National 5 English: A critical essay will only be written for the first section of the Critical Reading Paper (Paper 2 in the exam). The Scottish Qualification Authority assess critical essays out of 20 marks in this section. These marks are combined with other parts of the same paper, the U,A,E paper and the folio to give the final grade for National 5: A, B, C, (D - FAIL).
Higher English: The SQA assess all Higher English essays out of 25. Higher English essays can only receive an odd mark (13, 15, 17 etc). The critical essays written in the exam are combined with the Close Reading grade and two folio pieces to produce a final percentage. This percentage dictates the final grade.