EDUCATION | Education tips

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Tips for High School Students Before Applying to University

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As the university and college applications have open for grade 12 students, we have some helpful tips for figuring out the eligibility for most programs in post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.

Generally, if students plan to apply for liberal arts or business majors, they must meet the general admission requirements. However, the admission requirements might be different for science and engineering applicants. Besides English and Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics (grade 11 and 12) would also be required. We have listed the required courses below for reference; please refer to this website for more details about approved academic 12 courses.

Required courses

Grade 11 courses: Approved English 11, Pre-calculus 11, Approved science 11, Approved social studies 11/12

Grade 12 courses: English Studies 12 or English First Peoples 12 (minimum 67%), Pre-calculus 12 (minimum 67%) plus Two approved academic 12 courses


Admission requirements may vary

One thing for students to keep in mind is that the admission requirements could be varied, depending on the provinces that the post-secondary institution is located in. For example, universities in BC mostly look at students’ grades in grade-12 courses, and their grades could determine the chances of entering their dream school. However, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia tend to have higher requirements and require grade 11.

The minimum admission criteria for universities in BC require at least four courses in grade 12, but there is a chance that your school asks for up to 5 or 6 classes for assessment. If students take more than six courses (except the four required courses), they can submit courses with the highest score to make themselves more competitive. However, it is essential to look at the minimum GPA before handing in your application. Students can usually look at the lowest GPA their schools accepted in the previous year. If students are applying for competitive majors, they need to check if schools have other specific requirements. 

Volunteer experience for admission

It is a very stressful year for most students; it is also crucial to have sufficient volunteer experiences and extra-curricular activities. The minimum volunteer hours to graduate from Canadian high schools are 30, but the student would need to go the extra mile to be treated as a comprehensive applicant.

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