Standard Grade

From Academic Kids

Roughly equivalent to England's General Certificate of Secondary Education, Standard Grades form Scotland's examination system for students aged about 15-16 years. Standard Grade courses are taken over two years of schooling, 3rd and 4th Year, with the exams taken at the end of 4th Year.

There are three sub-levels at which Standard Grade exams can be taken, namely "Foundation Level", "General Level" and "Credit Level". At one sitting, students generally sit either the Foundation and General level papers together, or the General and Credit level papers together.

Students are awarded a numerical grade for each examination (which may consist of several papers) ranging from 1 (best) to 7 (worst). 1 and 2 correspond to Credit Level, 3 and 4 to General Level, 5 and 6 to Foundation Level, and 7 to "course completed" (effectively the same as a fail).

Standard Grades replaced the old 'O' Grade qualification in the early 1990s.

The Standard Grade system is now being slowly phased out in favour of the SQA's Higher Still system, as many, both children 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. Normally students will now be 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.

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