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Highers and Advanced Highers come under the spotlight this week in our review of principal assessor reports.

Comments range from the very positive to continued concerns over candidates being entered for the wrong level of exam, notably in computing and modern studies.

In Higher English, by far the biggest uptake subject at this level, markers suggested that the handwriting of some candidates was so poor that they should consider alternative arrangements.

Gill Stewart, deputy director for national qualifications at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, points out that this refers only to extreme cases where handwriting is "seriously weak" or can become so under exam pressure. On the positive side, Dr Stewart points out that markers have picked up on candidates' strong performance to analysis questions, which is evidence of "effective and systematic teaching". Analysis was also a strength in the modern studies papers, she says.

Although the maths papers throw up weaknesses in algebraic and arithmetic technique, in some cases there were excellent performances with great mathematical skills being displayed.

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