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Tight squeeze

The Higher physics paper was fair and reasonable, thought Ronna Montgomery, Institute of Physics network co-ordinator and teacher at Bearsden Academy in Glasgow.

But some candidates found themselves tight for time - which has not happened for a few years.

The multiple choice section held no surprises, but the written questions would have taken longer than usual because candidates were asked to provide more explanation than in the past.

The style of question has shifted, she said, from one where candidates were expected to supply the correct formula or equation, to one where the equation was supplied and candidates had to explain how they reached their answer.

The Advanced Higher was more difficult than last year's, containing more applications-led questions. For example, one of the questions was about the magnetic field round the earth - in the past, such questions would tend to be more laboratory-based.

"More lateral thinking was involved, rather than pure application of equations - again a reflection of the fact that the equations have been given to them," said Mrs Montgomery.

Pupils and other teachers had reported that the General paper was trickier than the Credit paper in Standard grade: "One colleague thought she was reading the wrong paper."

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