canadian grading scale
Grade scale for high school students:
Though Canadian universities use a GPA scale, high school students use a letter grade system. This is measured on a 4.0 scale with an A+ being the highest and an E or F as the lowest. Unlike in the U.S., letter grades range from A+ to D, with E and F being considered fails.
An average student works for an 80% or B average. It is common for teachers to add extra credit to bump up borderline students’ grades, but it should be noted that this practice is not without controversy (and presumably legal action) in some circles. Grade inflation seems to be fairly rampant here in Canada, especially in Ontario and Quebec where provincial-wide grading standards are not really enforced (unlike British Columbia where they are).
9 – G (general) courses
- In Grades 9 and 10, you can choose from General (G), Open (O) and Workplace (W) courses.
- If you’re taking a course in Grades 11 or 12, it’s either General or Advanced (A) level.
- If you want to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, you need 30 credits: 18 compulsory ones and 12 optional ones.
10 – O (general) courses
Wondering whether or not to take 10-0 versus 11-M (general) and/or 12-C (academic) courses? Here are some ideas to consider as you make your decision:
- Are you planning to go on to university and finish a bachelor’s degree?
10-0 courses are the equivalent of introductory level university courses, while 11-M and 12-C courses cover material similar to more advanced second and third year postsecondary courses. If this is your plan, we recommend that you take the most challenging level of course that you can handle successfully. However, the specific admission requirements of the programs at postsecondary institutions will determine what combination of grades and types of courses are required for admission purposes. You should consult with an educational advisor in your school counselling department early in high school if this is your goal.
- Are you undecided about your future plans?
If you haven’t decided yet whether or not you want to continue on in postsecondary studies, consider starting with a general level program in high school – it will give you a broad base from which to select your preferred career or university pathway. For instance, if biology interests you, but chemistry does not, it might be best for you to take 10-O biology instead of 11-M biology so that chemistry isn’t required.
11 – M (advanced) courses
In Canada, Grade 11 or Grade M is the first year of high school. It is equivalent to United States’ 10th grade and England’s Year 11.
The subjects you take in grade 11 determine what subjects you’ll be allowed to take in grades 12 and 13 (grade 12 is also called Pre-University). For example, if you take an M course in grade 11, you’ll have the option of taking P and AP courses in high school.
12 – C (college-level) courses
- Students must take a minimum of 8 credits to earn their high school diploma, and may take up to a maximum of 20 credits per year.
- The Ministry allows students to earn only 8 academic credits per year at the C level.
The number of courses you need to earn your diploma depends on which courses you choose. Generally, most students need 30 credits (10 courses) to graduate from high school:
- 4 English
- 3 Mathematics
- 2 Science
- 1 Canadian History
- 1 Canadian Geography or Aboriginal Studies (Grade 11 only)
- 1 Physical Education and Health Studies (Grades 9-12)
this is how canadian high schools grades students
In most Canadian high schools, students are graded by a 4.0 scale: the highest grade is 4.0 and the lowest is 0.0 (though in some schools, 1.0 is the lowest possible grade). Below are some examples of how you can translate your grades to this scale:
95-100% = 4.0
80-94% = 3.3-3.9
70-79% = 2.7-3.2
65-69% = 2.3-2.6
60-64% = 2.0-2.2