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Easiest Highers vs Hardest Highers ranked: You'll be surprised which subjects they are!

Contents

  1. What are the easiest Highers?
  2. What are the hardest Highers to take?
  3. Should you pick the easiest Higher subjects or the hardest?

 

You must be excited if you're getting ready for your Highers and probably a little bit nervous too. It’s natural to feel like that and wonder which subjects you should choose. We’re going to list the easiest Higher subjects for you, some of the hardest, and give you some advice on how to pick your Highers. girl studying for highers

What are the easiest Highers?

 

We’re going to share the easiest Highers upfront but we want you to keep in mind that just going for the easiest Higher subjects doesn’t guarantee good grades. We’ll look at the factors in more detail after but crucial to the mix are your skill sets, passion, and motivation. 👍 

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) currently provides the statistics on Higher results from 2017 to 2021. The table below doesn’t contain all of the Higher subjects as we’re focusing on the easiest Highers, but you’ll find all of them on the SQA site. 

Here are the easiest Highers as determined by the percentage of students who attained an A-C in 2021:

Ranking based on 2021 results

Subject 

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

1

Latin

93

96

92

96

99

2

Chinese Languages

98

95

97

100

98

3

English for Speakers of Other Languages

90

91

85

98

97

4

Gàidhlig

81

91

91

98

97

5

German

90

89

90

98

97

6

Music

96

95

92

98

97

7

Dance

95

95

83

97

96

8

Urdu

96

96

98

99

96

9

Art and Design

84

84

81

96

95

10

Fashion and Textile Technology

83

83

75

95

95

11

French

87

87

87

97

95

12

Italian

92

92

90

100

95

13

Drama

82

83

79

95

94

14

Gaelic (Learners)

81

83

90

95

94

15

Music Technology

87

84

78

97

94

16

Spanish

89

84

83

96

94

17

Physical Education

86

87

88

94

93

18

Politics

75

72

84

92

93

19

Economics

81

85

80

92

92

20

Photography

86

87

79

94

92

21

Accounting

79

77

79

91

91

22

Administration and IT

76

78

78

92

91

23

Classical Studies

80

81

76

94

91

24

Graphic Communication

79

76

75

94

91

25

Media

61

67

69

90

91

26

Modern Studies

75

76

76

91

91

27

Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies

71

73

69

91

90

 

You may have looked at the table and noticed that a large percentage of students received an A to C in 2021 compared to 2019 and earlier years in many of the subjects. That’s thanks to the pandemic and the changes to assessment as a result of lockdowns and other restrictions in place. 

Having said that, it’s clear that just about all of the foreign language subjects have stayed consistent throughout. Students get good grades in languages, there’s no doubt about it. That doesn’t mean they’re ridiculously easy subjects. However, it’s clear what you need to do in the exams and assessment, and if you put the time in and learn all the content and practise then you can do well. 💪

Higher tutoring is very useful when it comes to languages because it will give you more practice speaking with an expert. They will help with pronunciation and improve your fluency overall. At GoStudent, we have qualified language tutors as well as tutors to cover every other subject. 

 

What are the hardest Highers to take?

 

Now you know what is the easiest SQA Higher to take, let’s look at five of the hardest Highers based on 2021 results. This data is also taken from the SQA site and reflects the percentage of students who attained Grades A to C.

Ranking based on 2021 results

Subject

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

1

Care

70

56

56

82

77

2

Human Biology

71

70

69

84

77

3

Biology

72

74

73

85

78

4

Environmental Science

57

65

68

89

80

5

Mathematics

74

75

72

83

80

 

 

Should you pick the easiest Higher subjects or the hardest?

 

Your main consideration should be your future at this stage. Next year, you’ll be taking Advanced Highers or going to university, if your plan is to keep studying. The next step after this is your career. You need to match the right subjects to your chosen path and some of these may not be your favourite but requirements by an institution you wish to study at.  

Most students take four to five Highers so pick yours wisely and try not to be swayed by the easiest Higher if it doesn’t interest you or isn’t relevant to your future. You’ll be more motivated to study if you like a subject and/or are talented in it. 😃

For any subjects that you find challenging or you just want to get the best grades possible, there’s always tutoring. At GoStudent, we have dedicated Higher tutors who can give you the support you need, online. Class times are flexible and you’ll enjoy learning over our interactive platform. Plus, you can record your classes if you want to and use these for extra revision. 

If you’d like to try a class and see how powerful a private lesson can be, your first lesson is on us! Good luck with all of your studies, we know you’ll do great.

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