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Fair or Unfair?

A photo of elau elau
As you know, each Canadian province has their own education system. And for universities to accommodate these differences, admission criterion is adjusted accordingly for each applicant, depending which province s/he hails from.

For example, universities would calculate the average of a BC student by their top 4 courses, while the average of an Ontario student would be calculated by their top 6 courses.

But is this fair?
It doesn't take rocket science to figure out under which system you'd have the higher average in.

Once the averages are calculated, universities indiscriminately weigh one against the other—regardless of whether the averages have been derived from 6 courses (Ontario), 5 courses (Alberta), or 4 courses (BC), and etc.

I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this. :/


(I decided to post this topic after having been told by a UBC counselor that "Well, this is how we've always done things. The admission process can't be changed because of one invidiual.", except this isn't only about me. Doesn't this concern every Canadian student out there?)
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A photo of ktel ktel
I wouldn't go so far as saying the universities indiscriminately compare averages from different provinces. I'm actually not sure which province you're arguing for (I'm assuming you have some sort of bias).

It has to work this way. The provinces have different course offerings, hence why they have different requirements. For example, while Ontario has 3 different grade 12 math classes, all the other provinces have only 1 or 2. That's why their course requirements get reduced.
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A photo of elau elau
(Yes, it's not indiscriminate. Universities tend to favour in-province applicants, among other considerations, such as supplementaries. I was just making a point :P)

I understand that each province has different course offerings, and as a result universities have different course requirements from province to province. So while a student in Ontario may need two math courses to apply to a program, a student from another province may need only one (as it covers the content of both Ontario math courses). However, it still doesn't make any sense for the Ontario student's average to derive from English, two maths, and three other courses, while (I am using BC as the primary example, because it differs the most from Ontario's system) the BC student's average comes from English, one math, and two other courses. Why should the Ontario student be penalized for having to take one more math? Even if the two had identical grades for their English and math courses, the Ontario student's average will still be lower due to his/her extra courses which are also accounted into the average.

Even in arts, where the only requirement is English, Ontario student averages are calculated from English, and 5 other courses. On the other hand, BC student averages are calculated from English, and 3 other courses. As an example, let's say both Ontario and BC students take 6 courses and obtain identical grades:

94
91
90 (English)
87
84
80

Ontario student average: (English + top 5 courses)
90 (English) + 94 + 91 + 87 + 84 + 80 / 6 = 87.7

BC student average: (English + top 3 courses)
90 (English) + 94 + 90 + 87 / 4 = 90.3

As you can see, despite having identical marks, the BC student will still have the higher average, simply because of the number of courses taken into account for calculation.
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A photo of jelly jelly
If your elective is at an 80% or an 84% in Ontario and your average without them is 90%, you'd be pretty dumb to not fill your spares to get some higher marks. Of course the system can't be fair because the education is just different across the provinces, but if you're actually worried enough for that extra 1-3%, you'd be finding ways to maximize your mark in your respective education system. In the Ontario case, taking easier electives to actually boost your admission average. There are always some courses that you're either good at, or its just plain easy.
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A photo of elau elau
Those were just marks I randomly made up, so no need to resort to insults, thank you. Personally, this doesn't really concern me— my average is high enough either way to get me into the programs I want.

But if your attitude toward something blatantly skewed and unfair is just "deal with it", then I have nothing more to say, lol.
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A photo of jelly jelly
Didn't mean to come across offensively, sorry about that. Using the word "dumb" was just really for lack of a better vocabulary - nothing personal or anything. What I'm saying is that its more than just "deal with it," its that there are ways to do well in any of the education systems as long as you're well-informed. You always have the chance to do well in easy electives (business leadership/international business come to mind) if you're lacking some marks, or you can just take electives to fill spots and really focus on your pre-req courses if you're from out-of-province.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
It can work both ways, watch:

BC student (English + top 3): 72% English, 84%, 86%, 87%, (83% in both other classes), avg = 82.25%
Ontario student (English + top 5): 72% English, 83%, 83%, 84%, 86%, 87%, avg = 82.5%

If you did poorly in English and other required courses but well in other courses, then the additional courses included in your calculated average will benefit you. Seeing as English is usually a person's lowest mark, including another five courses in your average can be more helpful than just including another three. Aside from that, yeah, life is unfair. Boo-hoo, etc, etc...
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A photo of ktel ktel
We could also argue that it's unfair that students in Ontario can essentially buy a grade by going to private school, that there is rampant grade inflation, etc. Ultimately students in other provinces take fewer courses than Ontario students. I took bio, chem, physics, English, history and math in my grade 12 year. That's IT, I did not have room for anything else. Look at this: http://www.admissions.ualberta.ca/ProgramsAndRequirements/~/media/recruitment/Publications/2012-13/Chart2-ProvincialEquivalencies.pdf

You can see where Ontario has 10 equivalent courses in some categories, the other provinces have only 1 or 2.
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A photo of iliketurtles iliketurtles

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
It can work both ways, watch:

BC student (English + top 3): 72% English, 84%, 86%, 87%, (83% in both other classes), avg = 82.25%
Ontario student (English + top 5): 72% English, 83%, 83%, 84%, 86%, 87%, avg = 82.5%

If you did poorly in English and other required courses but well in other courses, then the additional courses included in your calculated average will benefit you. Seeing as English is usually a person's lowest mark, including another five courses in your average can be more helpful than just including another three. Aside from that, yeah, life is unfair. Boo-hoo, etc, etc...


You just got math'd lol
But yeah this applies to me...my "Top 4" would probably be around 90.5 but "Top 6" comes to around 91-92
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A photo of elau elau
Does it really matter who benefits, or gets disadvantaged? Point is, it's unfair—regardless of whether it's for BC students, or Ontario students.

But if the general sentiment is just "boo-hoo, life is unfair" then I suppose that's all there is to it. Topic closed.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Well, it's true: it's not possible for everything to be perfectly standardized. If Ontario students only were placed based on their top 4 average, the world would still not be balanced. Ontario students have more courses to choose from, and can choose to take a bunch of easy ones (e.g. Challenges and Change, Law, etc...) if they wanted to. So what? BC should start offering those courses, or Ontario should not offer them, to make things fair? BC might as well flatten their mountains too; that way students can get to school and back home in less time, allowing for more time to study. There's no universal natural law stating that everything must be fair.
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