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A common factor

The overall performance of Higher candidates was good, with about half scoring between 50 per cent and 70 per cent.

Pupils continue to be dogged by difficulties in applying trigonometric equations.

Markers found that: "While factorising a complete quadratic was competently handled, many candidates had forgotten how and when to take out a common factor."

This technique should be revised at all appropriate stages, they advised.

Comments on the Advanced Higher paper were favourable, with markers complimenting candidates on their good grasp of the basic calculus topics. Nevertheless, they warned that many candidates had lost marks for poor algebraic and arithmetic skills and untidy work.

In the applied maths Advanced Higher paper, statistics candidates performed better than mechanics candidates; overall, candidates did particularly well in the pure maths Section B of the exam. Candidates found no areas particularly demanding, but there was still "considerable vagueness in the use of statistical language and the stating of model assumptions".

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