Grading System in Canada

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Grading system in Canada

Pertaining to the need for an excellent education system and a promising job market, Canadian Universities follow a different approach to grading which makes the Canadian Education System unique and excellent in its kind. The grading system in Canada is one of the most effective and flexible systems in the world. Students use it to measure their progress and to compare their performance to those of their peers. It serves as a way to encourage students to strive for excellence and to work hard to achieve their academic goals. Let’s read through the blog, Grading System in Canada curated for you! 


Overview of Grading System in Canada

Canadian Universities have a different system of grading when it comes to imparting higher education in comparison to universities from other countries. Even though the grading system in Canadian universities is unique on its own, the grading system across universities in different Canadian states is still not uniform. In fact, the grading system varies from university to university. So, it becomes extremely important for students to understand the Canadian grading system to prepare well for university examinations. 

Must Read: Grading System in Australia

Grading Scales Used in Canadian Grading System

The grading system followed in Canada may range from a scale of 4.0 to 9.0. It may also incorporate the use of alphabets such as A, B, C, D, and F and also, the combination of alphabets. Different universities, departments and even professors in Canada follow their own set of grades. 

The most common grades assigned in Canada include A, B, C, D, and F. The A grade is usually the highest grade that can be earned and signifies excellence in an academic subject. On the other hand, the F grade is the lowest grade and signifies that the student has failed to meet the academic standards of the course.

In addition to the letter grades, students in Canada may also receive numerical grades. These numerical grades are usually assigned on a scale from 0-100, with 100 being the highest possible grade.

So, to have a general understanding of the Canadian grading system, two scales are given below:

General Grading System in Canada
Scale IScale II
S.No.Alphabetical Grade (or Letter Grade)Percentage (%)GPAAlphabetical Grade (or Letter Grade)Percentage (%)GPA

Description of the Canadian Grades 

Each Grade has some “value” associated with it. The value of each grade herein termed the “Description of Canadian Grades” is defined by the university’s administrative bodies. A brief description of each grade provided by the Canadian universities and professors based on the students’ credits and credit hours is given below:

S. No.GradesDescription
2.BVery Good

How to Calculate GPA According to the Canadian Education System?

Each course selected by the student has some fixed number of hours, known as “credit hours” assigned to it. Students must note that it is necessary to reach the complete number of credit hours or up to the professor’s satisfaction. The students are awarded some “Credits” based on their performance in the course and on achieving satisfactory credit hours. 

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is the overall grade that is provided considering the student’s credits and credit hours. Specifically, GPA determines the overall weighted grade of the student for the respective semester, wherein the weightage is the number of credit hours. 

The GPA can be calculated by multiplying the number of credit hours by the letter grade value. These letter grade values vary on the basis of the location of the university, the accreditation of the university and even the professors.

GPA = Credit Hours × Letter Grade Value

Grading System in Canada Vs. USA 

Canada being a North-American country has some similarities in terms of grading with its neighbouring country, the USA. The grading system followed by the universities of the USA is on a scale of 4.00, similar to the Scale I grading system used in Canadian universities. However, there are still some major differences in both grading systems, such as according to the Scale I grading system in Canada, the minimum percentage required for a student to pass is 54%, while in the universities of the USA, the minimum percentage required to pass is 59.99%. 

Each Letter grade comprises some Quality Points. The average of the Grades (+) and (-) is used to determine the Grade Point Average (GPA). The general grading system of the USA is given hereunder.

Grading System in USA
S.No.Letter GradeQuality PointsPercentage (%)

Grading System in Canada Vs. UK 

In the UK, there are two types of bachelor’s degrees, i.e. an ordinary degree and an honours degree. The grading system for both of these bachelor’s degrees is different from Canada’s in terms of grading and percentage. In Canada, Letter Grades are given for a certain range of percentages and each Letter Grade is assigned a unique GPA, whereas in the UK, the “Degree Description” is provided. The descriptions of the ordinary degree and the honours degree are different. The reference to the UK Grading System is given below.

Marks(%)Degree Description
Honours Bachelor’s DegreeOrdinary Bachelor’s Degree
≥70First ClassDistinction
60-69Upper Second ClassMerit
50-59Lower Second ClassPass
40-49Third ClassPass

Must Read: Understanding the US Grading System

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Q. Which scale of grading is used by the University of Waterloo?

Ans: The University of Waterloo uses two grade scales. One is a Numeric Scale that ranges from 0-100. Another one is the Non-Numeric Scale in which a combination of alphabets is used to define the grades of the candidate for the semester.  

Q. Is 4 GPA good in Canada?

Ans: On a 4.0 scale of GPA, a GPA of 4 is awarded to a student who scored 87-91% marks in their semester. While on a 9.0 scale of GPA, a GPA of 4.0 is awarded to a student who scored 60-64% marks. Candidates must check their grade scale to determine the “value” of their GPA.

Q. What will be the Canadian GPA for 90 per cent marks?

A. On a 4.0-grade scale, the student might get an A for scoring 90-91 % marks and A+ for scoring ≥ 92 % marks. However, on a 9.0-grade scale, the student receives an A+ for scoring 90-100 % marks.

Q. Which grade is offered for 85% marks at the University of British Columbia?

A. For students scoring anywhere between 85-89 % marks, Grade A is provided at the University of British Columbia.

Q. What is the Percentage for Grade 3?

A. On a scale of 4.0, Grade 3.0 is provided for scoring 78-80 % marks.

This was all about Grading System in Canada. For further assistance, contact Leverage Edu by writing to [email protected] or by calling 1800 572 000. 

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