Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP)

The Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) is a national assessment that measures Grade 8 students’ knowledge and skills in the area of reading, mathematics and science. It is organized in partnership with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) and all Canadian provinces. (Note: The territories do not currently participate in PCAP.)

As school programs differ from one part of the country to another, comparing results is complex. PCAP helps to determine whether students across Canada reach similar levels of performance at about the same time in their schooling (Grade 8). PCAP includes both multiple-choice and open-ended questions.

The first administration of PCAP was in 2007, and it takes place every three years. The next administration will take place in 2019. Although each PCAP administration includes questions on all three domains (area of focus), the major domain changes from one administration to the next.  The major domain for each year is indicated below in bold:

Approximately 32,600 students from across the country were randomly selected to participate in PCAP. In BC, approximately 3,500 students from 160 schools participated.

Questionnaires are also completed by students, teachers and principals to better understand factors that contribute to the success of students, schools, and education systems.