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    It was 22 years ago when I arrived in Canada and chose Calgary, Alberta to be my home.  Leaving my family and friends behind, it was a new adventure for me to be in a new country without knowing anyone.  That was the time I looked for a Filipino community paper and never found any, [...]

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Preparing for High School Diploma Exams and Provincial Achievement Tests

If your child is taking Grade 12 courses, he or she may be writing diploma exams this June. If your child is in grade 3, 6, or 9 he or she will be writing provincial achievement tests. Information to help you and your child understand these exams is available online.

A video about the testing program and a guide for parents is online at Click on the “Parents” tab at the top of the page, then under the “Resources for Parents” section click on “Achievement Tests and Diploma Exams”.

Resources to help your child prepare for the tests are also online. Quest A+ ( has practice questions for most subjects.

It is important to remind your grade 3, 6, or 9 children that provincial achievement tests should not make them nervous or cause them stress. These exams help the provincial government and local school boards determine if students are learning what they are expected to learn. This helps determine whether things need to change in certain areas of our education system. To prepare for the tests, they simply need to go to school. The provincial achievement tests do not affect students’ marks.

Grade 12 diploma exams do influence a student’s final grade, and they count for 50 per cent of the final grade. There are additional resources to help students prepare for them on Alberta Education’s website ( under the “Students” tab and through links called “Preparing for Diploma Exams”.

Below is some information specifically about diploma exams:

· In most cases, your school will automatically register your child to write the exam. However, mature students (19 years of age or older) and students re-taking the exam to improve their marks must register themselves. This can be done through your local high school.

· If your child has an illness and can’t write or if the school has to close, or if there is an accident or death in the student’s immediate family, you should talk to your school principal or counselor to discuss available options.

· In some cases, students are eligible for additional time to write the exam or an alternative format for the exam. Talk to your school’s principal or counselor if you think your child is eligible or requires large print or Braille.

· You can re-take a diploma exam to improve your mark. A fee is associated with re-writing an exam. For more information please visit under the “Student” tab, click on “Forms”.

· For June exams, results are usually in the mail by the third week of July.

We all want our children to do well in school, and provincial testing is one avenue to measure how well our curriculum is being understood by students. As parents, you can take comfort in knowing that the tests are designed to provide useful information about how students are doing. As parents, taxpayers, and employers, you can be confident that our education system is working to prepare children for the future.

Thomas A. Lukaszuk

Deputy Premier


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