As of Sept 1, 2015, Gr.12 Diploma exams will carry 30% of the final grades
It’s down from 50% that is currently in place. The upside is obvious; the stress on one exam is somewhat reduced. However, students trying to ‘upgrade’ their diploma marks will find it less welcoming. Note that other provinces such as BC, Sask and Manitoba adopted a lower diploma weighting system already.
Statistically, classroom marks are 5 to 8 percentage higher than that of diploma scores.
In a way, I consider the new 70/30 weight (school grades = 70, diploma = 30) is merely window dressing. Mind you that under the old system, universities across North America already take into account the 50/50 weight distributioin, admitting Alberta graduates under an ‘adjusted’ final score. For example, BC colleagues and universities put a 4% cushion to Albertan’s final grades.
Some would argue Alberta students are disadvantaged by having lower numerical raw scores, especially for scholarship applications. I don’t know how true it is but I know that universities takes into account Alberta students perform to a higher standard.
How about students who decide not to enter universities? Diploma marks and weighting are basically irrelevant.
Now that we will be artificially inflate the over all scores next year, I strongly recommend paying extra attention to school marks, students and parents alike, given that it’s much more difficult to make up lagging scores by taking diploma exam rewrites.
November 2015 diplom exams will be the first wave utilizing the new weighting system.