The pass rate for Scotland’s Higher qualifications has dropped from last year – after a full timetable of exams returned for the first time since before the pandemic.
More than 100,000 pupils across Scotland began to receive their results on Tuesday.
Attainment of A to C grades was 78.9%, according to figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).
That is down from 87.3% last year, and from 89.3% in 2020, when teacher judgments were used instead of exams.
However, it is slightly up from 2019 – the last time there was a full exam timetable – when it was 74.8%.
There was a similar picture at Advanced Higher level, with those attaining A to C grades coming in at 81.3% – down from 90.2% in 2021 and 93.1% in 2020. In 2019, the pass rate was 79.4%.
For National 5 qualifications, the pass rate was 80.8%, down from 85.8% in 2021 and up from 78.2% in 2019.
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The percentage of A grades at Higher level was 34.8% this year – down 12.8 percentage points from last year.
There has been extra support to acknowledge the continuing influence of COVID-19.
More than two million exam papers have been marked by almost 6,000 teachers and lecturers.
A more generous approach to grading has been adopted this year compared to before the pandemic and a free appeals service is available.
“This is one of the strongest-ever sets of results for any exam year, which is particularly impressive given the significant challenges learners have faced as a result of the pandemic,” said Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scotland’s education secretary.
“It is important to note, though, that although 2022 saw a return to exams, it was not a return to normality.
“The approach to exams reflected the disruption to teaching and learning that young people faced and a wide-ranging package of support and modifications was put in place.”