Music at National 4/5, New Higher and Advanced Higher

National 5 assessment is changing from Session 2017–18, with Higher to follow in 2018–19 and Advanced Higher in 2019–20. Where you previously had to pass three internally-assessed units in addition to taking external Performing and Question Paper (Understanding Music) exams, all Nat 5 course assessment will now be external. The Performing and Question Paper exams remain, but their 60% and 40% marks will be scaled to count 50% and 35% respectively of your course award, with a new 15% Composing Skills assignment also to be externally marked.

The three units remaining at Nat 4 and (for Session 2017–18 only) Higher are:

  • Music: Performing Skills
  • Music: Composing Skills
  • Understanding Music

The additional course assessment for Higher consists of a Performing exam and another (‘Question Paper’) testing your Mandatory Concepts, whereas at Nat 4 you simply have to complete an extra ‘Added Value’ unit (a performance like the Nat 5 exam, but not in front of a visiting examiner and requiring some additional self-assessment of how you’ve done).

For Advanced Higher, ‘Understanding Music’ becomes ‘Understanding and Analysing Music’ and you now have the choice of Performing exam or Composing folio, but you still also need your three unit passes and Question Paper for your overall course award.

Please note that, unlike some subjects where you may be completing one unit before starting another, your three Music units will be simultaneous with all three likely to be completed later in the year.