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Grading System in Canada – A Complete Guide

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Canada is home to around 100 Universities and has 3 of the top 20 best cities for students in the world, namely Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. As you can figure out from the facts provided, Canada is a prominent educational hub; however, what makes its education unique and personalised can be seen through the famous grading system in Canada. The country comprises ten provinces, each following its unique grading system.

In other words, you have ten different types of grading systems in Canada that are followed and are unique to each state or province. Each state has some of the best Universities in the country and the world; their rankings speak for themselves. While each region follows its own grading system in Canada, the system, method or scale might also differ within the same province; it can vary from University to University.

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Important note: It is advisable to visit the University’s website directly to check their grading scale because the grade requirements may differ depending on your department or faculty of choice.

Grading System in Canada

Universities in Canada use one or all of the following means of evaluating students’ academic achievements. The grading system in Canada can be of the following types:

  1. Letter Grades
  2. Grade Point Average (GPA)
  3. Percentages

1. Letter Grades

Different provinces in Canada use the Letter grades differently. For instance, in Alberta, an A+ can be translated as 4.0 or 4.3, depending on the tutor, as their approach towards grading systems is more teacher-centric. In British Columbia and Quebec, grade C is the lowest grade to pass, instead of the regular D in other provinces.

2. Grade Point Average (GPA)

Here are some types of scales used to calculate the GPA:
GPA out of 4.0: 4.0 is the highest score you can achieve on this scale, which translates to an A+ or 90%-100%. The lowest is 0.0, which is an F or 0%-49%.
Note: some Universities also use 4.3 and 4.5 GPA scales.
GPA out of 5.0: in this type of scale, 5.0 is the highest score you can achieve, which translates to an A+ or 90%-100%. The lowest is 0.0, which is an F or 0%-49%.
GPA out of 9.0: in this type of scale, 9.0 is the highest score you can achieve, which translates to an A+ or 90%-100%. The lowest is 0.0, which is an F or 0%-49%.

3. Percentages

Some Canadian provinces use percentages (%) as a grading scale. The Saskatchewan province uses only this method across all institutions to grade the students. The highest is 90%-100% which signifies A+ or the highest point of a GPA scale like 4.0, 4.3, 5.0, etc., and the lowest percentage is 0%-49% which denotes an F grade meaning that you failed, qualifying for the lowest point on the GPA scale, i.e. 0.0 (in Saskatchewan <60-69% means Failure).

To summarise, Letter Grades are the most commonly used grading system in Canada, then percentages and GPA. While some provinces like British Columbia use a combination of Letter Grades and Percentages, other areas like Ontario have made all forms, methods and grading scales of the grading system in Canada official.

Complete Grading System in Canada

Now you know that each of the provinces in Canada have a different form of grading system which could be one or all of the three types mentioned above (refer to the section, Grading System in Canada). To help you further understand the grading system in Canada, here is a list of the grading systems used in each province below. They are in alphabetical order.

  1. Alberta
  2. British Columbia
  3. Manitoba
  4. New Brunswick
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador
  6. Nova Scotia
  7. Ontario
  8. Prince Edward Island
  9. Quebec
  10. Saskatchewan

1. Alberta

The grading system in Alberta mainly consists of Letter Grades ranging from the highest, which is an A+, to the lowest, which is an F. It is up to the institution or the teacher to define the grades into Grade Points or Percentages.

Note: Grade Point Value is the value assigned to each Letter Grade. It is used to calculate the Grade Point Average or the GPA.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Description
A+ 4.0/4.3 Excellent
A 4.0 Excellent
A- 3.7 Excellent
B+ 3.3 Good
B 3.0 Good
B- 2.7 Satisfactory
C+ 2.3 Satisfactory
C 2.0 Failure
C- 1.7 Failure
D+ 1.3 Failure
D 1.0 Failure
F 0.0 Failure

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Alberta, click on the links below.

University of Alberta
Grading System Explained | Office of the Registrar (ualberta.ca)

University of Calgary
University of Calgary : F.2 Undergraduate Grading System (ucalgary.ca)

2. British Columbia

In the province of British Columbia, most of the Universities use the Grading system. The grades obtained can be depicted in two ways:

  • according to Letter Grades
  • according to Percentages
Letter Grade Grade Point Value Description Percentage
A+ 4.33 Excellent 90-100
A 4.0 Excellent 85-89
A- 3.67 Excellent 80-84
B+ 3.33 Good 76-79
B 3.0 Good 72-75
B- 2.7 Good 68-71
C+ 2.33 Satisfactory 64-67
C 2.0 Satisfactory 60-63
C- 1.67 Marginal 55-59
D 1.0 Marginal 50-54
F 0.0 Failure 0-49

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in British Columbia, click on the links below.

The University of British Columbia
Grades | Student Services (ubc.ca)

Simon Fraser University
Grading Systems and Policies (sfu.ca)

3. Manitoba

The primary method of grading in Manitoba is by calculating the Grade Point Average (GPA). While some Universities might express the results with Letter Grades, these grades have an assigned numerical value also called the Grade Point Value, which is used to calculate the GPAs.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Description
A+ 4.5 Exceptional
A 4.0 Excellent
B+ 3.5 Very Good
B 3.0 Good
C+ 2.5 Satisfactory
C 2.0 Adequate
D 1.0 Marginal
F 0.0 Failure

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Manitoba, click on the links below.

