How Grades Work in Canadian Universities

Oh, Canada! You wonderfully polite, hockey-playing, healthcare having, “oot and aboot” country. Why are your grading systems so complicated?

Dependent on region, university and form of education, the Canadian grading systems are a combination of percentage, GPAs and letter grades. This makes the question “What grade did you get?” a whole other essay and a math exam on its own.

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In Canada, the grading system depends on the state you’re in

Canada is part of North America, and, to better understand what grades will apply to your study programme, you should simply get a map. Depending on the territory your future university is based in, you can figure out by yourself the way your grades will be converted and what constitutes “fail” or “pass”.

The Canadian territories are:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon
The grading system in Alberta

It is customary for universities situated in Alberta to let the teacher or each institution settle the way letter grades convert in percentages. For instance, an A+ can be translated as a 4.0 grade point at the University of Alberta, SAIT Polytechnic, MacEwan University, or University of Calgary, while, for the rest of the territory, it converts with 4.3.

Other universities use a nine-point grading scale, where 9 = A+, 8 = A or A-, 7 = B+ or B, and so on.

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You should check the grading system of your university prior to applying, but only if you have a curiosity that can’t be quenched. No grading system will ever provide you with a huge mark for nothing. I’m sorry, students everywhere, but that’s the truth.

Some of the universities that can be found in Alberta are:

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The grading system in British Columbia

The only sure thing in life in British Columbia are death, taxes, and F means you failed.

Yes: even faculties within the same university sometimes follow other grading systems when it comes to converting letter marks into percentages.

You can apply to great online Masters at Royal Roads University in British Columbia.

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The grading system in Manitoba

In Manitoba, the main grading system is based on a student’s GPA, so the formula has to be ingrained in your memory more than that catchy song you once heard on the radio.

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The grading system in Newfoundland and Labrador

Just like in British Columbia, the sole failing mark is an F. Apart from that, all is fair in love, war, and grading systems.

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The grading system in Nova Scotia

For Nova Scotia, the easiest way to convert grades is by following the table below. Other than that, we can only wish you good luck and a lot of patience.

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The grading system in Ontario

Ontario, the region in which the capital, Ottawa, is located, officialised all forms of grading systems. Yes, you read that right: Ottawa is the capital of Canada, not Toronto.

Also, yes. The University of Ottawa uses letter grades, numerical values, and percentages. Because, why not?

If this puts you off the University of Ottawa, you can always check other universities in Ontario, such as:

You can also apply to great online Masters at York University in Ontario.Grading system at the University of Ottawa.jpg
The grading system in Quebec and New Brunswick

If we could pinpoint a scale that sums up and has the most in common with the other scales of the other territories, then this one is it.

There are a lot of variations, of course: some universities have the F mark, as well, other universities use a 4.3 scale, instead of the 4.33, and so on.

If you’re curious what other grading systems you can find in Quebec and New Brunswick, you can always check out:

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The grading system in Saskatchewan

The territory of Saskatchewan, although it is the most difficult to pronounce, it has, probably, the easiest grading system. The universal consensus across faculties and universities is the use of a percentage. And that’s it!

Grading system in Saskatchewan.jpg

Thank you, University of Saskatchewan. Thank you!

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