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Unobscured view

The Higher exam was "absolutely brilliant", according to Eastbank Academy's Stewart MacDonald.

"It was the way an exam paper should be," said the principal teacher at the Glasgow school, who was pleased to find nothing that was "obscure" and had not figured in the exam paper for several years.

He did, however, feel that the questions on population in Paper 1, which concentrated entirely on census issues, could have been widened out perhaps to address world population.

In the rural section, Mr MacDonald was pleased to see candidates given the chance to display their knowledge of rainforests - a topic they are likely to have studied extensively before even reaching Higher level. Those tackling a biosphere question on soil formation, meanwhile, were helped by the inclusion of a soil profile - something that is not always provided.

The hardest question, Mr MacDonald felt, was one on atmosphere, a technical topic that students would not have encountered before Higher level. Even in this case, however, the information provided and the layout were simpler than in the past.

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