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PE - Pupils go for gold

PE is a subject clearly on the up, with the Higher in very good health.

The number of candidates was up to 5,814 from 5,293 in 2009, and assessors expect the rise to continue next year. Markers suggested the standard of response from candidates, in all areas of the paper, was "much better" than in previous years.

Candidates were writing in more depth and detail and there was little sign of particular questions being more popular, as was the case in previous years. Less evidence was found, too, of pre-planned answers.

There was "clear evidence" that work to improve the accessibility of the paper had been successful, while support from professional development workshops and standards events made schools better able to prepare candidates for the written exam, for which there was an 8.3 per cent increase in the A-C rate.

On the downside, there was still evidence of candidates who appeared unsuited to Higher and answers to "discuss" questions that lacked depth.

All Standard grade papers were "very well received", it seemed. There was across-the-board improvement of grades and fewer unanswered questions, with a particular upturn for General.

Papers were no easier than in previous years, but wording of questions had been simplified and candidates given clear instructions. A "major factor" in improved performance may have been that Standard grade PE was the first exam in the 2010 diet.

"This may have been advantageous in that course concepts were still fresh in the candidates' minds and it was the first examination they had studied for," the assessors stated.

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