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A fair challenge

Question 1, the compulsory question in the Higher accounting paper, covered club accounts - possibly a disappointment to those candidates who sit Higher without having done the Standard grade paper previously and who find this part of the syllabus difficult. However, the question contained no surprises and reflected what was an "extremely fair" paper, says Anne-Marie Struthers, principal teacher of business education at Balwearie High in Kirkcaldy.

Although she does not present pupils for Intermediate 2, Mrs Struthers reports that a number of teachers felt it was a very challenging paper, with some even suggesting that pupils would have done better sitting the Higher than Intermediate 2.

Standard grade accounts and finance was fair at all three levels, Foundation, General and Credit, says Mrs Struthers. However, the decision taken in 2003 to double marks - removing the need for awarding half-marks - may have left some candidates wondering if they had to do more to gain the allocated marks, she suggests.

Question 6c in the General paper may be a case in point. Despite making clear it is asking pupils to identify three methods to raise a mortgage, the allocation of six marks may have been slightly off-putting for some.

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