Canadian Education Standards
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Last modified on 8/13/2019 1:52 PM by User.

Canadian Education Standards

Our Canadian clients expect tutors to be familiar with Canadian education standards. Although much of the content is similar to content taught in the U.S., there are differences in standardized testing and subject terminology that will come up. Click here to find resources for our Canadian students. 

Alberta Education: Information for Tutors

In Canada, educational requirements and agendas are the responsibility of each province (the Canadian equivalent of a state). Education in Alberta looks different from other Canadian provinces, as well as America. Although much of the content is similar, there are differences in standardized testing and subject terminology that will come up. This page will familiarize you with some of these differences in order to maximize your tutoring experience and the services you provide to students. We’ll look at the structure of the Alberta curriculum as well as test prep to look out for.

>>Curriculum/Structure: Like the United States, K-12 schooling in Alberta is divided into elementary, middle, and high schools. However, in Alberta, elementary is from grades K-6, middle is from grades 7-9, and high school is from grades 10-12

Grades K-9 all study ELA, Math, Social Studies, and Science.
  • Equal weight is placed on each subject (unlike the U.S.’ focus on Math and ELA)
  • The curriculum is similar to what we would learn in the U.S.—except in Social Studies, students learn about the history, geography, and civics in Canada and Alberta.

Grades 10-12 get a bit more specialized.

  • In high school, students take courses in sequences from 10à20à30, where 30 represents the highest level in a sequence.
  • “Math 30” is the highest level of math taken (equates to pre-calculus), and so in grade 12 it replaces “math”. 
  • Science gets split into biology, chemistry and physics, depending on the track students take.
  • Options are available for both Canadian S.S. (civics, history) and global history, depending on student needs.

>>Standardized Testing: Like the U.S., Alberta loves standardized tests. These are the exams students from Alberta will write over the course of their K-12 education. 

Type of Test

Test Info

Subjects Tested



Diploma Tests


**Written at the end of 12th grade

**A big deal, comprising 50% of the students’ grade in each class.

ELA 30-1 & 30-2 (tests both reading and writing)

Applied Math 30 (graphs, analysis of functions, statistical distributions, matrices)
Pure Math 30 (precalculus, trig, and basic statistics)

S.S. 30-1 & 30-2 (document-based essays and multiple-choice questions)

Biology 30, Chemistry 30, Physics 30

French Language Arts 30


Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)



**Written in the lower grades, at the end of elementary and middle school.

Grade 3 tests in literacy & numeracy are still in development/beta stage. 

Grade 6 tests ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Grade 9 tests ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Content is similar to what a U.S. test would be at that grade level—except keep in mind that S.S. is Canadian-specific.











>>High School Sequence: Explore course descriptions & sequences here by subject (left menu).

ELA 10à20à30

Math 10à20à30

Social Studies 10à20à30

Science 10à20à30

Students analyze a variety of texts (from popular nonfiction to a Shakespeare play) using knowledge of literary/rhetorical devices. They also write their own texts (from personal narratives to literary criticism.

Each level is divided into two courses: version 1 and 2.

University track: ELA 10-1àELA 20-1àELA 30-1.

Basic track: ELA 10-2àELA 20-2àELA 30-2.

You can switch between tracks depending on academic ability.

Students learn algebra, basic geometry, trigonometry, and precalculus. 

Math 10 is divided into 2 courses: 10C and 10-3. Math 20 is divided into 20-1, 20-2, and 20-3.
Math 30 is divided into 30-1, 30-2, and 30-3.

The university level track is Math 10-1àMath 20-1àMath 30-1. Math 30-1 is the prerequisite to Math 31, which is Calculus.

The other courses represent the basic/non-university track.

Students learn about the themes of globalization, nationalism, and ideologies (like liberalism) in the context of Canadian history, civics, and global history.

Global history is similar, but students explore Canadian-specific history and civics. For example, Canada’s government has a Parliament and an appointed Prime Minister (totally different from the U.S.).

Emphasis is on the analysis of primary and secondary documents, models, and graphic organizers. The diploma and exams are full of these.

Each level is divided into two courses (as with the above subjects). The university level track is S.S. 10-1àS.S. 20-1àS.S 30-1.

A range of options here. Students start from Science 10 (university track) or Science 14 (basic track), exploring biological, chemical, and physical concepts in relation to energy.

Students can then move on to the following tracks:
Science 20àScience 30
Biology 20àBiology 30, Chemistry 20àChemistry 30 Physics 20àPhysics 30

Science 20 & 30 explore a variety of topics: changes to the earth and climate, environmental science& human health.

Bio, Chem, & Physics track content compares to what we learn in the U.S. for these subjects.