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School Exams Tuition

Step Ahead tutors provide individualised teaching tailored to the client's specific needs. Put simply this means one tutor working with one client on a one to one basis – working at their speed and in virtually all examinable subjects.

As is explained in detail on our web-site under “The Step Ahead Journey” - “Assessments,” it is our intention to ensure a tailored, effective study plan is implemented from the outset - saving you time and money in the long term - carried out by the most suitable tutor for your child.

Step Ahead aims to follow up assessments by making available the most appropriate tutor within 24 hours.

This ensures that students can achieve outstanding results – as evidenced by testimonials, emails and messages from hundreds of delighted clients!

Many students come to us – at different stages of their school lives – the wisest being those who give themselves ample time to achieve the best possible results!

At Step Ahead, we are committed to inspiring academic excellence, confidence and happiness in our students. We find that through focused, caring and highly skilled teaching we are able to unlock the unique talent, enthusiasm and potential that is in every student.

Each individual tutee works at an appropriate level based on her/his current attainment.

Many tutees will be gearing up for examinations at national levels ( Scottish Qualifications Authority's system) eg National or Higher Grades – as below - and towards the new Curriculum For Excellence.

Independent School Entrance Tests

Most independent schools require pupils to pass an entrance exam and, in particular, children making the move from state to private schooling may be unfairly under-prepared for the level of attainment required of them.

Even children of high academic ability may require support with preparation for independent school entry examinations.  For further information, please click here.

Scottish Primary and Lower Secondary School Tests

Under the 5 to 14 curriculum, children were working through a series of six levels, known as A to F, in up to 19 subjects ranging from languages and maths, to music and ICT. Each level had a test for English and maths but there were no formal regulations requiring each child to sit each test at each level, or when that test was sat.

Each test was intended primarily to confirm a teacher's judgement of a child's progress and knowledge, by sampling their knowledge and skills, rather than to put the child through a formal examination.

Scottish primary school children are expected to learn at different speeds, grouped within a class with children of the same aptitude.

The new Curriculum for Excellence aims to achieve a transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18.

The curriculum includes the totality of experiences which are planned for children and young people through their education, wherever they are being educated.


Scottish Secondary School Examinations

The purpose of the curriculum - the four capacities

The new curriculum is designed to help every learner develop knowledge, skills and attributes for learning, life and work, which are encapsulated in the four capacities.

The Standard Grade system has been phased out in favour of the Scottish Qualifications Authority's Higher Still system, as many, students and teachers alike felt that the jump from Standard Grade to Higher was too difficult, particularly in subjects such as English.

National 4 and 5 have replaced Standard Grade Foundation, General and Credit.

Success at National 4 allows pupils to then go onto Intermediate 2 in 5th year. National 4 exams will not involve external exasm. The qualification will be awarded on the basis of coursework and tests marked by the school.

Success at National 5 allows pupils to then go on to Highers in 5th Year.


National 4 and 5 Courses

Standard Grade had much to offer young people in S3 and S4 because, in nearly all subjects, courses were designed to match the needs of pupils of all abilities. The way this was achieved differed from subject to subject. For example, in mathematics, courses at three levels had been developed while, in English, the course is the same for all, but the skills to be acquired are differentiated.

Now pupils work on either National 4 or National in S3 and S4.  In National 5, pupils are assessed by a combination of internal and external means at or towards the end of the two-year course. Schools, in consultation with parents, advise pupils on the most appropriate examinations to take, based on past performance. .


Intermediate Courses

Though Intermediate 2 was equivalent to the Credit Level Standard Grade, there was an element of debate to this as it was perceived to be more difficult in some subjects, but less in others.

The Intermediate 2 courses are generally made up of 3 national units; the main exceptions are English, Physics, and French, with mandatory internal assessments in each. The courses all consist of 40 hours. Mandatory passes are needed in the internal assessments or NAB's National Assessment Bank to gain the overall Course Award. However internal assessments are minimum competence, and so many schools have introduced end-of-unit assessments to help stop complacency.


Higher and Advanced Higher Grade Courses

In Scotland the Higher is one of the national school-leaving certificate exams and university entrance qualifications of the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) offered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. It superseded the old Higher Grade on the Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE). Both are normally referred to simply as "Highers".

In 1999, a reform of the examination system known as "Higher Still" took place. In the process, a new style of Higher examination system was introduced in Scotland. The new Higher was designed to operate within a framework of qualifications known as National Qualifications.  This was designed to link the most basic examination offered by the SQA (Access 1) with the most difficult one (Advanced Higher) on a continuous "ladder of achievement".

Qualifications offered under the "Higher Still" framework have a common structure, typically consisting of a mixture of summative and formative assessment. Qualifications usually consist of units of work ending in a basic competency test that functions as an internal assessment (commonly known as a "NAB" as they are drawn from the National Assessment Bank), and a final terminal examination which serves to determine the final grade. In order to obtain a qualification, all the internal units for that qualification must be passed, and a passing grade must be obtained on the terminal examination. It is possible to sit the examination only, in which case "Exam Only" will be recorded on the Certificate. In some schools, all units must be passed (with two or less attempts) or the student is not be allowed to sit the final national exam.

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