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    Hi, I'm English living abroad and will be moving to Scotland after my IGCSE's this july.
    I've read up about the scottish system but I still have some questions. Could anyone correct me if I am wrong:

    Instead of going to sixth form to do A-levels as I would if I didn't move, I go into S5 to do highers? After that year you choose fewer advanced highers or you can apply to university?

    The thing which has made me confused is the Highers/Advanced Highers. Universities are requiring 4 Highers at certain grades, and recommend at least 1 advanced. The reason it seems strange is that, at A-Levels, you do normally 3/4 subjects for 2 full years, then go to start the exact same course as someone who has just done 1 year of 3/4/5 subjects? Is the scottish system just really intensive? How do they equal out with A-levels?

    Also - How many higher do you guys usually take? What are the work loads like for them (since you do it for only 1 year) and do most people do advanced after?

    I've also heard that S5 is at 15/16? rrrghhh! I'll be 17 in September btw

    I've grown up understanding the English system only so it's all a little foreign to me!

    Thanks, all comments or advice welcome too
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    (Original post by SuchBants)
    Also - How many higher do you guys usually take? What are the work loads like for them (since you do it for only 1 year) and do most people do advanced after?

    I've also heard that S5 is at 15/16? rrrghhh! I'll be 17 in September btw
    Hi there,

    I can't really give you a good comparison with Scottish courses with A-levels (I'm sure others on here will do a good job of that!), but I can give you a brief guideline of what to expect in Scotland.

    Typically, you will do highers in S5, you're probably 16/17 in S5. Taking 5 highers is pretty common, very few people do more than that, occasionally people will take 4 highers, or 3 highers and 2 lower level courses. I, personally, wouldn't say it's too intensive. Highers are certainly a step up from the previous years, but 5 highers is completely manageable if you put in the work.

    When it comes to applying to university, you will apply with your 5th year grades and it's those grades, mainly, which will be looked at by universities. 6th year grades are not explicitly taken into account, but if you get a conditional offer from a university, you'll need to finish 6th year and match their requirement to be accepted.

    Taking Advanced Highers is quite common, but not everyone does it. I took 3 Advanced Highers which was completely fine, taking between 1 and 3 is common, 4 is possible if you're committed, but they're not entirely necessary. The main thing with Advanced Highers is that they help a lot with transitioning to university.

    Hope this helps, let us know if you have any other questions!

    Scott
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    (Original post by Glasgow Uni)
    Hi there,

    I can't really give you a good comparison with Scottish courses with A-levels (I'm sure others on here will do a good job of that!), but I can give you a brief guideline of what to expect in Scotland.

    Typically, you will do highers in S5, you're probably 16/17 in S5. Taking 5 highers is pretty common, very few people do more than that, occasionally people will take 4 highers, or 3 highers and 2 lower level courses. I, personally, wouldn't say it's too intensive. Highers are certainly a step up from the previous years, but 5 highers is completely manageable if you put in the work.

    When it comes to applying to university, you will apply with your 5th year grades and it's those grades, mainly, which will be looked at by universities. 6th year grades are not explicitly taken into account, but if you get a conditional offer from a university, you'll need to finish 6th year and match their requirement to be accepted.

    Taking Advanced Highers is quite common, but not everyone does it. I took 3 Advanced Highers which was completely fine, taking between 1 and 3 is common, 4 is possible if you're committed, but they're not entirely necessary. The main thing with Advanced Highers is that they help a lot with transitioning to university.

    Hope this helps, let us know if you have any other questions!

    Scott
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    School of Engineering
    Thanks! Great response - very helpful. Just one thing...
    I think I'm going to apply to do 4 higher and aim to do very well in them. Is that unusual? I know what I want to do and would like to focus on say, to relate it to your university, getting 4 A's rather than taking an extra subject I'm not too interested in.
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    (Original post by SuchBants)
    Thanks! Great response - very helpful. Just one thing...
    I think I'm going to apply to do 4 higher and aim to do very well in them. Is that unusual? I know what I want to do and would like to focus on say, to relate it to your university, getting 4 A's rather than taking an extra subject I'm not too interested in.
    I'd imagine you would be able to do that.

