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What happens if you fail your National 5s?

I am wondering what will happen if you fail your national 5 exams. Will you be allowed to do the higher subjects that you have picked or will you have to retake the national 5 exams?
(edited 8 years ago)
Highly likely retake the subject.

Actually, you defo will.

I doubt they will let you do a higher if you can't pass national 5.
Original post by Higherdude
Highly likely retake the subject.

Actually, you defo will.

I doubt they will let you do a higher if you can't pass national 5.


Hi thanks for the response. I will just have to hope that I don't fail!
Original post by CraigTheStudent
Hi thanks for the response. I will just have to hope that I don't fail!


Hi, yeah if you fail nat 5 then you automatically get dropped down to nat 4. So if you plan on taking a higher in that subject you will have to resit it for another year :/
Im sure you'll be fine though :smile:


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(edited 8 years ago)
It depends on your teacher, as entry to any course is at the discretion of the centre. In French, at my school, even if you failed Nat5, you will still be allowed a chance at Higher unless you fail a unit.
Original post by guzz6
Hi, yeah if you fail nat 5 then you automatically get dropped down to nat 4. So if you plan on taking a higher in that subject you will have to resit it for another year :/
Im sure you'll be fine though :smile:


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So you automatically get the national 4 award?! Without doing any of the assessments! That's really good but makes it feel like the award is worth nothing!
Original post by CraigTheStudent
So you automatically get the national 4 award?! Without doing any of the assessments! That's really good but makes it feel like the award is worth nothing!


Have you not done any of the added value units? All nat 5 candidates in my school have to complete both the nat 4 and added value unit and the nat 5 assignment in case you fail n5 you'll have completed the n4 avu and be awarded a national 4!


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Original post by CraigTheStudent
I am wondering what will happen if you fail your national 5 exams. Will you be allowed to do the higher subjects that you have picked or will you have to retake the national 5 exams?


Probably have to retake those particular exams next year but you can still do the "crash" highers that you didn't do at nat 5 of, for some reason...
you automatically get a university offer for medicine, law or engineering
Reply 9
This is what would happen in my school if this was to happen.

If you failed your national 5s but you performed well in the prelims and passed them with A or Bs. They will allow you in the class to sit Higher.
However, if you failed your prelim and failed the exam then you wouldn't be allowed to sit the higher classes you wanted to pick up. Instead, they will give you the option to retake the class or pick up another subject.

This is why prelims are important. I did standard grades and got a 2 in my prelim for a class but in results day I got a 3 (I didn't get to finish the paper) but I was allowed to sit Higher and I got an upper B - quite gutted never got to finish that paper either.
Hi everyone, sorry about resurrecting an old thread but looking for some guidance. I got 7 Ds in my Nat 5 exams and I now realise I need to actually start studying if I want to pass my highers, but will this be achievable in 5th year if I got Ds at Nat5 or should I look to resit my Nat 5s and take my highers in 6th year instead?

Has anyone been in this position and sat highers in 5th year (and passed), or has anyone taken the alternative route and resat Nat5s and proceeded to pass these and then sit and pass highers in 6th year?

Thanks in advance for your help! Feeling a bit uncertain about everything at the moment. Don’t want to risk coming out with nothing after 5th year but would obviously rather not resit my Nat5s if I can realistically pass at higher.
Original post by Nics1999
Hi everyone, sorry about resurrecting an old thread but looking for some guidance. I got 7 Ds in my Nat 5 exams and I now realise I need to actually start studying if I want to pass my highers, but will this be achievable in 5th year if I got Ds at Nat5 or should I look to resit my Nat 5s and take my highers in 6th year instead?

Has anyone been in this position and sat highers in 5th year (and passed), or has anyone taken the alternative route and resat Nat5s and proceeded to pass these and then sit and pass highers in 6th year?

Thanks in advance for your help! Feeling a bit uncertain about everything at the moment. Don’t want to risk coming out with nothing after 5th year but would obviously rather not resit my Nat5s if I can realistically pass at higher.


Hi there!

I’ve not been in this position myself, but I’ll try and help as best I can.
First off, have you talked to your school? It might be worth just speaking to your teachers and asking whether they’ll let you sit a higher in their subject. Just generally asking what their advice is might just set your mind at ease.

Realistically, I’d say go back and do a couple Nat 5’s.
As you say, you don’t want to risk coming out with grades you don’t want in fifth year, that’s why the Scottish system is good because we’ve got 6th year as a fall back to get grades if we need them. It would be worth getting at least maths and english at Nat 5 I think.

A lot of people say there isn’t a big jump between Nat 5 and Higher, but as someone who’s just finished their Highers, I’d doubt that. Especially maths and sciences, you’d want to get the base knowledge to start building onto at Higher. Generally, Nat 5’s involve more Knowledge and Understanding rather than analysis at Higher, and if you don’t have the base knowledge, you’re going to struggle at a higher level. If you’ve not learned those study skills at Nat 5, realistically, you will struggle if you try to crash subjects or progress to a higher level.

5th year goes by so quickly, believe me! All your teachers will tell you that and exams come around so quick. My advice would be to go back and resit. You’re better with a good set of Nat 5’s, maybe trying 1 or 2 subjects at Higher next year. Then in 6th year, you can pick up more highers if need be. I understand why you wouldn’t want to, but I’d just resit them. Highers are tough, even if you’re not crashing anything, but especially if you’re crashing them. But first of all speak to your school and teachers - they’ll have had pupils go through the same thing and will have good advice. Hope this helps :smile:
Original post by Nics1999
Hi everyone, sorry about resurrecting an old thread but looking for some guidance. I got 7 Ds in my Nat 5 exams and I now realise I need to actually start studying if I want to pass my highers, but will this be achievable in 5th year if I got Ds at Nat5 or should I look to resit my Nat 5s and take my highers in 6th year instead?

Has anyone been in this position and sat highers in 5th year (and passed), or has anyone taken the alternative route and resat Nat5s and proceeded to pass these and then sit and pass highers in 6th year?

Thanks in advance for your help! Feeling a bit uncertain about everything at the moment. Don’t want to risk coming out with nothing after 5th year but would obviously rather not resit my Nat5s if I can realistically pass at higher.


:wavey:

I think you'd be best resitting some national 5s, including maths and English, and then you can see about doing highers in S6.
My daughter has failed all her classes. Her reports say very good in class homework great asks right questions but poor in exam. We have 2 years covid no learning then online learning which my daughter hated she had covid twice was ill so couldn't do online classes. Bump to head gets bad migraines now and neuralgia but is worrying what she will do.I said go down to Nat 4 most of them till end term. Keep biology on Nat 5 Spanish English business I have tutor for biology 2 times week and I help her build on exam prep she will do Nat 5 fifth year and retake any failed and do highers 6th year.I just think kids hard run last couple years and it shows she's committed when going for jobs in later life as she didn't give up.

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