Exams

The Glasgow Academy has a tradition of fostering academic excellence and we are proud of our pupils’ achievements - not least their record Higher pass rates for three years running (the highest of any independent school in West Scotland in 2017 at 97.2%, pre-review (rising to 97.36% post-review). Our results in SQA examinations are among the best in the country.

As an independent school, The Academy is free to choose courses of study which we consider to be most beneficial for our pupils. We combine traditional teaching methods with the best of modern techniques. You can see details of courses studied at each level of the Senior School in the Department pages of this site.

Pupils are usually presented for exams in eight subjects at National 5 and five subjects at Higher. However, a number of pupils achieve six or sometimes seven Highers.

Our pupils have won awards for gaining the highest mark in the country: in 2016 Alasdair Forrest gained the highest mark in the country for Advanced Higher Chemistry and was presented with the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Prize for Chemistry Advanced Higher at the 'Science and the Parliament' event at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

In 2016 our pupils gained record Higher and Advanced Higher pass rates, as well as our best A grade rate at National 5.

The Higher pass rate at S5 was 96.97% - 0.8% ahead of the previous year's record high. 39 girls and boys gained 5 or 6 A grades at Higher. In contrast, the national percentage of candidates passing Higher exams dipped slightly in 2016, from 79.2% to 77.2%. Also in contrast to growing national and international concerns about underperformance of boys, our 2016 S4 and S5 boys' pass rates were fractionally ahead of our girls' and our S4 boys gained a superb 82.7% A grade rate at National 5. At National 5 our overall A grade rate was 81.6%. The pass rate was 97.9%.  At Advanced Higher our pass rate was 93.6% and 11 pupils gained 3 or 4 A grades.

In 2017 our Higher pass rate was a record high for the third year running, rising to 97.36%.  41 Academy girls and boys gained 5 or more A grades at Higher. (In contrast, nationally the Higher pass rate fell again, to 77.0%.)  67.3% of Academy Higher entries were awarded A grades this year (compared to 28.7% nationally). 

At National 5, the pass rate was 95.9%. 71.1% of Academy entries gained A grades (compared to 37.1% nationally).  Amongst high-performing departments, Drama, Hospitality and Latin gained 100% A grades.

At Advanced Higher, the pass rate was 90.2%. 51.1% of Academy entries were awarded A grades (compared to 31.7% nationally). 

We congratulate all our pupils who worked hard for their exams.

Around 95% of our pupils go on to study degree courses on leaving The Academy and in 2016 one leaver who had gained 6 A grades at Higher opted to become our first modern apprentice.