Diploma exams set to 20% for 2022-23 school year | Pondération des examens de diplôme fixée à 20 % pour l’année scolaire 2022-2023Posted on
As students continue to address pandemic-related learning challenges, diploma exam weighting will be reduced to 20 per cent this school year.
Over the course of the pandemic, the government has responded to feedback from education system partners and made adjustments to the administration of diploma exams as required.
In response to feedback from students, parents and education partners about learning loss and well-being issues as a result of the pandemic, the government is taking a measured approach in transitioning the weighting of diploma exams over time. The weighting will return to 30 per cent in the 2023-24 school year.
“Since June of this year, I have met with over 40 public, separate and francophone school authorities and many other stakeholders and listened to their perspectives. Changing the weight of diploma exams will reduce the burden on students while still giving them valuable exam writing experience. We’re making this temporary change to place less of a burden on students and improve their mental health.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
Diploma exams are key to maintaining fairness and high standards for all students, no matter where they learn in Alberta. However, the government also recognizes the unprecedented challenges students faced in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.
While Alberta’s government previously announced new literacy and numeracy assessments to support students in grades 1-3 who are struggling, the government also recognizes that senior high students are facing post-pandemic challenges, and the change in diploma exam weighting will benefit those students directly.
This decision also reflects the learnings from the Child and Youth Well-Being Panel Report and the recent findings in an Alberta School Councils' Association survey of parents, which both recognized the learning loss students have experienced.
“The CASS board of directors supports the ministry's transitional approach to returning diploma exam weighting to pre-pandemic levels. This decision is reflective of a recommendation an ad hoc committee of CASS made during the pandemic and takes a balanced approach between a return to normal and meeting the social and emotional needs of students.”
Scott Morrison, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents
“The pandemic impacted all students and their learning in many complex ways, requiring a variety of additional supports to ensure their success. The minister’s acknowledgement of this, and the desire to reduce the mental health burden on students required to write diploma exams this year, is also important to their success. The Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA) appreciates the recognition that a transitional return to traditional diploma exam weighting will help to improve students’ mental health while giving them valuable exam writing experience.”
Brandi Rai, president, Alberta School Councils’ Association
“ASBA is pleased that the government has reviewed high school diploma exam weighting as boards continue to focus on addressing student learning and mental health challenges. This will assist in relieving additional pressures while boards prioritize success of all students.”
Marilyn Dennis, president, Alberta School Boards Association
- Diploma exams are normally administered in November, January, April, June and August.
- In 2015, the government reduced diploma exam weighting from 50 to 30 per cent, giving greater value to course work through the year and each teacher’s ability to assess a broad range of student knowledge and skills.
- In spring 2020, diploma exams were cancelled in April and June because students were learning from home for the last few months of the school year. They were successfully administered in August of that year.
- During the 2020-21 school year, all diploma exams were optional.
- For the 2021-22 school year, the government cancelled January diploma exams, and all remaining diploma exams for the year were weighted at 10 per cent.
- Alberta Education works with experienced teachers to develop diploma exams. The government publishes various resources, including previous diploma exam questions and guides, for students. These resources are available on alberta.ca.