Beyond their capabilities

30th November 2007 at 00:00
One in five candidates sitting Higher modern studies this year failed.

Markers concluded that "there continues to be evidence of candidates being presented for Higher for whom Intermediate 2 might have been a better option".

The number of candidates sitting Higher modern studies dropped from 7,154 in 2006 to 7,025 this year. Markers advised that performance might be enhanced in Paper 1 if teachers ensured that:

- candidates were aware of the importance of time management;

- candidates were given clarification of what is an acceptably succinct conclusion - otherwise they self-penalise.

In Paper 2, candidates might do better if:

- a report style was encouraged;

- "from my background knowledge" inserts discouraged;

- they used past papers to identify and source references for integrating background knowledge into the report;

- they always commented on (rebutted) arguments against the chosen option.

At Advanced Higher, the picture was more positive. The number of candidates had increased, as had the average mark in the exam - where "few were out of their depth" - and the dissertation. Markers warned against overuse of sites such as Wikipedia, too much cutting and pasting, and a lack of referencing.

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