teach a known subject is a very good one. I'll talk to my school and ask their opinion, especially about taking NABs, etc. In terms of my prelims I've done fairly well with all As apart from a B in Maths (fists clench).

    I'm aware that it will be a lot of hard work, to be honest if it seems out of my depth then I'll stick to the 5.

    Thank you all for your responses, they are fantastic!

    Oliver
    Music is definitely an option if you're good at it - Grade 4 for Higher, which isn't bad. My friend actually got 30/30 for violin last year, but to be fair, he's doing his Grade 8, so Grade 4 stuff should be pretty good :P. He was doing it as an extra too, and he beat me (and all the S5s - he was top!). I think I got 87 and he got 91. It's definitely worth considering.

    My school does almost 100% Int 2s - some people do SG Biology and SG PE, and I think some people did SG General Physics last year as well as Int 2, to have something to fall back on, and a few do SG Music because they don't have 2 instruments and apparently you only need one for Foundation and maybe for General/Credit - don't know. To be honest, they should just sing or play the tinwhistle for the second, quite a few people did tinwhistle for Int 2 last year and got decent marks.

    Sorry, that was a big spiel there. All I meant to say is that I don't know what's in SG Latin. The Higher is 3 passages of Cicero In Verrem (2 in English, 1 in Latin) and 2 passages of Virgil Aeneid (1 English, 1 Latin). The Latin bit of the Aeneid is really long though, over 200 lines. It stretches from the entrance to the Underworld (ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram if you know it, then all the lists of creatures etc.) all the way through to meeting Dido and having her turn away and go back to Sychaeus (the bit with Marpesian marble, again if you know it from SG). A good bit of this was also in Int 2, I don't know about SG. However, Passages 1-4 (Cicero and the English bit of Virgil) are new to me.

    Translation-wise, they're basically just hard Credit papers. If you can get a good A in a Credit translation, then you can get an A in Higher - simples!

    I'm sure you've got plenty of time to arrange things anyway, so don't worry. Good luck with whatever you choose!
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    (Original post by derangedyoshi)
    Music is definitely an option if you're good at it - Grade 4 for Higher, which isn't bad. My friend actually got 30/30 for violin last year, but to be fair, he's doing his Grade 8, so Grade 4 stuff should be pretty good :P. He was doing it as an extra too, and he beat me (and all the S5s - he was top!). I think I got 87 and he got 91. It's definitely worth considering.

    My school does almost 100% Int 2s - some people do SG Biology and SG PE, and I think some people did SG General Physics last year as well as Int 2, to have something to fall back on, and a few do SG Music because they don't have 2 instruments and apparently you only need one for Foundation and maybe for General/Credit - don't know. To be honest, they should just sing or play the tinwhistle for the second, quite a few people did tinwhistle for Int 2 last year and got decent marks.

    Sorry, that was a big spiel there. All I meant to say is that I don't know what's in SG Latin. The Higher is 3 passages of Cicero In Verrem (2 in English, 1 in Latin) and 2 passages of Virgil Aeneid (1 English, 1 Latin). The Latin bit of the Aeneid is really long though, over 200 lines. It stretches from the entrance to the Underworld (ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram if you know it, then all the lists of creatures etc.) all the way through to meeting Dido and having her turn away and go back to Sychaeus (the bit with Marpesian marble, again if you know it from SG). A good bit of this was also in Int 2, I don't know about SG. However, Passages 1-4 (Cicero and the English bit of Virgil) are new to me.

    Translation-wise, they're basically just hard Credit papers. If you can get a good A in a Credit translation, then you can get an A in Higher - simples!

    I'm sure you've got plenty of time to arrange things anyway, so don't worry. Good luck with whatever you choose!
    Thank you so much, I couldn't have asked for a more informative and eloquent response!

    I'm fairly competent (!) with music so if I get a strong A this year then I think I'll definitely be doing Higher.

    Basically with S/G Latin, it seems the passages we do for interpretation are quite similar to the ones you're doing, although we focus a fair bit on Catullus and Seneca though of course they don't extend to 200 lines!

    We also have an investigation on a chosen topic which accounts for 40% of the grade (I think!) - I'm personally doing Roman medicine and surgery, though the options vary from music to the baths, as long as it's relevant.

    Once gain, thanks very much.
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    seems a bit pointless to me. im now 22 and doing a masters. i did extra subjects at standard grade and advanced higher (admittedly not for highers) and it hasn't really been of any use at all. i just feel like i'd have been better off taking the time to just enjoy being young!
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    If the timetable choice form lets you have proper classes then you should defenitely go to them instead of self teaching. It might also be kind of hard to crash a higher and self teach one as well at the same time! Higher is much harder than Standard Grade. I'd never do this but if your up for a challenge then go for it.

    I know someone who did self taught Higher Biology and they passed so you should be ok. Speak to your school and see what they say.

    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by jellybeangirl)
    If the timetable choice form lets you have proper classes then you should defenitely go to them instead of self teaching. It might also be kind of hard to crash a higher and self teach one as well at the same time! Higher is much harder than Standard Grade. I'd never do this but if your up for a challenge then go for it.

    I know someone who did self taught Higher Biology and they passed so you should be ok. Speak to your school and see what they say.

    Hope this helps!
    Thanks, you're definitely right, it will be a challenge. I'm not even entirely sure I'll be up for it!

    I'll speak to my school about it, it all really depends on my final results this year.

    Merry Christmas!
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    (Original post by Habitué)
    Thanks, you're definitely right, it will be a challenge. I'm not even entirely sure I'll be up for it!

    I'll speak to my school about it, it all really depends on my final results this year.

    Merry Christmas!
    Thanks, hope all goes well for you in the new year!
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    (Original post by Habitué)
    Hello there,

    I've just finished my fourth year prelims for Standard Grade/Int. 2 and I'm looking at my Higher subject options. Basically we're all expected to take five subjects as standard, however, there are some vague options about taking crashes and supplementary subjects outside of the standard column arrangement.

    Would it be possible for me to take an exam for a subject if I self-teach myself at home without class time during school? In theory this would be the best option for me but I have no idea about the dreaded SQA and their policies.

    If it's any interest to you, I'm thinking about taking Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Studies and perhaps a crash higher in Economics or Biology. If I was allowed to be examined for a self-taught subject I'd imagine it would be Biology as my twin has already completed the standard grade course so will have all his notes and we'd both be taking it in S5 so we could study together!

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Oliver
    My friend managed to take six highers, but she was really smart and the sixth (Higher Spanish) was easy for her because she was raised speaking and writing Spanish because her Dad is Spanish, and when she was younger her Dad only spoke to her in Spanish and her mum in English.

    Maths, Chemistry and Physics are really tough subjects at Higher level, though, so unless you're really good (and I'm talking 1s without revision) it might not be a great idea.
 
 
 
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