The results are in!

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Pupils all across Scotland, Kincardine and Mearns received their SQA examination results this past Tuesday August 6.

Students will have been eagerly awaiting the post early on Tuesday with results for Standard Grades and Highers posted to them.

Results published by the Scottish Government have shown an increase in pass rates across the board from Advance Higher to Access 3.

Higher results show that 74 pupils across Aberdeenshire received news of five straight A passes at Higher grade with Banchory Academy topping the results with 20 students achieving this grade.

Aberdeenshire’s overall Higher exam pass rate rose for the third successive year. For the 2,600 students who sat Higher examinations, the overall pass rate has risen to 78%, up from 77% in 2012 and 76% in 2011.

The pass rates at Intermediate 1 also improved compared with last year (up from 78% to 82%), and at Intermediate 2 and Advanced Higher levels it remained stable at 80%.

At Standard grade, whilst the overall pass rate remained at 99%, at Credit level there was a small drop of less than 1% to 49%.

Around 2,600 pupils sat Higher exams in 38 different subjects, including English, Maths, Languages (including, for the first time Mandarin), Science, Sociology, Photography, Russian and Health & Food Technology.

Over 2,800 students took 15,500 Standard Grade exams in 26 subjects, while more than 4,000 pupils sat 8,000 Intermediate 1 and 2 qualifications in 40 subjects ranging from English and Maths to Lifestyle and Consumer Technology and Creative Cake Production.

Vice chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee Councillor Ron McKail added: “The education system in Aberdeenshire ensures that our pupils consistently achieve excellent grades across the board.

“Aberdeenshire’s bright and talented young people will now enter academia and industry and form an important part of our thriving economy.”

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance has congratulated the 151,000 candidates who sat exams this year, as well as emphasising that there is help available for those who hadn’t achieved what they’d hoped.

Ms Constance said:“The wait for tens of thousands of Scotland’s pupils and their families is finally over, and I am delighted that so many have come out with strong grades, leaving them well positioned for whatever they choose to do next.

“The exam pass rates are building on a solid record of achievement, meaning that today is a time for celebration.

“Record pass rates in a set of rigorously assessed exams confirm Scotland’s strong record in attainment and I wish the class of 2013 the very best of luck in their next steps, be it another year in school, or moving on to college, university, training or employment.

“For those young people out there who haven’t got what they had hoped for, did even better, or who are simply unsure what to do next, there is help available.

“The Skills Development Scotland exam results helpline on 0808 100 8000 offers dedicated advice on potential next steps.

“We have guaranteed every 16 to 19 year old the offer of a place in education or training, and I am working hard to ensure as many employers as possible are making young people their business in the ongoing difficult economic climate.

“Standard Grades have served our young people well for their academic and working lives since the 1980s.

“However, the introduction of National 4 and 5 courses next year are a fundamental part of Curriculum for Excellence, meaning that young Scots will be better prepared than ever to succeed in learning, life and work.”

UCAS has told the Leader that it is not the end of the world if you didn’t get the results you needed with other options available if you wish to study at university.

Steve Jeffree, Chief Operating Officer at UCAS offered this advice to applicants: “If you achieve the results you need for your chosen course, then you’ll see your place has been confirmed when you log in.

“If you haven’t been accepted at your firm or insurance choice, there are a number of options open to you, including Clearing.

“Clearing is open to anyone who is without a place on results day, for whatever reason. You can find detailed guidance about the Clearing process on the UCAS website, along with the courses that have vacancies.

“It’s important to be flexible when looking at the alternatives, and to research the requirements properly.