Today around 138,000 Scottish pupils have been finding out the results of their Nationals, Highers and Advanced Higher courses today after an exam-free year.

The overall results show a rise in pass rates despite almost 125,000 grades being lowered by the exams body.

Exams were cancelled for the first time in history this year as schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This year’s results showed the National 5 pass rate was 81.1%, the Higher pass rate was 78.9% and the Advanced Higher pass rate was 84.9%. Three out of every four grade estimates were not adjusted by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA).

Results were calculated using estimates made by teachers based on the pupil’s performance over the school year.

However, a national moderation system meant that many pupils received lower grades than originally estimated.

Around 133,000 entries were adjusted from the initial estimate, around a quarter of all entries, and 6.9% of these were adjusted up and 93.1% were adjusted down, with 96% of all adjusted grades changed by one grade.

Opposition politicians have warned that there will now be a “deluge” of appeals”, and accused the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) of treating the professional judgement of teachers with “contempt” by changing so many grades.

The SQA said its moderation process had ensured “fairness to all learners” and maintained “standards and credibility” in the qualification system.

Scottish school pupils traditionally find out their results earlier than those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who will receive their grades for A-levels on 13 August and GCSEs on 20 August.

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