Exams & Graduation

Examination Policy

The examination policy of Henry Wise Wood High School is designed to ensure examination consistency, fairness and security. Students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 must write their Final Examinations at the times stipulated in the November (English only), January and June examination schedules. IB exams are in May. Exemptions schedules will be published on the Henry Wise Wood Web page when available.

To take exams, you must have photo ID. You may use school photo, driver's license or passport. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding Diploma Exams, please contact Assistant Principal, Ms. Cathy Crichton.

Exam Rules

Admittance to the Examination Room

Students may not enter or leave the examination room without the consent of the supervising examiner. If you need to leave the room, put your hand up and wait for a teacher to come to your desk. If you finish before the end of the exam, put your hand up and wait for a   teacher to check your materials (and clear your calculator) before you leave.

Student Identification

Students must present identification that includes their photograph.

Identification on Examinations

Students must not write their names or the name of their school anywhere in or on the examination booklet, other than in the designated space provided on the back cover.

Late Arrivals

Students who arrive more than one hour after a diploma examination has started will not be allowed to write the examination. Students who arrive late but within the first hour of administration may be allowed to write at the discretion of the principal or chief presiding examiner.

Writing Time

Students must write a diploma examination within the specified time and may not hand in a paper until at least one hour of the examination time has elapsed. An additional one-half hour of writing time is available for each diploma examination. Additional writing time as an accommodation will only apply if a student requires more than the one-half hour of additional time provided for all students.

Clothing and Bags

Students are advised to dress appropriately for exams. The gym is often cold in the winter and warm in the summer. All bags and backpacks should be left at home or placed in available lockers and will not be allowed in the student’s possession during the exam.

Cell Phones or other unauthorized Electronic Devices

Cell phones or other electronic devices (such as electronic translators, smart watches, digital music players, IPods, etc.) are not permitted in the examination room. Students are to leave these devices at home or in available lockers. If the supervising teacher(s) finds these items in the examination room, the student in possession of the electronic device will be removed from the examination room and will receive a mark of zero for the examination.

Approved Calculators

Calculators required for mathematics and science exams will be cleared as outlined by the Alberta Education policy. The covers of the calculators must be removed and placed on the floor below the student’s chair.

Examination Security

Any breaches of examination security will be investigated and consequences may result. Alberta Education is monitoring all PATs and Diploma. All diploma examinations will be administered in accordance with the rules and regulations as outlined in Alberta Education Diploma Exam bulletin.

Discussion and Sharing

Students may not discuss the diploma examination with the supervising examiner unless the examination booklet is incomplete or illegible. Students may not talk, whisper, or exchange information or examination writing tools and materials, including calculators, with one another.

Note: Alberta Education uses computer technology to compare student response patterns to ensure that students have not fraudulently represented their performance.

Answer Sheets (if Part B)

Students must use an HB pencil to record their answers on the machine-scorable answer sheets.

Materials Allowed

Students who bring authorized materials into the examination room are responsible for ensuring that these materials are completely free of notes or other prohibited material. The following materials may be used during the administration of a diploma examination:

Mathematics, and Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Science

Tear-out data pages/booklets are provided in/with examination booklets. Approved calculators and rulers and protractors are allowed.

English Language Arts – Written (Part A) Only

For Part A only, all students may use a print dictionary (English and/or bilingual), a thesaurus, and an authorized writing handbook.

The following seven writing handbooks are authorized by Learner Assessment to be used for this purpose. With the exception of A Canadian Writer’s Guide, any edition of these texts is acceptable for use:

  • A Canadian Writer’s Guide (J. Finnbogason and A. Valleau), second edition (only)
  • A Canadian Writer’s Reference (D. Hacker) 
  • Checkmate: A Writing Reference for Canadians (J. Buckley) 
  • English Language Arts Handbook for Secondary Students (Alberta Education) 
  • Fit to Print: The Canadian Student’s Guide to Essay Writing (J. Buckley) 
  • The St. Martin’s Handbook for Canadians (Andrea Lunsford, Robert Connors, and Judy Z. Segal) 
  • The Writing Process (Quentin L. Gehle and Duncan J. Rollo)

Social Studies – Written (Part A) Only

For Part A only, all students may use a print dictionary (English and/or bilingual), a thesaurus, and an authorized writing handbook. Social Studies adhere to the list of handbooks authorized for student use while writing Part A of the English Language Arts examinations, with two exceptions. Students writing Part A of Social Studies may not use A Canadian Writer’s Guide (J. Finnbogason and A. Valleau) or the first edition of A Canadian Writer’s Reference (D. Hacker). [see the approved list for English Language Arts]. The reference texts must not contain appendices that include Social Studies content (e.g., historical time-lines, structure of the Government of Canada, Canada’s court system, structure of international organizations such as the UN or NATO, etc).

The following dictionaries are authorized for student use while writing a Social Studies Part A examination:

  • Collins Paperback English Dictionary 
  • Collins-Robert Paperback French Dictionary 
  • Gage Canadian Dictionary 
  • Harper-Collins French Dictionary (French-English) 
  • Le Petit Robert 
  • Merriam-Webster’s School Dictionary 
  • The Canadian Oxford High School Dictionary 
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary 
  • The Houghton Mifflin Canadian Dictionary of the English Language 
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Current English

Materials Not Allowed

The following materials are not allowed in the examination room:

Print Materials

Students may not bring any papers, notes of any kind, or books other than those allowed (see above) into the examination room.

No reference materials and dictionaries (bilingual, English, and/or French) are allowed in the examination room for Mathematics, or Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Science examinations.

