Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP)

Last updated: July 25, 2023

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

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 educational systems 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.

Administration and results

The administration 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: