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Dramatic improvement

Teething problems in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) qualifications appear to have been largely resolved.

Intermediate 2 and Higher qualifications were offered for the first time last year, and pass rates were below 50 per cent for both.

The poorest results came from those sitting the exam abroad, all of whom were Chinese candidates hoping to attend university in Scotland. The Scottish Qualifications Authority admitted at the time that some candidates may not have been at the appropriate level.

This year, however, has seen dramatic improvement, particularly at Higher, where the pass rate jumped from 39.4 per cent to 81.2 per cent. The Intermediate 2 pass rate rose from 44.6 per cent to 59.1 per cent.

Interest in both qualifications also increased markedly. There were 287 Higher candidates (up 48 per cent from 193) and 467 Intermediate 2 candidates (up 19 per cent from 392).

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