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Departmental exam weighting changing to help ensure accurate student assessment

21 December 2015 

News Release

For Immediate Release

Departmental exam weighting changing to help ensure accurate student assessment

IQALUIT, Nunavut (December 21, 2015) – The Department of Education has moved forward with its plan to have all grade 12 departmental exams constitute 30 per cent of students’ final mark in a course. Classroom studies will now be valued at 70 per cent of the final course mark. The previous weighting for courses was 50 per cent exam and 50 per cent classroom studies.

"It is important that we establish best practices in our education system," said Education Minister Paul Quassa. "This change supports the government vision and mandate to have more well-educated and self-reliant Nunavummiut graduate from high school, with the same level of capability as anywhere in Canada."

The change is being implemented because Nunavut uses the Alberta departmental exam as its final assessment of grade 12 students. Last year, Alberta’s Department of Education, which develops, produces and administers that province’s departmental exams, announced that beginning in September 2015 all grade 12 departmental exams would be shifted.

The shift to put greater emphasis on formative classroom assessment is in alignment with current research on student assessment as well as with changes made in the majority of other Canadian jurisdictions. High-quality assessment practices provide students with multiple and varied opportunities to demonstrate achievement, and lead to deeper learning.

Nunavut students who earn their high-school diploma by successfully completing Alberta departmental exam courses can apply to colleges and universities across Canada, with the same recognition of achievement as any Alberta student.


Media Contact:

Wende Halonen

Senior Communications Advisor

Department of Education