    If you know what you want to do then, in S6, you are best to study one or two Advanced Highers relating to that subject and maybe a Higher or two alongside those.

    Hope this helps!
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    (Original post by SuchBants)
    Thanks! Great response - very helpful. Just one thing...
    I think I'm going to apply to do 4 higher and aim to do very well in them. Is that unusual? I know what I want to do and would like to focus on say, to relate it to your university, getting 4 A's rather than taking an extra subject I'm not too interested in.
    Hey,

    Doing 4 highers is not unusual, but you have to make sure you stay compliant with most university entry requirements. Many universities will have entry requirements which include 4 highers, whilst others may have requirements which include 5 highers. Even if you get 4 A's, but an entry requirement is AABBB, for example, you may not be given an unconditional. This will change from place to place, so it's just best to keep that in mind.

    As for focusing towards what you want to do, that's an excellent idea, especially when it comes to advanced highers as it will benefit you immensely.

    Again, let us know if you have any other questions.

    Scott
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    Hey, I'm in the same position as you, do you know where abouts you will be moving and what school?
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    (Original post by Glasgow Uni)
    Hey,

    Doing 4 highers is not unusual, but you have to make sure you stay compliant with most university entry requirements. Many universities will have entry requirements which include 4 highers, whilst others may have requirements which include 5 highers. Even if you get 4 A's, but an entry requirement is AABBB, for example, you may not be given an unconditional. This will change from place to place, so it's just best to keep that in mind.

    As for focusing towards what you want to do, that's an excellent idea, especially when it comes to advanced highers as it will benefit you immensely.

    Again, let us know if you have any other questions.

    Scott
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    School of Engineering
    Thanks - You've mentioned that they can make a conditional offer. Does that mean say, if the course required AAAA at higher, and I got AAAB, would they accept me taking another higher to achieve an A, or the same higher(?) alongside my advanced highers to meet requirements? Or is it a one shot type of thing.
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    (Original post by SuchBants)
    Thanks - You've mentioned that they can make a conditional offer. Does that mean say, if the course required AAAA at higher, and I got AAAB, would they accept me taking another higher to achieve an A, or the same higher(?) alongside my advanced highers to meet requirements? Or is it a one shot type of thing.
    Hi again,

    This will depend. If you fail to meet some entry requirements, you may not get an offer at all - especially if you don't meet a required subject grade. For example, when applying to engineering, the majority of places will require an A at higher Maths and Physics, and if you don't get that, you may not even be offered a conditional. This changes wildly, though.

    If you did get AAAB, it is likely you will be offered a conditional. Again, this depends, some cases you may be given an unconditional, others you may not get anything. Assuming you're given a conditional, it will probably be along the lines of "Get a different higher A in 6th year", or something like that. I don't believe they tend to give conditionals where it's for Advanced Higher level, but if they did, the grade requirement should be pretty low.

    Sorry for being rather vague, but offers are a volatile area since it changes year on year. If you do well in subjects very relevant to the degree then you will have the best chance at getting an offer, even if you don't meet entry requirements.

    Hope this helps!

    Scott
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    you've pretty much got the idea of things! highers are I think equivalent to AS but as you usually do more of them, you can go straight to uni for most courses after S5 if you get good grades. how many you take will depend on your school but most people do five subjects in total, at least in my school. Advanced highers are slightly harder than A levels, which is why you don't need them for most courses and why you can take less subjects. if you miss out on the grades in higher, you probably want to look at the course you want to do as you may just need a certain number of points or they might only take at first sitting. One of my friends didn't do so well at higher so took some of the same subjects to advanced higher and got conditional offers.

    Don't worry about being older - its quite usual for English students to have to drop a year, at least in my school, and the cut off dates for ages in Scotland can be more flexible - in S5 at my school some people will still be 15 and some already 17 or coming up to 18 so its really no big deal!
 
 
 
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