​Diploma Exams

On Nov. 24, 2020, the Alberta government announced that diploma exams would be optional for the rest of the school year. The decision to write diploma exams resides with students and their families. Students will receive an exemption if they choose not to write an exam, however, if an exam is written it will continue to be worth 30 per cent of their final mark.

All students currently taking a diploma course, or planning to take a diploma course in the second semester are exempted from writing the diploma exam. Students must still complete all of the required course work and assignments and will receive a school-awarded mark.

Students who wrote one part of the English Language Arts, French Language Arts or Social Studies exams during the November 2020 diploma examination sitting, must write the other part in order to receive an official mark for the course.

Retroactive exemptions will not be provided to students who wrote diploma exams in previous school years.

Students may choose to write diploma exams in any of the January, April, June or August 2021 administrations if they:
  • have a school-awarded mark; or
  • wish to rewrite a diploma exam. 
Students choosing to write must inform the assistant principal of their school, ideally before the winter break, so the school knows how many students will be writing exams. If students choose not to write diploma exams, no action is required.  There is no penalty if students change their mind and choose not to write.  However, if they do change their minds, they must inform the school before the start of the examination.

All students who choose to write diploma exams will do so at the school where they are registered. Students will be required to wear masks and follow all other health measures while in the school.

If you have any questions, please contact your school.


Provincial tests are part of a balanced, broad-based program of student assessment. The results provide some of the information that guides our educators as they set targets for student achievement and track the results of school improvement initiatives. Visit the CBE website for more information on our students’ provincial testing​​.​​​

Students taking specific Grade 12 core subjects write provincial Diploma Examinations at the completion of the course which count for 30% of the student’s final mark. These courses in the CBE are:

  • English Language Arts 30-1
  • English Language Arts 30-2
  • French Language Arts 30-1
  • Mathematics 30-1
  • Mathematics 30-2
  • Biology 30
  • Chemistry 30
  • Physics 30
  • Science 30
  • Social Studies 30-1
  • Social Studies 30-2

More information on Diploma Exams can be found on the Alberta Education website​.

Exams & Graduation

Final Examinations

School-based common final exams and Alberta Education Diploma exams will be scheduled during the last two weeks of each semester. These examinations are compulsory and all students are required to write them. Please see the Exam Device Policy on the Exam Rules & Information page.

The school-based common final examinations can only be written on the scheduled date as per exam schedules published at the end of each semester. Teachers, in consultation with administration, may exempt a student from writing the final exam when extenuating circumstances such as critical illness or bereavement warrant it.

The Alberta Education Diploma examinations cannot be rescheduled but arrangements may be made to write the exam at the next sitting for the exam. The exam schedule will be posted on the school website close to the Parent Teacher Interviews in October and March.

Exam Rules & Information

Device Policy and Examinations

Students must not have a cellphone or other electronic device on their person during a major assessment in any of their classes.  It is the student’s responsibility to confirm that their devices are both TURNED OFF and NOT ON THEIR PERSON during a major assessment.

Students who are discovered with a cellphone or electronic device on their person during a major assessment, even if it is turned off, will have that test invalidated and a mark of zero assessed.  This policy is in keeping with Learn Alberta’s policy regarding diploma exam administration, and it will be enforced at Sir Winston Churchill for all major tests.

Prohibited Items in an Examination

According to Alberta Education, CBE and school policy, having the following objects on your person during a final examination is prohibited. Those caught will be expelled from the exam room immediately and have their mark invalidated (score of zero on the exam).

Any electronic devices including but not limited to:

  • Cellphones
  • Digital Audio Players
  • Smart watches
  • Ipods
  • Electronic organizers
  • Hand-held electronic dictionaries
  • Any other portable electronic devices

Please leave all of these items in your locker or at home during exam time.

Other items that Sir Winston Churchill will prohibit from allowing in the examination rooms:

  • purses
  • bookbags and backpacks
  • coats
  • hats
  • books or notes
  • calculator covers 

Please bring only what is required for the examination.

Things to Bring for your Exam

Use this as a checklist for things to bring:

  • Picture ID: needed for ALL exams especially diploma exams
  • HB pencils, ideally mechanical to eliminate sharpening
  • Pens if writing an essay and if a pen is required or preferred
  • Good quality eraser
  • Comfortable clothing: Remember that coats are NOT allowed. Wear a sweater if you get cold easily or if you are writing in the gymnasium.
  • Bottled water and/or food item in a clear container such as tupperware or a clear bag. Please no nuts or nut products.
  • For English Part A exams: You may be allowed the following print resources as long as they are free of any notes or handwriting. This will be checked: 
  • A print dictionary
  • A thesaurus
  • For Social Part A exams: You may be allowed the following print resources as long as they are free of any notes or handwriting. This will be checked.
  • A print dictionary, so long as it does NOT contain appendices that include social studies content (see below)
  • A thesaurus
  • For Math and Science exams: rulers, protractors and an approved calculator provided that:
    • the calculator is cleared back to original factory settings, free of any extraneous programs or built in notes.
    • DO NOT bring your calculator cover. Leave it in your locker or at home
    • There are certain programs which are used to conceal information in a calculator. Staff assigned to check calculators know and can detect these programs. ANY ATTEMPT to use a calculator containing these programs will result in that student's final exam being invalidated (given a mark of zero). 

The staff of Sir Winston Churchill wishes our students all the best as you prepare and take your examinations. Study hard and good luck!!


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