Scottish Highers:Sit 4 or 5

(10 Posts)
Jacaqueen Thu 15-Aug-13 09:03:24

DS1 about to go into 5th year and had chosen 5 Highers. His standard grades/Int 2 results were OK but not outstanding. he got B's and 2's for all his chosen Highers.

However I am worried that this may be too much for him and wonder it he would be better going for 4 Highers in 5th year and taking the other subject at Int 2. Then he could do more Highers in 6th year along with a few Advanced Highers.

In my day you had to get your Highers in one sitting and if you were going to University 6th year was for 6th Year Studies. But then hardly anyone did 5 Highers.

I don't want to give him the message that he should not work hard and go for it. He is not a natural academic and I am worried that he will find 5 too much and end up doing badly. My thinking is that securing 4 good passes would be better than pushing for 5 and risk blowing it.

He will definitely be staying on to do 6th year as he is not yet 16. He has not decided on the exact course or University but does not want to do Medicine or Law. Probably some kind of Engineering.

He starts back next week so will have to decide before then.

Should I just stay out of it and let him go for 5? Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks.

Busybeingbusy Thu 15-Aug-13 10:24:28

Might be worth checking the school website for any published presentations given in the last 12 months to the parents for the year above...

I went to a presentation once where there was a slide that predicted how those that got an A at Int 2 or a B at Int 2 in a particular subject might fare in S5. Can't quite recall the figures but it was something like that 70% of those who got an A at Int 2 in Maths in S4 were likely to gain a Higher pass the following year at A, B or C. 25% of those who got a B in Int 2 at Maths would go on and achieve a Higher at Maths.

I'm pretty sure there were tables for all subjects. The school stressed that it wasn't a guarantee but it just gave parents more information Maybe having your school's data you might be able to help him make a better informed choice?

Might also be worth looking at the College and University prospectuses now to see what he needs to aim for to be in with a shout even if it is for entry in two or more years time...

3nationsfamily Thu 15-Aug-13 10:52:13

Definitely suggest he speak to the Guidance person at school about this so he is not closing off options for further education. The Universities are very clear in their requirements regarding the results achieved at one sitting rather than spread over 2 years, but it depends on what level of university he wishes to apply to and what kind of course. Take a look at a few prospectuses online for some initial idea of requirements.

Salmotrutta Thu 15-Aug-13 16:20:34

I don't know when you went to school OP but it certainly wasnt the case that "hardly anyone did 5 Highers" when I went. Everyone in my cohort did 5 if they stayed on for Highers.

And it isn't the case now either if pupils want to do a competitive degree at a good University. Most of my pupils have opted for 5 and only dropped one if they have performed badly at prelim and failed NABs etc.

Research has indicated in the past that pupils who potto do 5 actually perform better - probably because they know they have to do a lot of hard slog. If they do 4 the tendency is to "relax" a bit more.

crazycarol Thu 15-Aug-13 22:00:18

Assuming the Bs were Int 2 and the 2s were standard grades. there is nothing to be gained by taking one of the standard grade subjects at Int 2. Int 2 is the same as a credit pass (1 or 2) at standard grade.

Although there is a lot to be said for doing less subjects and doing them really well rather than speading yourself thinly. Perhaps an idea to look at some of the courses that he is maybe interested in and see what grades they are looking for and work from there.

When I was at school (a few years ago!) most of my cohort sat 6 Highers - I did and passed them all (some better than others!). My dd and her cohorts have just sat 5 Highers as the norm.

Jacaqueen Fri 16-Aug-13 09:04:20

Thanks for all your thoughts.

I didn't know that Int 2 had the same 'points' as a credit pass Standard Grade. No point in doing that then.

I sat my Highers in 1986.

He seems adamant that he wants to try for 5 so I will let him get on with it.

chocoluvva Fri 16-Aug-13 11:56:17

Choose his subjects with care perhaps. Quite a few of my DD's friends who got AAAAB or AAAAC got the B or C for either English or Maths.

Some highers have more course work that needs to be submitted than others, if that's a consideration. English, modern languages, modern studies, RMPS, music; all have assessed course work - not sure about other subjects.

It's sooo complicated now isn't it?

Busybeingbusy Fri 16-Aug-13 14:20:31

There would be no harm sitting with him in a few weeks' time and ascertaining any key deadlines when assessments/ NABS/ essays etc have to be handed in for each of his five subjects.

If you know when his school wants his English folio essays done by , early January for example, then you can ban him from going out offer him encouragement.

School websites all follow roughly the same format these days. Look under each of the departments and see if there is any info. Although to be honest it might not be up as school is just back so maybe do that in September.

Also the SQA Higher exam timetable for 2014 has already been published so at least you can know now when his big exams are and find out potentially if any are 'back to back'. Not that you can change it...

Your school might also do a parents' info evening on 'how to support your children in senior school'. They will also give details of any Saturday or Easter School initiatives that they do and the after school help desks that are available.

2rebecca Mon 19-Aug-13 23:23:31

Engineering is quite competitive so I'd go for 5. He can always drop one if he's struggling but he may find it easier with just his 5 strongest subjects. He can then resit any he misses in 6th year if he's not going for 3 advanced highers. A B at Int 2 is equivalent to a 1 at standard grade from what we were told.

cfeconfused Thu 20-Mar-14 13:25:07

Hi Are you aware that in the year 2014/15 S6 pupils will be sitting the new higher under CfE and not the higher to the standard to which they have been taught since year 1. There will be gaps in their learning that the current S4 pupils, also taking the new higher in 2014/15, will not have. There will also, in most cases, be no opportunity to re-sit exams failed in S5.

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