A “Short” Guide on Your BC Provincial Exams

This is a short guide I wrote to help future students in where I live with their provincial exams. I recently received my scores for my exams and I did fairly well, so since I have a lot of time on my hands, I decided to write a guide based on my experience. This guide covers the general stuff and also focuses on subject exams that I have taken.

Please note that this guide was written for the years that I took the provincials (2004 and 2005) and will not be updated with new info. The exams probably have been changed since then so some of the specific strategies might not be applicable anymore, but the general test taking strategies still apply.

If you go to a regular secondary school in British Columbia (and also the Yukon Territory) and study the regular curriculum, you’ll probably come to a point where you have to take some grade 12 courses which are accompanied by a provincial exam at the end of the school year. These exams are currently worth 40% of your final course mark and are therefore, extremely important. Screwing up on an exam probably means that you have screwed up your final mark for that course. Not only that, since most post-secondary institutions look at the marks of provincially examinable courses, doing badly in the exams may mean loosing a scholarship or maybe even loosing the admission offer. No wonder a lot of students are so stressed out about these exams. The exams create a lot of pressure for these “unfortunate” students. It’s even worse if you have to take several exams at the end of the school year, since you’ll have to prepare for each exam that you write. Many students choose to hire tutors or go to special seminars in order to prepare themselves, which is fine, but if you have managed to enroll yourself into some grade 12 courses, then you should at least have what it takes to prepare yourselves for these exams. The goal of this guide is to give you some information and tips regarding the exams if you happen to have some questions and you can use this guide without having to pay me or leaving your own home. You just need a computer with an internet connection and a little bit of time to view this website.

So you might be thinking, “Who are you to talk to us about these exams?” Well, I confess that I’m not some professional researcher who spends hours looking at data to give you a super-technical analysis of the provincial exams. I’m really just a student who has graduated from high school in BC. In other words, I used to be one of you. I may not be a professional, but I have had my experience with provincial exams. In my final two years of high school, I took a total of seven provincial examinations, and I managed to survive. Not to brag, but actually I probably scored better on my exams than the majority of students in the province, since I got A’s on all my exams. I say this so that you, the readers, know that I at least have some knowledge regarding how to succeed in these provincials and that you know that I’m not just making up everything in this guide. Now that I have “proven” my credentials to some extent, you might be wondering why I wrote this guide. I wrote this guide to help you because I’m such a nice guy and I currently have a lot of free time on my hands, so I might as well practice my writing skills.

Now that we have gotten the questions out of the way, I’ll go into more in-depth detail about this short guide. The seven provincial courses I took are:

Biology 12
Chemistry 12
English 12
French 12
Geography 12
Physics 12
Principles of Mathematics 12

In this list are some of the most popular provincial courses available at the time of writing and chances are you’ll be taking at least one of the courses in this list (mostly likely English 12 since it’s mandatory). I have given each subject its individual page which contains information and tips that apply specifically to that exam. Each page will have a short course description, my overall impressions of the course and exam, the exam description, analysis of the exam, and tips and tricks for getting a good mark. There is also a page with some general info and tips that applies all exams.

I write this guide based on my own experience at the exams and the content in this guide reflects my personal opinion. I try to write this guide using language that most can understand and also try to insert a bit of humour here and there so you won’t get bored. Some of you may be really talented students and might laugh (I don’t mean at my highly sophisticated jokes) when you read this guide, but please realize that not everyone is as smart as you and some people actually need the help. A lot of the tips and advices in this guide are just common sense, and many of you can figure them out by yourself. If you found this guide to be helpful, then that’s great. If you didn’t find this guide helpful, then that’s too bad, but thanks for visiting and good luck on your exams anyways.

Please note that the information in this guide applies to grade 12 provincial exams that are similar to the 2004 and 2005 provincial exams and these pages may or may not be updated (mostly likely not) for future changes in specifications by the Ministry of Education. This guide does not cover the new grade 10 provincials. You may also have taken a course that is not in the list above and want some information about that course. In these cases, since I haven’t taken and probably never ever will take that course, I feel that I’m not really qualified to give you help. If you have questions that are beyond the scope of this guide, there are some other resources you can turn to, such as the Ministry of Education’s website, your counselors and teachers, private tutors, summer courses, special seminars and presentations and many more.

Thank you for visiting this website and hopefully you have found this guide to be of some help.

7 thoughts to “A “Short” Guide on Your BC Provincial Exams”

  1. I’m surprised how you said that the English 12 exam was the hardest and yet you still said you “escaped” with an A… Does this mean you got around 90+ on the exam or somewhere on the high 80s?

    I recently did the English 12 exam and came out with a score of 87. And quite frankly it was the multiple choice that seemed harder than writing. But I guess I’m just “one of those people” who you state like writing.

  2. Good job on the exam. I got 90% on my exam a couple of years ago. It’s different for everybody, but I thought English was the hardest of my provincials. I’m one of the those math and science nerds you see, so English has never been my strongest subject.

  3. Hey, about the the fact that the exam is impossible ace… last year, a kid in my town aced the exam. He scored 100%, and I thought to myself “Why would they publish this in the newspaper?” I now know why.

  4. dude this was a very good guide, thank you for all your free time to do this,heh… i am also a firm believer in the “less you expect” school of thought haha…

    i just looked on the internet for some last minute advice, my exam is tomorrow.

    one thing i will say is that reading really does help oneself with with improving their style and what not. unfortunately, i have not read in the past semester. so we shall see how things go…

    and again, this was really quite a marvelous essay, it had humor and wit and has put me in a much better mood.

    needless to say if you were a chick i would be hitting on you… i think that sums up my admiration…

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