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Academic Differences in Canada: How to Understand and Excel in the Canadian Education System


Although studying in Canada is a desirable goal for many, relocating and adjusting to a new environment can present challenges. However, by thoroughly understanding the education system and considering other relevant factors, adapting and achieving success can become more accessible. Consequently, this blog will provide advice on comprehending and excelling in the Canadian education system.


India vs Canada: Academic Differences

The table below demonstrates several significant and crucial distinctions between India and Canada.




Cost Associated

Undergraduate programs can cost INR 10,000 to INR 3,00,000 per year (CAD 164 to CAD 4,925), while postgraduate programs range from INR 20,000 to INR 5,00,000 per year (CAD 328 to CAD 8,209) on average.

​Postgraduate degrees typically cost between CAD 17,000 and 50,000 annually, while undergraduate programs cost between CAD 15,000 and 35,000 annually.


Three years for undergraduate degrees, two years for master's degrees, and 3-5 years for doctoral degrees.

Undergraduate degrees take four years to complete, master's degrees two years, and doctoral degrees four to six years.

Grading System

Universities generally use a percentage system to assign letter grades based on a specific percentage range; the passing grade usually falls between 40 and 50%.

The grading system is based on the GPA, where letter grades are assigned a numeric value and averaged to determine the final grade point average (GPA). Usually, a 4.0 scale is utilized.

Entrance Examination

Entrance exams in India are expected for admission to higher education, especially for fields such as engineering, medicine, law, and management. Popular exams include JEE for engineering, NEET for medical and dental, CUET for various undergraduate and postgraduate courses, CAT for control, and CLAT for law. Universities and colleges may also have their entrance exams.

Standardized entrance exams like the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT are necessary for entry into Canadian higher education institutions. Depending on the institution and program, different tests could be needed.

An Overview

In India, students can specialize in their chosen field of study from the start, which is based on a semester system. Grading is based on a percentage system, and teaching is primarily lecture-based. Accreditation is done by the University Grants Commission in India.

The Canadian education system usually provides general education to first-year students, with the option to specialize in specific subjects in subsequent years. Credits form the basis of this system, and various teaching methods are available, such as lectures, group discussions, and projects. The respective governments of the provinces and territories handle accreditation.

The table compares the course structures of higher education in Canada and India, highlighting variances in degree levels, duration, and grading systems. Additionally, it outlines the different entrance exams that prospective students must take for admission to higher education institutions in both countries.


To conclude, thoroughly understanding the academic differences between the Canadian education system and other countries, especially India, is crucial for comprehending and excelling in it. As the blog describes, the Canadian education system emphasizes a general education in the first year, with the opportunity to specialize in subsequent years. Additionally, it mandates standardized entrance exams for admission to higher education institutions and employs a GPA-based grading system. International students can navigate and thrive in the Canadian education system by acknowledging and adapting to these disparities. Furthermore, considering other factors like cultural differences and adjusting to a new environment can also contribute to student's academic success in Canada.

We know and understand that the application process can be overwhelming, so we are here for you. The study abroad experts at Hello Study Global are there for you every step of the way. From preparing for entrance exams to college applications, we will guide you to success.

Feel free to reach us at Hello Study Global.

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