Students will typically study 7 to 9 subjects at Standard Grade. Generally speaking, different subjects can be taken independently of each other. The two main restrictions on this choice are timetable arrangements, and the fact that many less popular subjects are not offered by all schools. Courses may be sat in Gàidhlig at certain schools - Glasgow Gaelic School, being one of them. Courses available are: Geography, Maths, Science and History.
Students are awarded a numerical grade for each examination (which may consist of several papers) ranging from 1 (best) to 7. The table below lists the grades, the exam level and equivalence to the new National Qualification exams and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF for short).
|Level||Grades||NQ Exam||SCQF Level|
|Credit Level||1 and 2||Intermediate 2||SCQF 5|
|General Level||3 and 4||Intermediate 1||SCQF 4|
|Foundation Level||5 and 6||Access 3||SCQF 3|
|Course Not Completed||8||n/a||n/a|
The Standard Grade system is now being slowly phased out in favour of the Scottish Qualifications Authority's Higher Still system, as many, students and teachers alike, feel that the jump from Standard Grade to Higher is too difficult, particularly in subjects such as English. Although they are not exactly the same, the Foundation Level is similar to Higher Still's Access 3 level, whilst General is similar to Intermediate 1 and Credit is similar to Intermediate 2.
In some schools which use Higher Still qualifications as replacements for Standard Grades, students are now required to take an exam at the end of 3rd year (either Access 3 or Intermediate 1), and then take the Intermediate 1 or 2 exam (depending on which exam they took in 3rd year) at the end of their 4th year. This allows them to then go onto Intermediate 2 or Higher level in 5th year, as students already do each year.
1 Business Management and some other Business Studies courses are offered in some schools 2 Core subject
Most schools also encourage the taking of a language, most commonly French or German (Spanish is also common in the North-East), to standard grade. This used to be a compulsory course but other options such as the 'Life Skills' course 'Social and Vocational studies' are now being offered. These new options are mainly taken by students whose grades make them an unsuitable candidate for Standard Grade languages.
The course choice process begins after the Christmas and New Year of S2, with the completed forms being handed in around the end of February.
DON'T LET STANDARD GRADE DIE; Head Teacher James McVittie Is to Scrap Standard Grade Exams at His Glasgow School - but the Move Has Sparked Union Fury
Apr 24, 2002; Byline: MAGNUS GARDHAM TEACHERS' leaders yesterday backed Standard Grade exams after a state school became the first to ditch the...