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Diploma exams optional for NWT students this year

NWT students will now be able to choose whether they attempt the diploma exam.

This comes after a decision by the Department of Education, Culture and Employment which assessed the “operational realities of NWT schools during the COVID-19 pandemic,” and decided to make exams optional.

Alberta’s education department recently made a similar decision.

If a student chooses to write the exam, the exam mark will be averaged with the student’s school mark. The exam is worth 30  per cent of the student’s mark and the grade for school work completed throughout the year is worth 70 per cent.

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Students who want to complete the exams must submit an opt-in form by December 15.

“Equity for all graduate students, no matter their individual circumstance, is what we are striving for,” Simon Cloutier, from the Commission scolaire francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest — the NWT’s French education board, said in a statement. “Those students that wish to write the diploma exams continue to have the option to do so.”

“We strongly encourage all students that are registered in courses that include diploma exams to carefully consider their choice of postsecondary studies and their requirements prior to taking this important decision,” he added.

This option will be available for the January 2021 and April 2021 exams and the summer school sessions in June 2021, and August 2021.

Students who choose to write a diploma exam but are “dissatisfied with their mark are not eligible for an exemption,” according to a statement from ECE.

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The department added students were responsible for reaching out to post-secondary institutions and asking if they could still be admitted without taking the diploma exam.

“This decision comes after consideration of both the impacts of COVID-19 on the school system, students and their families and the way that education delivery has been modified for the current school year,” R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

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