No reference materials and dictionaries (bilingual, English, and/or French) are allowed in the examination room for any Part B English Language Arts or Social Studies examination.

Electronic Devices, Tools, and Materials

Students may not bring any headsets, CD players, digital audio players, cell phones, pagers, or other electronic devices into the examination room. No hand-held electronic dictionaries and no electronic or paper templates and/or graphic organizers are allowed.

Unauthorized Materials In the Examination Room

Any student in possession of materials not allowed in an examination rooms will be investigated. This process may lead to eviction from the exam and his/her mark being invalidated.

Materials Not to be Removed from the Examination Room

Students are not allowed to remove materials from the examination room. This includes any tear-out pages from the examination booklets and any rough draft materials produced by students writing their Part A diploma exams using a computer.

Breaches of Security and Violations of Examination Rules

Students are expected to comply with the Examination Rules. Students, who violate examination rules, interfere with the security of examinations, falsify examination results, disrupt other students or commit any other act that may enable them to inaccurately represent their achievement may:

  • be evicted from the examination room 
  • have their examination(s) invalidated 
  • be barred from writing any other Alberta Education diploma examination for a period not exceeding one year 
  • have their official transcripts withheld for a period not exceeding one year 
  • have their official transcripts annotated

A student who is evicted from an examination may appeal, in writing, to the principal, within seven days of the eviction or invalidation. 

A student who is evicted from a diploma examination under the Student Evaluation Regulation may object, in writing, to the Director, Examination Administration, Alberta Education, within seven days of the eviction or invalidation.

A student who has had a diploma examination invalidated under the Student Evaluation Regulation may object, in writing, to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Education Program Standards and Assessment, Alberta Education, within thirty days of the written notice of invalidation.

Note: Alberta Education uses computer technology to compare student answer sheets to ensure that students have not inaccurately represented their performance.

Final Examinations

Calculator Rules (for Mathematics and Science Only)
Diploma Examinations Program Calculator Policy

Mathematics 30-1 and Mathematics 30-2 require the use of an approved graphing calculator for diploma examinations. All science diploma examinations require the use of a scientific calculator, with no prohibited properties (see below) or an approved graphing calculator.


The calculator must be a hand-held device designed primarily for mathematical computations, including logarithmic and trigonometric functions, as well as for graphing functions. Included in this definition are those scientific calculators having graphing and programmable features.

  • Students must clear all programmable calculators, both graphing and scientific, that are brought into diploma examinations of all information that is stored in the programmable or parametric memory. Students must clear them before and after an examination;
  • Programs downloaded from the Internet are not allowed on the calculators used during diploma examinations. Students must erase all such programs before writing the examination. Students are responsible for checking all calculator mode settings after their calculator’s memory has been cleared; 
  • Students must not bring external devices (peripherals) to support calculators into any examination. Such devices include manuals, printed or electronic cards, printers, memory expansion chips or cards, external keyboards, CD-ROMs, libraries, or any  annotations that outline operational procedures; 
  • Students must not bring calculator cases into the examination room; 
  • In preparation for calculator failure, students may bring extra batteries and/or approved calculators into the examination room; 
  • Students must ensure that their calculators operate in silent mode; and 
  • Students must not share calculators or information contained within them.

Unacceptable calculator properties during examinations

  • Built-in notes (definitions or explanations in alpha notation), e.g., libraries; 
  • programmed memory content; 
  • symbolic manipulation capabilities; 
  • ability to provide trigonometric calculation; 
  • ability to simplify radicals and rationalize denominators 
  • Upgrades/downloads that include built-in notes or formulas; and 
  • wireless communication capability


Diploma Examination Exemptions

Diploma Examination exemptions are granted by Alberta Education only in exceptional cases or exceptional circumstances. Students must consult the Assistant Principal for direction if they intend to apply for an exemption to inform the school of the situation and obtain the correct forms for submission to Alberta Education. Alberta Education will make the final decision.

School Exemptions for non-diploma examinations

Non-diploma examination exemptions are granted in exceptional cases or exceptional circumstances that prevent students from writing the exam and are beyond the control of the student and/or family by the Principal. Students must contact their Assistant Principal for direction if they intend to apply for an exemption. The Principal will make the final decision.

Rewriting Diploma Examinations

Students who write a Diploma Exam for a second time, whether they are enrolled in that course or not, must complete and submit an application form online at myPass. International Students writing Alberta Education Diploma Exams will be charged a fee for writing of $50.00. Students must access myPass to register and pay for Diploma exams in December (or sooner) for January exams and in May (or sooner) for June exams. A copy of the receipt must be provided to the main office to ensure a spot.

Examination Conflict

If students have an examination conflict they must contact the Assistant Principal in charge of exams to inform them of the conflict.

Last modified on

​​​​Note | Alberta Education directs the Grade 12 Diploma Examinations Program. The Alberta Education Diploma exams webpage states:

The weighting of diploma exams will return to 30% effective September 1, 2023. Students who wrote a diploma exam or completed a diploma exam course in 2022-23 may still be eligible for the 20% weighting that applied last year. For more information about these special circumstances, see the Diploma exam weighting overview fact sheet.
  • Biology 30
  • Chemistry 30
  • English Language Arts 30–1
  • English Language Arts 30–2
  • Français 30–1
  • French Language Arts 30–1
  • Mathematics 30–1
  • Mathematics 30–2
  • Physics 30
  • Science 30
  • Social Studies 30–1
  • Social Studies 30–2

If you have any questions, please contact your school.