University of Manitoba
Grades | University of Manitoba (umanitoba.ca)

4. New Brunswick

This province uses a combination of Letter Grades and Grade Points Value. The Grade scale may differ according to different Universities and institutions in the state, some may use the 4.0 scale and others might opt for the 4.3 instead of the 4.33 scale.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Description
A+ 4.3 Excellent
A 4.0 Excellent
A- 3.7 Excellent
B+ 3.3 Good
B 3.0 Good
B- 2.7 Good
C+ 2.3 Satisfactory
C 2.0 Satisfactory
D 1.0 Marginal Failure
F 0.0 Failure

On the same 4.3 GPA scale, some Universities go on to further divide it by including more Letter Grades.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in New Brunswick, click on the links below.

University of New Brunswick
Grades | Current Students | Civil Engineering | Departments | Faculty of Engineering | UNB

Crandall University
Academic-Calendar-2022-2023.pdf (crandallu.ca)
(please refer to page 58.)

5. Newfoundland and Labrador

This province has one of the simplest methods of the grading system in Canada, it is based on Letter Grades which have assigned percentages and points.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Percentage
A 4.0 80-100
B 3.0 65-79
C 2.0 55-64
D 1.0 50-54
F 0.0 0-49

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Newfoundland and Labrador, click on the link below.


Memorial University of Newfoundland
Grades | Office of the Registrar | Memorial University of Newfoundland (mun.ca)

6. Nova Scotia

This Canadian province also uses Letter Grades having a Grade Point Value assigned to them. Some Universities use the 4.3 scale while others use the 4.33 grade scale.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Description Percentage
A+ 4.33 Excellent 90-100
A 4.0 Excellent 85-89
A- 3.70 Excellent 80-84
B+ 3.30 Good 77-79
B 3.0 Good 73-75
B- 2.70 Good 70-72
C+ 2.30 Satisfactory 65-69
C 2.0 Satisfactory 60-64
C- 1.70 Satisfactory 55-59
D 1.0 Marginal Pass 50-54
FM 0.0 Marginal Failure
F 0.0 Failure 0-49

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Newfoundland and Labrador, click on the links below.

Dalhousie University
Grade Scale and Definitions – Academic Support – Dalhousie University

Acadia University
Grades – Registrar (acadiau.ca)

7. Ontario

The province in which the capital of the country,Ottawa, is located has made all forms of evaluation and grading system in Canada official. The Universities and colleges use Letter Grades, Grade Points and Percentages. The Grading scales differ across Universities, while University of Toronto and University of Ottawa use the 4.0 and 4.3 scale respectively, Universities like York University and others use the 9 or 10 point scale.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Description Percentage
A+ 4.0 Excellent 90-100
A 4.0 Excellent 85-89
A- 3.7 Excellent 80-84
B+ 3.3 Good 77-79
B 3.0 Good 73-76
B- 2.7 Good 70-72
C+ 2.3 Adequate 65-69
C 2.0 Adequate 63-66
C- 1.7 Adequate 60-62
D+ 1.3 Marginal 57-59
D 1.0 Marginal 53-56
D- 0.7 Marginal 50-52
F 0.0 Inadequate 0-49

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Ontario, click on the links below.

University of Toronto
U of T Grading Scheme | Office of the Registrar (utoronto.ca)

Ontario Tech University
Grading | Office of the Registrar (ontariotechu.ca)

York University
Faculty Rules – Liberal Arts and Professional Studies | 2012-2013 Undergraduate Calendar (yorku.ca)

8. Prince Edward Island

This province has also adopted the simplest grading system in Canada; the final grade is indicated by a percentage and a grade point.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value Percentage
A+ 4.3 91-100
A 4.0 85-90
A- 3.7 80-84
B+ 3.3 77-79
B 3.0 74-76
B- 2.7 70-73
C+ 2.3 67-69
C 2.0 64-66
C- 1.7 60-63
D+ 1.3 57-59
D 1.0 54-56
D- 0.7 50-53
F 0.0 0-49

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Prince Edward Island, click on the link below.


University of Prince Edward Island
Undergraduate Academic Regulations – UPEI Calendar 2022-2023
(refer to point 10. Grading)

 

9. Quebec

Here the academic assessment is done using the 4.33 scale along with Letter Grades. The method is quite similar to the one used in the New Brunswick province.

Letter Grade Grade Point Value
A+ 4.33
A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.33
C 2.0
C- 1.67
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
E/F 0.0

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Quebec, click on the link below.

Laval University
factsheet-UL2015.pdf (ulaval.ca)
(refer to page 3 under Courses)

10. Saskatchewan

As complicated as this province’s name seems, its grading system is the simplest when compared to the rest. All educational institutions found in Saskatchewan use the Percentage method to assign grades. However the percentage value may differ slightly in some Universities but there will be no major difference.

Note: Even though all Universities and colleges use the percentage system, we have included the approximate equivalents of GPA and Letter Grades for easy comparison and understanding.

Percentage Letter Grade Grade Point Value
90-100 A+ 4.0
85-89 A 4.0
80-84 A- 3.7
75-79 B+ 3.3
70-74 B 3.0
0-49 F 0.0

To check the grading scales of some of the top Universities in Saskatchewan, click on the links below.

University of Saskatchewan
Coursework and Grades – Policies and Procedures Manual – CGPS | University of Saskatchewan (usask.ca)

University of Regina
Grading System | Graduate Studies, University of Regina (uregina.ca)

Conclusion

The grading system in Canada may seem confusing but you do not have to calculate your score according to all the methods. Just check the grading system of the province and University you are planning to go for further studies. We have covered all the provinces in Canada and the grading systems they use are mentioned in tables for easy evaluation and comparison. Good Luck! Here’s to lots of As and no Fs!

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