Coronavirus: Pass rates rise as Scottish pupils discover the grades given to them after exams cancelled | UK News

Coronavirus: Pass rates rise as Scottish pupils discover the grades given to them after exams cancelled | UK News

Exam results have been published in Scotland, showing an increase in pass rates.

About 138,000 Scottish pupils have been finding out the results of their Nationals, Highers and Advanced Higher courses today after an exam-free year.

This year’s results are based on estimates from their teachers after exams across the UK were cancelled, as schools closed when the country went into lockdown in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Results showed the National 5 pass rate was 81.1%, the Higher pass rate was 78.9% and the Advanced Higher pass rate was 84.9%.

In 2019, the National 5 pass rate was 78.2%, the Higher pass rate was 74.8% and the Advanced Higher pass rate was 79.4%.

Three out of every four grade estimates were not adjusted by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA).

Around 133,000 entries were adjusted from the initial estimate, around a quarter of all entries, and 6.9% of these were adjusted up and 93.1% were adjusted down, with 96% of all adjusted grades changed by one grade.

Scottish Highers are the Scottish equivalent to A-Levels. Pupils also should have been sitting exams in National 5 (N5) subjects this year, the Scottish equivalent of the GCSE.

Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive their grades for A-levels on 13 August and GCSEs on 20 August.

Youngsters across Scotland started to find out how well they have done from around 8am.

It comes after several months of homeschooling through lockdown.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sent out a message of support to those anxiously waiting for their results.

She tweeted on Monday night: “Thinking of all the young people across Scotland waiting for results tomorrow.

“The last few months have been so tough for you, so whatever tomorrow brings, well done! And remember, there are always options open to you. Good luck to you all.”

Speaking after the results were published, deputy first minister John Swinney paid tribute to students, teachers and the SQA, who he said worked hard “in the face of an incredibly tough few months”.

“We can today celebrate the achievements of all learners,” he said. “Young people have received awards that recognise their hard work and allow them to move onto the next stage in their lives.”

A total of 28,970 students from Scotland have been accepted into university or college through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), up 220 on exam results day last year.

UCAS said that of those accepted, 28,240 will be studying in Scotland – an increase from 27,880 in 2019.

Students who do not get the grades they want have a number of options including appealing the decisions and clearing, which is how universities and colleges fill places they still have.

Skills Development Scotland is running a free results helpline offering careers advice, information and guidance on 0808 100 8000 from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and between 9am and 5pm on Thursday and Friday.

More information can also be found at the website

Last week Mrs Sturgeon confirmed schools in Scotland will reopen from 11 August.

She said some schools may opt for a phased return, but all pupils are expected to return to the classroom full-time by 18 August.

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