New Provincial Exams
As part of the new Graduation Program requirements, students have to write five required provincial exams:
- Language Arts 10 (or Francais langue 10)
- Science 10
- Mathematics 10 (Essentials, Applications, or Principles)
- Social Studies 11 (Social Studies 11, Civics 11, or First Nations Studies 12)
- Language Arts 12 (or Francais langue 12)
There continues to be provincial exams in 20 Grade 12 courses but students have a choice about whether to take the course with or without the exam. If they choose to take the course without the exam, their mark is based entirely on their school mark. For students who write Grade 12 provincial exams, the exams continue to count for 40% of their mark.
The new exams count for 20% of the student’s mark
The new provincial exams in Grades 10 and 11 count for 20% of the student’s mark, rather than 40% as on Grade 12 provincial exams. It is possible for a student to fail the exam and still pass the course if the blended school mark (80%) and exam mark (20%) results in a passing grade. Students must take and pass these courses in order to graduate but do not necessarily need to pass the exams in order to graduate. However, students must sit the exam.
The long answer portions of the new exams must be marked locally
The ministry revised the School Act Regulation 265/89 to add "marking required provincial exams" to the duties of teachers. This applies to English 10 and Social Studies 11 exams.
Grade 12 exams continue to be marked provincially by teachers who apply and receive remuneration. Grade 10 science and math exams are machine scored provincially, as are the multiple choice sections of the Language Arts 10 and Social Studies 11 exams.
Ten to 15% of the locally marked exams are re-marked provincially to check on reliability. If the ministry finds significant discrepancies between local and provincial marking, it will NOT be changing students’ marks but it will be contacting the districts about making adjustments through training, etc.
The ministry does not require districts to provide training for teachers marking Grade 10 exams locally, or require teachers to attend the training, but the ministry encourages such training through funding. The ministry enters into contacts with districts to provide funding for training. There are no rules about how the district organizes the training but the funding is based on $200 per school offering the course (a release day for one teacher per course per school) plus $500 (to cover meeting rooms and food).
Teachers who want to express their opposition to the exams and local marking can use the protest letter on the BCTF web site and mark under protest. Sometimes departments send these letters as a group.