Higher candidates of all abilities showed a "significant improvement" in the quality of their answers across all areas, with the notable exception of prescribed practical activities.
There were fewer non-attempts, more evidence of rote-learning, and better layout and answers to calculation questions. "This is a continuation of the trend of recent years, a trend that has led to small but consistent moves in the direction of less negative national ratings for the subject," reported the principal assessor for the Higher paper.
Nevertheless, many questions that required recall of basic facts were still relatively poorly done by some candidates. Recall of some part of the Standard gradeIntermediate 2 content could be particularly poor, said the assessor's report.
Markers highlighted the poor performance in some of the PPA questions, saying that many answers suggested that candidates had "absolutely no experience" of this type of practical question. "Given that there are six marks in the paper for what is a relatively small part of the course, many centres could benefit from a review of the way that such practical work is approached and revised," said the report. A better performance in these questions could have lifted some candidates up a grade.
Teachers were advised to concentrate more on the quality of some candidates' diagrams.
The Advanced Higher paper showed an improvement on last year's performance, but the assessor echoed comments made in the Higher report about the need for revision for PPA questions.