Although the American and Canadian educational systems are similar in many respects, there are notable differences that can confuse people pretty thoroughly. Here’s a list of Canadian educational terms, followed by their American equivalents: Grade x (“She’s in grade three”) xth grade Write a test Take a test Marks Grades. In Canada, teachers mark students’ work instead of grading it, and take “marks off” if the students give wrong answers. Essay Paper Public school Elementary school Supply teacher Substitute teacher Separate school Catholic school, parochial school College Community college or technical school University Four-year, degree-granting college or university At university In college Residence (“He lives in residence”) Dormitory (“He lives in the dorms”) OAC, grade 13 An extra year of high school after grade 12, intended for students going on to university (not college). Only in Ontario, and they’re phasing it out. (Some joke that because the former Ontario Minister of Education, John Snobelen, dropped out of high school in grade 11, he got rid of OAC to get that much closer to having a high school diploma.) CEGEP (pronounced SAY-zhep) In Québec, a post-high school college offering two-year pre-university programs and three-year professional development programs. CEGEP stands for Collège d’enseignement général et professionel. There are a few English-language CEGEPs and many French-language ones. (Thanks to a visitor for this one.) Bursary A tuition grant, given to students in need (in the US, at least at the school where I went, the bursary was the office where you went to pay your tuition bills) Coles Notes Analogous to Cliff Notes; Coles is a national chain of bookstores. A friend tells me that Coles Notes celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1998, and the press coverage noted that the original Cliff Notes were licenced versions of Coles Notes. skipping out cutting class minor niner Ontario term for person in grade 9. In Ontario, high schools currently range from grades 9 to 13. Someone in grade 9 is indeed a minor niner. On course (often used among business people to explain why they’re not in the office: “You’ve reached Jane Doe of All-Canada Enterprises. I’m on course this week, but will be checking for messages…”) In class Canadians don’t use the terms “freshman,” “sophomore,” “junior,” or “senior,” for high school or college students. What Americans would call “juniors in high school” are “grade elevens.” University students are referred to according to what year they’re in: an American junior would be a third-year in Canada. Prominent universities The university’s city is listed if the university’s name doesn’t make it clear where the school is. A more complete list is available from the University of Waterloo. Newfoundland Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s Nova Scotia Acadia University, Wolfville Dalhousie University, Halifax Saint Mary’s University, Halifax St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish New Brunswick Mount Allison University, Sackville University of New Brunswick, Fredericton and Saint John Université de Moncton Prince Edward Island University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown Québec Bishop’s University, Lennoxville Concordia University, Montréal McGill University, Montréal Université du Québec à Montréal Université de Montréal École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal Université Laval, Québec Ontario Université d’Ottawa / University of Ottawa Carleton University, Ottawa Queen’s University, Kingston Royal Military College, Kingston Trent University, Peterborough University of Toronto York University, Toronto Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto University of Guelph McMaster University, Hamilton University of Waterloo Wilfrid Laurier University Brock University, St. Catharines University of Western Ontario, London University of Windsor Manitoba Brandon University, Brandon University of Manitoba, Winnipeg University of Winnipeg Saskatchewan University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon University of Regina Alberta University of Alberta, Edmonton University of Calgary University of Lethbridge British Columbia University of British Columbia, Vancouver Simon Fraser University, Vancouver University of Victoria University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George