More Scottish pupils pass Highers than ever before

And they’re coming to uni

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A record number of schoolkids passed their Highers and Advanced Highers this year.

Nervous teens around the country are receiving life-changing grades today with the improved numbers meaning even more uni applicants.

UCAS figures from June already show 43,720 people living in Scotland applied to universities here –  the highest ever.

The number of people applying from abroad is also at its highest ever level.

Figures released by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) show there were 156,000 Highers passes overall –  up 5.5 percent on last year.

Similarly –  a record 18,889 passed Advanced Highers in a four per cent lift from 2014.

The most striking rises were in Higher English –  up 17.7 per cent and Modern Languages – up 15.2 per cent.

To pass the exam a pupil must get an A, B or C grade.

Using a new version of the qualifications at some schools and the old version at others saw some disparity in results however.

Some schools delayed the new-look Highers until this year when they will be used across the board.

107,295 pupils sat the new version while 92,555 sat the existing type.

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Of those who sat the new Highers, there was an overall 79.1 per cent pass rate. Those who sat the old version recorded a pass rate of 76.7 per cent.

The overall figure for 2014 was 77.1 per cent.

This years Higher Maths exam was found extremely difficult with over 13,000 pupils signing a petition against it.

The SQA then adjusted the grade boundaries accordingly, admitting it was harder than intended.

The overall pass rate for maths was 70.8 per cent, around the same as previous years.

Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning said: “This is another strong performance by Scotland’s young people. Students are performing particularly well in English and modern languages.

“Despite concerns about the new Higher maths exam, it is clear that the system worked, that candidates have been treated fairly and that standards have been maintained.

“This year we have already seen a record percentage of school leavers in employment, education or training.

“The figures show that qualifications recognising life and work skills are up a massive 22.9 per cent.This is very encouraging as we support schools to do more to prepare your young people for the world of work.”