Academic grading in Canada

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Academic grading in Canada varies by province, level of education (e.g., elementary, secondary, and tertiary), by institution, and faculty. The following are commonly used conversions from percentage grades to letter grades, however, this is not necessarily meaningful, since there is not a uniform scheme for assigning percentage grades either.

Academic grading[edit]

British Columbia[edit]

This is the system of grading used by grade schools and high schools in BC. Each University has its own way of marking.

Letter Percent
A 86%–100%
B 73%–85%
C+ 67%-72%
C 60%–66%
C- 50%–59%
F (fail) 0%–49%
I (incomplete) 0%–49%
W withdrawn
P Passed

I = Incomplete- Missing assignments

F = Fail- Received grade under 50%

W = The student has withdrawn from this course

P = The student has passed this course though a grade is not available (usually occurs when switching schools/grading systems ie. moving from the US)


In Alberta, academic grading follows a scale of letter grades (A through D), sentences to describe how well one's performance is to the curricular tasks expected of them, and percentages which are typically reserved for high school, college, and university students. These percentages vary from faculty to faculty in universities, as well as among different universities. In most post-secondary institutions, percentages are mainly a suggestion, and not a hard grading system, and even some individual classes can have large deviations from the norm (such as anything below an 80 being a C+ or lower). Letter grades are not used at all in francophone schools; only percentages are used. In francophone schools, from grades 1–9, as well as kindergarten, an alternative grading system is used instead of percentages and letter grades: numbers 1 to 4 are used, with 4 being excellent, 3 being good, 2 being acceptable, and 1 being poor.

Note: not all schools utilize a +/- system when giving grades. Some just give the generic grade.

Letter Percent
A+ 90%–100%
A 85%–89%
A- 80%–84%
B+ 75%–79%
B 70%–74%
B- 65%–69%
C+ 60%–64%
C 56%–59%
C- 50%–55%
D 0%–49%

A: 80%–100% (student has demonstrated exemplary performance related to learning outcomes)

B: 65%–79% (student has demonstrated a proficient performance related to learning outcomes)

C: 50%–64% (student has demonstrated an adequate performance related to learning outcomes )

D: 0%-49% (student has demonstrated a limited performance related to learning outcomes)

IEA: Insufficient Evidence Available: indicates that the teacher of a particular course has not gathered enough evidence of a student's learning and thus, cannot give a grade for said student.

WDR: Withdrawal: indicted the student has withdrew from a particular course and thus, is given no grade because of it.

AMP: Academic Malpractice: Indicates that the student was placed in an incorrect class, whether it be by not having the pre-requiste or did not request the class upon registration. No mark is given.

P: Pass: indicates that the student has achieved the bare minimum grade to pass the class granted by a teacher due to reasons beyond the students control. A grade of P translates into a 50% when used to calculate averages for university or college admission.

A mark of 0%–49%, or a D and under, is a failure for a class and is typically given for high school and post-secondary students only, but can be given to junior high students too, but isn't typically done. A failing grade will also result in not earning credits for an Alberta High School Diploma or for any subject taken in post-secondary, and typically means the student will more than likely repeat the course.


The grading standards for public elementary and secondary schools (including secular and separate; English and French first language schools) is set by the Ontario Ministry of Education and includes letter grades and percentages. In addition to letter grades and percentages, the Ministry of Education also uses a level system to marks its students. The four levels correspond to how students are marked on the Ontario rubric. The following is the levels on the Ontario rubric, its meaning, and its corresponding letter/percentage grades:

  • Level 4, beyond government standards (A; 80 per cent and above)
  • Level 3, at government standards (B; 70–79 per cent)
  • Level 2, approaching government standards (C; 60–69 per cent)
  • Level 1, well below government standards (D; 50–59 per cent)

The grading standards for A-letter grades changed in September 2010 to coincide with a new academic year. The new changes require a higher percentage grade by two or five points to obtain an A or A+ respectively.

Letter Level[note 1] Percent
(until August 2010)[1]
(since September 2010)[2]
A+ 4 90%–100% 95%–100%
A 85%–90% 87%–94%
A- 80%–84% 80%–86%
B+ 3 77%–79%
B 73%–76%
B- 70%–72%
C+ 2 67%–69%
C 63%–66%
C- 60%–62%
D+ 1 57%–59%
D 53%–56%
D- 50%–52%
F/R[note 2] N/A 0%–49%


At a high school level in Quebec, most subjects are separated in three competencies. On report cards, marks are normally shown as numbers and an average of the two marks associated to the subject will be calculated.[3] For example, if a student achieves A, A- and B+ in a subject, teachers will calculate an average of the three marks (in this case, 85%).

Quebec passing mark is 60% and not 50% as compared to some other provinces. Note that it is common practice for students to pass with grades in the range of 55% to 59% at the teacher's discretion. Also worth note the military pass mark is also generally 60%.

Note: Most schools in Quebec have now switched to percentages. The mark the students receives is the mark that is shown. The 60% passing mark remains.

  • A+: 100 (Outstanding)
  • A: 95 (Better than Most)
  • A-: 90 (Excellent)
  • B+: 85 (Very Good)
  • B: 80 (Good)
  • B-: 75 (Fairly Good)
  • C+: 70 (Satisfactory)
  • C: 65 (Pass)
  • C-: 60 (Marginal pass)
  • D+: 55 (Marginal fail)
  • F: 0-54(fail)


  1. ^ Some institutions may use +/- modifiers alongside levels, although formally, the Ministry's rubric does not include them.
  2. ^ R is used in elementary schools, while F is used for secondary schools.