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What Every 14-16 year old in Scotland Does
Scottish Qualification Authorities Standard Grade
Member Name: scotlandizdabest
Scottish Qualification Authorities Standard Grade
Advantages: Excellent course, very useful, sets you up for life
Disadvantages: Can be very hard work
What Is A Standard Grade?
The Scottish education system is quite bit different to others in the UK. It is basically the GCSE of Scotland. It is studied by 3rd and 4th years at High School with the ages from 14-16. They are usually 2 year course but I have seen them being condensed into one year course, then allowing an extra year for Higher (AS Level.) Now my best friend is from Yorkshire, so she was able to inform me about GSCE's and AS Levels which is handy. So it is the first certificated level of entry which usually allows entry into colleges and the step to Higher Education courses.
What Courses Can You Take?
Everyone has to do English and Maths. It is compulsory which makes sense as those are possibly the most important subjects, no matter where you are. There is a big range of subjects avaliable but it does vary on where you live and what school you go to.
Sciences: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technological Sciences and Home Economics.
Social Subjects: History, Geography, Modern Studies, Religious Studies, Classics and Economics.
IT: Computing Studies, Accounting, Administration and Business Management.
Languages: French, Spanish, Scot's Gaelic, German, Italian, Urdu and Russian.
Arts: Drama, Art, Music, Graphics and Craft And Design.
Others: P.E, Woodwork, Engineering and Sports Studies
It does vary from school to school. Like if you live up north your much more likely to do Scot's Gaelic. Urdu and Italian for example aren't avaliable at my school but are more likely to be taught in Urban high schools. But there is a big variety to choose from so you get to pick 6 subjects to study and get Maths and English compulsory. So over two years you study 8 subjects at standard grade level.
When I first started my Standard Grades the grading system did confuse me a lot. Basically how it works is you can't really 'fail' it. You get levels which are categorised into Credit, General and Foundation. It is graded by a 1 to a 7.
Credit- 1 and 2
General- 3 and 4
Foundation- 5 and 7
Credit is the highest you can achieve with a one being like an A is some respects. A 7 however is not a fail it is just basically showing you have done the course but haven't really learnt much from it. You can get a UPO which is as near as a fail as you can get. Most people will be aiming for Generals and Credits, as these can be used to get into Higher courses and college. All through your 2 years of study you will be tested to see what you estimate grade will be. This is then used to find out which papers you should sit.
Everyone on the course will sit the general then optional Credit or Foundation paper. For potential Credit students, the General paper is a safety net incase of a problem in the final exam. A very good idea as I found out in my prelim. A prelim in the exam you sit before your final exam, again as a safety net. I didn't do very well in my Physics and Computing Prelims and didn't achieve what I wanted but it is good to see what I did wrong so I don't do it again for the final exam. The grading system overall is a bit confusing but very good and fair, allowing candidates the chance to get as best grades as they can.
Well, Standard Grades are the first taste of real work. My favouite subject I discovered was History and really enjoyed learning about the Russian Revolution and World War 1. I did take all three sciences, just to see if it was the route for me but then found I didn't really enjoy Biology or Physics very much. I did really like Chemistry however. You get tested in each subject around every month, this doesn't just have to be a class test, sometimes a homework or even a project.
I really enjoyed a majority of the classes. Some days, I didn't want to be there etc, but that is just when I have an off day. Sometimes we went on trips, if you see some of my reviews, like Botanical Gardens, Scottish Parliament and the Lake District. These were excellent, and very helpful. I thought they were very good courses and i'm glad I took, what I did.
Well I only got my exam results in July so it is still pretty fresh in my mind. I actually got mine by text message, although it also came by post. You can sign up through this service, incase your on holiday etc which I thought was a very good idea. It gave you a basic breakdown of what you got. So when I screamed out of happiness you can maybe see why...
Home Ec- 1
I was so happy with my results, all credits! All my friends got roughly what they wanted, some even got more, expecting general grades then get credits. This lets me get into Higher courses, or if I wanted to, College courses. I was wanting to do my Highers first and try for university however. So was overall very happy with my results.
Well every 14-16 year old at High School in Scotland does sit their Standard grades which is such a useful part of education. If you have Credit or General Standard Grades you now have so many pathways you could follow. Whether it be an apprenticeship, college, higher education and much more. After 16 a student can leave school if they want to which I'm not personally planning to do, so I will be disappearing for a while, with my highers.
It's really nice to write about something that has been such a big part of my life and hopefully my highers will be well and I will be off to University next year, actually that is a really scary thought...!
P.S. Just a quick thanks to everyone who has supported and given me advice education wise through out my time on DooYoo, also I dedicate this review to Jordan2493 who is currently studying his Standard Grades, good luck!
Copyright of Scotlandizdabest 2008- On DooYoo
Summary: Excellent, opened up so many oppertunities!
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