A QUEEN Anne High School pupil has hit out at the difficulty of this year's Higher Maths exam which he feels "may have just changed my life forever."

Dylan Jack, 16, was just one of 18,000 candidates who sat the SQA paper on Thursday last week and criticised the exam's questions.

A petition was launched online by angry and worried students demanding the pass mark be lowered.

Dylan, from Cairneyhill, told the Press that three students had to leave the exam hall due to "breaking down" during the test, with several others reduced to tears as they believed their university hopes had been dashed.

He said: "Everyone I talked to said they thought they failed, especially the second paper.

"It contained questions that had nothing to do with what we were taught in class, including finding the area of a chocolate box with a hole in the middle through means of algebra. I guess algebra, as I was unable to do it as we haven't been taught about the area of shapes for over two years. "There were equations that I typed into an equation-solver online that even the website could not solve.

"Around three people in the exam hall had to be escorted out due to them breaking down and I heard many people crying because they believed their dreams of going to university were over.

"I myself want to be a primary school teacher and need a B or above for my intended course. I achieved a B in all the past papers I did during study leave but I was unable to answer enough questions in the second paper to pass it."

He feels that the exam could have changed his life forever and knocked his and classmates' confidence for future exams.

He continued: "This paper may have just changed my life forever and may have ruined others. How are we going to do the best we can in future exams when our confidence has been shaken so badly?

"Not only do these ridiculous questions affect my confidence for other exams but I'm sure I would have been able to solve more acceptable questions (and there were barely more of them than unacceptable ones) if I had not spent so much of my time focusing on these high-marker nightmares."

The SQA say the exam was a "valid test" and those complaining over its difficulty are a "relatively low volume" of those who sat it.

A spokesperson said: “The 2019 Higher Mathematics question paper was a valid test of the subject, using content from across the course, giving candidates a fair opportunity to display and apply their knowledge and understanding. It was set in accordance with the course specifications and specimen question papers.

“External experts review papers to ensure the standards are consistent with previous papers and course expectations. Last week, more than 18,000 candidates sat Higher Mathematics and while we are aware of some discussion on social media, we would suggest this is of a relatively low volume.

“If an assessment is deemed to have been more or less demanding than anticipated, then grade boundaries may be adjusted accordingly, to ensure candidates' achievements are recognised and fair over time. This applies to all subjects.”