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No tricks necessary

The Higher exam covers three units over two papers and its current format is in its second year, since being restructured in 2006.

Sally Haldane, a lecturer at Adam Smith College in Fife, thought the first paper - on child development and developmental theory - was very fair, as did her students. Not only did it give broad coverage of the syllabus, but it contained no tricks.

Section two, on holistic health, requires candidates to answer questions on case studies, representing children in real life situations. Again there were no tricks, said Mrs Haldane.

The exam was introduced in 2002 when it included a unit on behaviour, but this was dropped when it was restructured in 2006. "The new format is working well. It is much more focused on the topics covered in the syllabus," she said.

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