The pass rate for students sitting school exams in Scotland has fallen from the record highs of the past two years, after formal exams returned for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
In Scotland’s Higher exams — the university entrance qualification that is roughly equivalent to A-levels in England and Wales — 78.9 per cent of pupils received an A to C pass grade this year.
The attainment rate was down from 87.3 per cent last year, when teacher assessments replaced formal exams, but higher than the 74.8 per cent in 2019.
A similar pattern was recorded in Scotland’s National Fives results, which are broadly equivalent to GCSEs in England and Wales, with attainment lying between 2021 and pre-pandemic levels.
The falling pass rate is a sign of the examination system gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels after two years of grade inflation.
Fiona Robertson, chief executive of Scottish exam regulator SQA, said that while this year marked a return to exams it…