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Michael Sekatchev, seen here in front of the TRIUMF centre, Canada’s particle accelerator centre, on July 31, 2019, says he was initially worried after B.C. Ministry of Education miscalculated Grade 12 students’ grades of the provincial exam.Jimmy Jeong/The Globe and Mail

A day after assuring graduating British Columbia students that their transcripts now accurately reflect their grades in English and other languages, staff at the B.C. Ministry of Education are having to individually review some exams following complaints from some students who are unsure of whether their final marks are the ones they’ve earned.

The ministry had to scramble this week to fix a systems error, which officials said led to some language marks being incorrectly entered for Grade 12. English marks from provincial exams, worth 40 per cent of a final grade, were particularly affected, throwing some students into a panic because Grade 12 English is a required course for university acceptance.

After students reported the problem on Monday and Tuesday, the ministry said Wednesday the matter was fixed. But while the adjustments boosted the marks for many students, some told The Globe and Mail that their grades actually dropped and they now don’t know which mark is correct.

The ministry said Thursday the fix didn’t mean all marks were adjusted upward. Instead, some failing marks were higher and other marks were adjusted to be lower.

“It went both ways,” said Scott McKenzie, a spokesman for the ministry. But he added: “All marks now on the B.C. student transcripts page are now accurate.”

Several students who spoke to The Globe are not convinced.

B.C. says systems error that flunked thousands of Grade 12 students is fixed

“I am frightened beyond comprehension,” Cher Peng said by e-mail. “I was excited this morning to hear many of my friends’ marks going from 70s, 50s, and 60s going to safer 80s or 70s. I sincerely believed that everything would be okay now.”

But Ms. Peng said her mark has not changed. She has received a 72 per cent on her provincial English exam, which is just shy of the 75 per cent she needs to get accepted to the University of British Columbia. She said her English average before the provincial exam was 94.

“I personally do not feel that I performed at a 72-per-cent level. This situation makes me feel extremely anxious and I’ve been trying to make some sense of it.”

Jacky Young said his English 12 score dropped by eight percentage points, which might put his admission to Simon Fraser University in danger.

“When the new provincial scores came out I felt depressed,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Audrey Sioson, whose score went down by one percentage point, said the change will not affect her university admission much. But she said she is also unsure about the accuracy of the exam results.

She feels the process was “sketchy” and she’s surprised the ministry declared the problem fixed so quickly. She said she did not finish the provincial test, but she still scored a higher mark than some of her peers who did.

“I am confused. It’s weird. … I was expecting them to get my mark or higher,” she said.

Wendy Taylor, acting registrar at University of Victoria, said the school is moving quickly through the new information provided by the ministry.

Andrew Arida, deputy registrar at UBC, said the university hasn’t heard anything from the ministry that would suggest the new transcripts are inaccurate.

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