These are exams taken exclusively in Scottish schools. Highers are designed to be taken at age 17, in the fifth year (S5), one year after S-grades; Advanced Highers in the sixth year (S6). Some S6 pupils may take additional Highers in subjects they have not previously studied.
Four or five good Higher grades are needed for a place at university in Scotland, where students traditionally go to university a year earlier than they do in England (although this practice is decreasing in popularity). Pupils who want to go south of the border will, in addition, need to take Advanced Highers or A-levels. Both are now included in the national tariff points system so that their value in terms of university entrance requirements is more clearly defined.