how do scottish qualifications work

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edjc123
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#1
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#1
Im planning on entering an essay competition about the history curriculum in the UK and as research, I want to do a survey of peoples experience across the UK with history in schools but to do so, i need to know what level people stopped taking history. However, I'm english so dont know how the scottish education system works in comparison to the english one, so am not really sure how to ask it in a multiple choice format.
idk how well i explained that, but any answers to these would be much appreciated:
when do you start + finish studying nat 4s, nat 5s, highers, and advanced highers?
which ones are equivalent to gcses and a levels?
how many subjects do you do for each, and when can you choose to take only certain subjects (more specifically, at what point do you not have to do history)

also, is the way the work in wales and northern ireland pretty much the same as in england? i just want to make sure i don't make any big oversights lol
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bxcs
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#2
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#2
(Original post by edjc123)
Im planning on entering an essay competition about the history curriculum in the UK and as research, I want to do a survey of peoples experience across the UK with history in schools but to do so, i need to know what level people stopped taking history. However, I'm english so dont know how the scottish education system works in comparison to the english one, so am not really sure how to ask it in a multiple choice format.
idk how well i explained that, but any answers to these would be much appreciated:
when do you start + finish studying nat 4s, nat 5s, highers, and advanced highers?
which ones are equivalent to gcses and a levels?
how many subjects do you do for each, and when can you choose to take only certain subjects (more specifically, at what point do you not have to do history)

also, is the way the work in wales and northern ireland pretty much the same as in england? i just want to make sure i don't make any big oversights lol
Howdy! Local English kid in a Scottish school, so I have quite a good grasp on both systems.

- Nat4 - below Nat 5 (usually sat around S2/3 if sat, not every school will do these). They aren't "registered" awards, ie your uni or workplace won't see. For what I know they are for your school to see if you are ready for nat5/prepare you for nat5. Think of year 9 assessments.

- Nat5 - first "real" exam (think of GCSEs). Sat usually in S4 (around 15/6) however, you can resit later/take more subjects later or earlier. We studied for it in S3/S4 but some schools will only study in S4.

- Highers - similar to AS-Level however a real exam with exam board and goes to your unis/workplaces (real award) - sat and studied in S5 (16/17). You can also take more highers at S6 (common occurence). Also used for 1st year entry grades at a Scottish Uni.

- Advanced Highers - similar to A-Level however slightly harder - sat and studied in S6 (17/18) and is what is used to fulfill entry requirements for English unis or second year entry at Scottish Uni.

I took quite a few subjects, so not everyone will take the same. For me, I took 8 Nat5s (bypassed maths so graded on 7), 6 Highers, 4 Advanced Highers. Most people in my school took 7 Nat5s, 4-6 Highers at S5, then either 3AH in s6 or 2AH/1H or 1AH/2H (3 subjects of any award H/AH).

We chose our subjects for Nat5s in S2 (around 13/14), Highers in S4 (15/16), advanced highers in s5 (16/17).

If you need any more info/help understanding, feel free to ask! I have no life and schools been moved online during our prelims so I will be a keyboard warrior for a month.

(edit: for reference, "sat" Nat5 in 2020, sat the SQA teacher graded paper for highers 2021, sitting AH 2022).
Last edited by bxcs; 2 weeks ago
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Tracey_W
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#3
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#3
(Original post by edjc123)
Im planning on entering an essay competition about the history curriculum in the UK and as research, I want to do a survey of peoples experience across the UK with history in schools but to do so, i need to know what level people stopped taking history. However, I'm english so dont know how the scottish education system works in comparison to the english one, so am not really sure how to ask it in a multiple choice format.
idk how well i explained that, but any answers to these would be much appreciated:
when do you start + finish studying nat 4s, nat 5s, highers, and advanced highers?
which ones are equivalent to gcses and a levels?
how many subjects do you do for each, and when can you choose to take only certain subjects (more specifically, at what point do you not have to do history)

also, is the way the work in wales and northern ireland pretty much the same as in england? i just want to make sure i don't make any big oversights lol
https://www.sqa.org.uk>guide. ( this will explain everything for you ) it's a download file ok.

Long time since I did any of those - scottish resident.



What is Scottish equivalent to GCSE........

In broad terms, National 5 (N5) qualifications are the Scottish equivalent of the GCSE. The N5 is the more academically advanced of the qualifications, with candidates being awarded the qualification at grades A, B, C and D. Scottish National 5 certificates grade A to C are equivalent to GCSEs grade grade 4 to 9.



How many GCSEs do you need to qualify for Scottish National...........

Students usually study from eight to twelve GCSE subjects (from more than 50 available) over two years (Years 10 and 11). In some independent schools in Scotland, students study for National qualifications, which are the Scottish equivalent of GCSEs.



What are A levels in Scotland........

Simply put, Scottish Highers are the Scottish equivalent to A-Levels. They are courses that students aged 16-18 in Scotland sit that can lead to university, further study, training or work. You normally take on four to five Highers and start them in the fifth year of secondary school.




What are higher exams in Scotland.........

In the Scottish secondary education system, the Higher (Scottish Gaelic: Àrd Ìre) is one of the national school-leaving certificate exams and university entrance qualifications of the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) offered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
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edjc123
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#4
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#4
(Original post by bxcs)
Howdy! Local English kid in a Scottish school, so I have quite a good grasp on both systems.

- Nat4 - below Nat 5 (usually sat around S2/3 if sat, not every school will do these). They aren't "registered" awards, ie your uni or workplace won't see. For what I know they are for your school to see if you are ready for nat5/prepare you for nat5. Think of year 9 assessments.

- Nat5 - first "real" exam (think of GCSEs). Sat usually in S4 (around 15/6) however, you can resit later/take more subjects later or earlier. We studied for it in S3/S4 but some schools will only study in S4.

- Highers - similar to AS-Level however a real exam with exam board and goes to your unis/workplaces (real award) - sat and studied in S5 (16/17). You can also take more highers at S6 (common occurence). Also used for 1st year entry grades at a Scottish Uni.

- Advanced Highers - similar to A-Level however slightly harder - sat and studied in S6 (17/18) and is what is used to fulfill entry requirements for English unis or second year entry at Scottish Uni.

I took quite a few subjects, so not everyone will take the same. For me, I took 8 Nat5s (bypassed maths so graded on 7), 6 Highers, 4 Advanced Highers. Most people in my school took 7 Nat5s, 4-6 Highers at S5, then either 3AH in s6 or 2AH/1H or 1AH/2H (3 subjects of any award H/AH).

We chose our subjects for Nat5s in S2 (around 13/14), Highers in S4 (15/16), advanced highers in s5 (16/17).

If you need any more info/help understanding, feel free to ask! I have no life and schools been moved online during our prelims so I will be a keyboard warrior for a month.

(edit: for reference, "sat" Nat5 in 2020, sat the SQA teacher graded paper for highers 2021, sitting AH 2022).
Thank you so much, that's really helpful!!
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bxcs
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#5
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#5
(Original post by edjc123)
Thank you so much, that's really helpful!!
No problem!
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