List of Canadian primary and secondary examinations

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Canadian primary and secondary standardized examinations are examinations developed in Canada and taken by primary and secondary students in some provinces and territories in Canada.

The majority of the exams listed are developed provincially and are unique to each respective province and their related adjacent territories. This is as a result of education in Canada being the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. Such exams can be important factors in the determination of final grades and therefore also in scholarships decisions and college and university admissions. However, policies of post-secondary institutions in Canada vary concerning whether the blended exam and class grade are used or simply the class grade are used for admission.[1]

A unique situation of primary and secondary examinations is that of Canada's territories. The territories primarily, but not entirely, elect to adopt the curriculum of their most closely related adjacent provinces. This includes adopting the related provinces examination policy. The Yukon primarily follows the British Columbian curriculum.[2] Meanwhile, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut primarily follow the Alberta curriculum.[3][4] Therefore, exams in these territories are developed and adjudicated by the aforementioned adjacent province but are administered by the territorial educational ministry. The reason for the territories adopting the curriculum of provinces is because the provinces have both greater means to create the curriculum and populations to ensure the curriculums acceptance by tertiary institutions. The reason for the territories adopting the curriculum of those specific provinces is as a result of the historical geography of Canada. The Yukon was formed prior to the existence of any current Western Canadian province except British Columbia. Meanwhile, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and a handful of other provinces were created from the now nonexistent North-Western Territories which was.

List of examinations[edit]

For the purposes of the list, the 'course grade' is defined as the grade assigned by the teacher during classroom instruction. 'Final grade' or 'blended grade' are defined as the combined examination and course grade.


Alberta, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut[edit]

Some universities choose to raise Albertan students marks because of their provincially required exams. For example, the University of British Columbia automatically raise Albertan students average by 2%.[6]

  • Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT) — Taken in grades 6 and 9. Exam mark is not included in final reported grade as class grades are not report to the province.[7]
  • Alberta Diploma Examinations (Diploma) — Taken in some 30 level (grade 12) courses, including:
    • Biology 30
    • Chemistry 30
    • Physics 30
    • Science 30
    • English Language Arts 30–1/30-2
    • Français 30–1
    • French Language Arts 30–1
    • Mathematics 30–1/30-2
    • Social Studies 30–1/30-2

Exam mark is worth 30% of final course grade.[8]

British Columbia and Yukon[edit]

  • Provincial Examinations — taken in Communications, English, and English First Peoples 12 as well as some other Grade 12 level courses. Exam is worth 40% of final course grade.[9]


  • Grade 3 Assessments, including the subjects reading, writing, and mathematics.[10]
  • Middle Years Assessments[10]
    • Grade 7, including the subjects reading, writing, and mathematics.[10]
    • Grade 8, including the subjects reading, writing, and mathematics.[10]
  • Grade 12 Provincial Tests — taken in some grade 12 level courses. Exam mark is worth 30% of final course grade except for Essential Mathematics test which is worth 20%.[11]


In Ontario, province wide assessment is administered by the crown corporation called the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).[12] The EQAO administers tests in:

  • Grade 3, including the subjects reading, writing, and mathematics.[13]
  • Grade 6, including the subjects reading, writing, and mathematics.[14]
  • Grade 9, which only includes a mathematics test.[15]
  • Grade 10, Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is a graduation requirement[16]

Prince Edward Island[edit]

Provincial examinations are known as Provincial Assessments in Prince Edward Island.[17] Examinations prior to the IMA is not included in grade submission.

  • Primary Literacy Assessments (PLA) — taken in grade 3.[17]
  • Primary Mathematics Assessments (PMA) — taken in grade 3.[17]
  • French Immersion Elementary Mathematics Assessments (French Immersion EMA) — taken in grade 5.[17]
  • Elementary Literacy Assessments (ELA) — taken in grade 6.[17]
  • Elementary Mathematics Assessments (EMA) — taken in grade 6.[17]
  • Intermediate Mathematics Assessments (IMA) — taken in grade 9. Exam mark is worth 10% of final course grade.[17]
  • Secondary Mathematics Assessments (SMA) — taken in grade 11. Exam mark is worth 25% for Math 521A, Math 521B and Math 521M. Worth 20% for Math Math 512K.[17]


  • Ministerial Examinations — taken in grade 10 and 11 level subjects. Exam mark is worth 50% of the final grade. However, the final grade cannot be lower than the ministerial exam mark. For instance, if a student earns a 70% in the course, but an 80% on the exam, their final grade will be an 80%.[18][19]


  • Departmental Examinations — taken only by students instructed by non-accredited teachers, for home-based education students, and for adults wishing to earn Level 30 credits. Exam mark is worth 40% of final grade.[20]

New Brunswick[edit]

  • Provincial Exams — only taken by students wishing to complete courses by correspondence or who do not attend a regular high school.[21]

Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]

  • Provincial Assessments — taken in grade 3 and grade 6.[22]
  • Public Examinations — taken in certain grade 12 level subjects. Exam is worth 40% of final grade.[23]

Nova Scotia[edit]

  • Nova Scotia Assessments — taken in grades 6 and 8 covering reading, writing, and mathematics.[24]
  • Nova Scotia Examinations — taken in grade 10 covering mathematics and English.[24]


  1. ^ "Accounting and Financial Management admission requirements for Alberta high school students".
  2. ^ "Curriculum".
  3. ^ "Curriculum & Learning Resources".
  4. ^ "NWT Curriculum".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Learning Assessment Programs".
  6. ^ "Why Alberta's education system is better".
  7. ^ "Provincial Achievement Tests: About the Pats".
  8. ^ "About the Diploma Examinations Program".
  9. ^ "handbook of PROCEDURES for the GRADUATION PROGRAM" (PDF).
  10. ^ a b c d "Provincial Assessment Program".
  11. ^ "Assessment and Evaluation".
  12. ^ "The Assessments".
  13. ^ "Grade 3, Primary Division".
  14. ^ "Grade 6 Junior Division Assessment".
  15. ^ "Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics".
  16. ^ "Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test". Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Provincial Assessments".
  18. ^ "The final mark".
  19. ^ "Conversion and moderation".
  20. ^ "Ministry of Education Departmental Examinations Student FAQ" (PDF).
  21. ^ "Provincial Exams".
  22. ^ "Provincial Assessments".
  23. ^ "Public Exam Information".
  24. ^ a b "2017–2018 Program of Learning Assessment for Nova Scotia (PLANS)" (PDF).

External links[edit]