About the ministerial examinations in elementary and secondary school

Ministerial examinations are set in certain subjects at different points in the students’ educational path. These examinations serve as important measuring tools to evaluate the students’ level of competency development.

Types of ministerial examinations

The Ministère de l’Éducation is responsible for two types of ministerial examinations: those in elementary school and Secondary Cycle One, and those in Secondary IV and V. The school organizations, educational institutions and teachers may also administer other types of examinations and use other methods to evaluate the students’ learning.

Examinations in elementary school and Secondary Cycle One

The ministerial examinations in elementary school and Secondary Cycle One are designed to verify that the requirements for certain programs have been met. For the 2023-2024 school year, they will count for 10% of the student’s final result in Elementary Cycles Two and Three and Secondary Cycle One. (Subject to required ministerial approvals.)

Examinations in Secondary IV and V

For the 2023-2024 school year, the ministerial examinations in Secondary IV and V will count for 20% of the student’s final result in the subjects that must be successfully completed to obtain a Secondary School Diploma. (Subject to required ministerial approvals.)

A support document on the learning to be prioritized (PDF 866 Kb) in Secondary IV and V for the May-June and August 2024 ministerial examinations is available.

Other examinations

School organizations, educational institutions or teachers may administer other examinations in certain subjects and at certain times when the Ministère is not carrying out any evaluations. In these cases, school administrators are responsible for approving, based on the teachers’ suggestions, the terms and conditions for local evaluations and for properly informing the students and their parents of the exams.

Security of examinations

Ministerial examinations are the property of the Québec government, before, during and after they are administered. The process of ensuring the security of exams is a responsibility shared by the Ministère, the school organizations (school service centres, school boards, and private and public educational institutions) and school staff.

Security measures in place

Several measures are put in place before, during and after the administration of the examinations in accordance with responsibilities of the different people involved. All of these actions aim to preserve the integrity of the examinations, and to ensure that the students’ results are processed fairly and equitably. 

Before the examination

Before administering the examination to students, the staff must: 

  • ensure that the specific measures for the transportation, storage, distribution and reproduction of the examinations is respected
  • remind students and the other staff that it is prohibited to disclose any information regarding the examinations by any means whatsoever, including on social media
  • inform students of the instructions for the administration of the examinations: schedule, procedure, authorized materials, etc.

During the examination

During the administration of the examination, staff must remind students that: 

  • they are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any electronic device (smartphone, portable media player, smartwatch, etc.) that can be used to communicate, access the Internet, translate text, or create, save or consult data 
  • they are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any materials that are not authorized for the examination

 Students who violate these rules will be declared guilty of cheating and will receive a mark of 0% on the examination. 

After the examination

The staff must give the marking guides and answer keys to the teachers only after the examination has been fully administered.

Additional security measures

Other security measures are also in place: 

  • Making school staff aware that they must be vigilant
  • Reminding the different staff members of their responsibilities
  • Developing guidelines for students regarding the sharing of confidential information on social media
  • Implementing a procedure to report breaches of confidentiality

Reporting a breach of confidentiality

If you have witnessed a breach of confidentiality, please contact us by email as soon as possible.


Every year, the Ministère publishes an official schedule for the examination sessions. Educational institutions must fully respect this schedule. Educational institutions are responsible for administering the examinations and must provide the required premises and supervisory personnel. The Ministère provides the examination materials.

Examination sessions are slated for January, June and August of each year.

To be admitted to an examination set by the Ministère, students must have been legally enrolled in a school, and they must have taken the corresponding program or have received equivalent instruction at home following an exemption from school attendance.

Furthermore, an educational institution cannot refuse a student admission to an examination on the grounds of too many absences or low marks.


Depending on the examination, the responsibility for marking is shared by the Ministère and the educational institutions according to the following procedures:

Secondary V French, Language of Instruction: centralized marking at the Ministère.

Secondary IV Mathematics, Secondary IV Science and Secondary V French as a Second Language: the responsibility for marking is shared by the Ministère and the educational institutions. The multiple-choice part of these examinations is marked by optical reader at the Ministère, and the constructed-response part is marked by the student’s teacher.

Other examinations, such as those for Secondary IV History of Québec and Canada and Secondary V English as a Second Language, are marked entirely by the student’s teacher based on a marking guide produced by the Ministère.

Last update: May 16, 2024


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