This year, fewer marks were available for multiple-choice questions and musical literacy featured more. Meanwhile, the Advanced Higher paper had "an additional emphasis on musical notation and literacy" and required more detailed knowledge of "upper-level musical concepts".
Markers for the Advanced Higher exam noted that "candidates from certain centres had not been prepared for new styles of questions". Those marking the Higher said that there were "issues for some centres in terms of adequate preparation for the new styles".
This, the markers said, had come about in spite of exemplar materials being issued to all centres, national training events being organised by SQA and a website being set up containing a wide range of training and assessment materials.
Teachers were criticised for failing to compile folios properly and adding to the "burden of work for all involved in marking".
Just under half (43 per cent) of pupils sitting Advanced Higher achieved an A grade.