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Scottish Higher Papers (and setting the summer exams)

Somebody somewhere recently pointed out to me that the level at which physics is studied for the 'Highers' in Scotland is really quite comparable to the Leaving Cert, and that it was a great source of questions for those of who feel we know the Leaving Cert past papers too well. Or - as is often the case with me - for those of us who can't remember which Leaving Cert Questions we have previously used with a specific group.

So I spent a little bit of time pouring over some at this link, and there really is quite an overlap - both in content and in problem-solving style.

I really like the question shown in the image above. It ties Newton's Laws and Joule's Law together and also gives students a nice exercise in Vector resolution. And it starts at a reasonable level and then grows in complexity as the question continues - allowing everybody a chance to get a few marks, while still challenging the strongest.

I sort of like the question in the image below too - though I'd be a bit afraid that it might give students some not-to-be-encouraged ideas!

It certainly looks like a treasure trove, what with summer exams to be set at some stage over the next few weeks...

The full paper I'm looking is here: NH_Physics_all_2018.pdf (

And this is the site (where if you scroll down, marking schemes can also be found): SQA - NQ - Past papers and marking instructions

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