Before applying to universities in Canada, it is important to know the grading system in the country so that you can get an idea of what to aim for when you start studying over there. This information is also important when you want to convert your native country’s grades to Canada’s grading system. Each of the ten provinces follows a different grading scale so if you are planning to move from one province to another, it is essential to convert your grade and see whether your grade is considered a good one in that region or not. For example, a ‘C’ grade might be a ‘D’ grade in another province so your success is relative in every area.
The grading system in Canada is a combination of percentage, GPA (Grade Point Average) and letter grades. Let’s understand that through this article.
Grading system in Quebec
The province of Quebec is home to renowned universities like McGill University, University of Montreal, Concordia University, etc. The passing percentage in all these universities is 60% or 64%, this means that if you get a ‘C’, you can pass the exam. Some professors can also pass you if you get a ‘C-’, that is, a percentage in the range of 56% to 59%. Different percentages indicate different levels of performance so you can look at the table below and understand the system better.
|Grade||Percentage||Level of performance|
Grading system in Alberta
The name of this province reminds you of the University of Alberta. It also includes other universities like MacEwan University, The King’s University, University of Calgary, Ambrose University, Mount Royal University, St.Mary’s University, etc. All these universities do not follow this as a rule and the percentages might translate into different GPAs at different institutes. For example, 4.0 is A+ at University of Alberta, AIT Polytechnic, MacEwan University, or University of Calgary but in the rest of the territory, it is 4.3. The marking system is not very different from Quebec’s universities but there are some variations that you should be aware of.
Grading system in British Columbia
The following grading system is followed in high schools, post secondary universities and colleges in British Columbia but even within universities, faculties follow different systems (different percentages convert to different grades) so you will have to check with your professor the passing and failing grades for your course. Some famous universities in this region are Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and University of British Columbia.
|I (Incomplete assignments)||0-49|
|W||Student has withdrawn from course|
|P||Student has passed but no grade available|
Grading system in Ontario
The capital of Canada, Ottawa is located in Ontario. Besides the University of Ottawa, University of Waterloo, Humber College, York University and University of Windsor are also in the same province. Ontario follows a numeric grading system from a scale of 0 to 10 instead of the regular 4.0 GPA scale followed normally. Have a look at the table below to understand better.
Grading system in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan has a standardised unanimously agreed upon percentage system and their corresponding description but the GPA can still vary. Some popular universities in the province are University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Campion College, etc.
Comparison with UK grading system
When it comes to grading assignments and exams, the grading system of Canada and the UK are pretty similar so students from the UK will not feel much of a difference when they shift to a Canadian university. However, UK universities use the following system to grade your performance when you finally get your degree:
- First-class Honours (1st)
- Second class Honours, upper division (2:1)
- Second class Honours, lower division (2:2)
- Third class Honours (3rd)
- Ordinary Degree (pass)
This information is important for an international student because you will know what to aim for when graduating.
Calculating your GPA before applying to Canada
International students are curious about this topic since they need to gauge how their GPA is viewed in the country they are going to move to. For Canada, you should convert your GPA to the system being followed by the province you are applying to. You will have to see whether they follow a GPA out of 4.0 or 9.0 and then calculate using this link.
Applying to a new country and estimating your career prospects can be a daunting process. Our mentors are here to help you power through this crucial step in your progress.