National Exam Results

The Glasgow Academy has a tradition of fostering academic excellence and we are proud of our pupils’ achievements.

Our results in SQA examinations are among the best in the country, which is all the more impressive given that we have an open entry policy and present pupils for a significantly greater number of Highers than many schools.

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 our website. 

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 in one sitting.

How did we do in the 2020?

At Higher, 79% of entries were awarded grade A with an overall pass rate of 99%.

At Advanced Higher, our pass rate was 97% with over 87% of pupils attaining an A or B grade.

At National 5, 81% of all Academy entries gained a grade A. Our overall pass rate was 99%.

A breakdown by subject and level can be viewed here




2019 Results

How did we do in 2019?

At Higher, we achieved our highest ever pass rate of 99% (nationally the pass rate was 74.8% down from 76.7% last year).

A record 48 Academy pupils achieved 5 or more A grades. 18 departments had a 100% pass rate and 12 departments achieved more than 70% A grade.

At Advanced Higher, the pass rate was 95% with a record number of entries for Advanced Higher (up 10% on last year), 49% of which were A grade.

At National 5, 54 Academy pupils achieved straight As with 77% of all Academy entries gaining a grade A. Our overall pass rate was 97% (the national pass rate was 78.1%)

2019 Results Post-review

2018 Results

At Advanced Higher our pass rate was a record 95.4%.

One pupil, Tim Chan, gained 5As at Advanced Higher, and won the SQA's Academic Excellence Award for the highest combined exam results in Scotland. Tim is also a shortlisted finalist in the British Education Awards.

Another pupil, Ritobrata Mukhopadhyay, gained the top mark in the country in Advanced Higher Maths and won the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Prize for that. Another pupil gained 4 As and 13 pupils gained 3 As.

All five of our pupils with Oxbridge offers gained their Oxford or Cambridge offers

At Higher, a record 47 Academy pupils have 5 or more A grades, with two pupils being awarded seven A grades and nine pupils gaining six A grades.  The pass rate was 96%.  (Nationally the pass rate was 76.8%.)  Eight subjects achieved more than 70% grade As.

At National 5, 80.2% of Academy entries gained A grades.  47 pupils achieved straight A grades. Our pass rate was 97.7%.  (Nationally the pass rate was 77.4%.)  14 subjects achieved 100% pass rate and a further four achieved above 95% pass rate. Drama and Latin achieved 100% grade As - the fifth year in a row that Drama has been awarded nothing less than A grades.

2018 Results Post-review

The table below shows our pupils' results alongside results of other Scottish independent schools (SCIS) and in schools across Scotland.






'A' Grades

'A' Grades

'A' Grades

National 5








Advanced Higher









Pass Rate (Grades A-C)

Pass Rate (Grades A-C)

Pass Rate (Grades A-C)

National 5








Advanced Higher









2017 Results

In 2017 our Higher pass rate was a record high for the third year running, rising to 97.36% - the best in the West of Scotland*.  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.

2017 Results Post-review

*The Herald 2017 Independent School Exam League Table

2016 Results

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.

2016 Results Post-review


The vast majority of our Sixth Year move on to study at university. 7% take a gap year first, 2% enter Further Education and the remainder go directly into employment/training.

85% of leavers gain places at Scottish universities, 13% at English universities and in the last two years we have had students go to universities in Trinidad, Maastricht, Florida on a tennis scholarship and Wake Forest, North Carolina on an athletics scholarship.