R Score Q&A


What is the R Score?

It is a method of classifying students that universities use as a factor for admissions. The R Score takes into account that it is easier to obtain higher percentage grades in certain courses, classes, or with certain teachers.


How is the R Score calculated?

There are two components in the R Score calculation:

  1. The College Z score measures your grade in the class using the standard deviation (grade spread) and the average grade. The less spread out the grades are amongst the class, the smaller the standard deviation, which generally yields a higher R Score.

  2. Group strength (ISG) is based on how well, on average, you and your classmates performed in high school. The ISG is the same for every student in a given class. For example, a student in a strong group in which it is harder to score above average would otherwise have a lower Z Score, but the ISG offsets this effect.

  • Note: not all courses are worth the same number of credits and will contribute to your R Score in different proportions. Make sure to check your course outline for more detail.


How can I improve my R Score?

There is no secret other than hard work at home and in class. Many parts in the R Score calculations are not within your control (ISG, standard deviation). Do not hesitate to ask your teacher for help understanding the school material. Additionally, there are many tutoring services across campus like the Academic Success Center and peer tutoring offered by departments, both of which are free of charge. 


Does my choice of CEGEP matter?

No, the R Score calculation is the same in all CEGEPs, and the R Score calculation accounts for group strength and dispersion


What average, ISG, and standard deviation are used? 

As a general rule, for science program-specific courses, the average and ISG of all students taking the course at the same time are used. For general education courses, the average and ISG of the particular section is used, even if a same teacher has two sections of the same course. In some programs, program-specific courses that share a common evaluation plan may be grouped together or treated individually. 


What impact does failing a class have on my R Score?

A course failed weighs half of its credits. Depending on the case, it can be required to take the same course again or it could be replaced by a different one. For instance, when failing an option course, a different option course can be taken instead.


What if I change programs?

An overall R Score is calculated, based on all the courses a student took. Then, a program-specific R Score is calculated for each program you were in. Universities will use the R Score that comes from the program in which you obtained your diploma from or the one for the DEC used for your admission. If you have two DCS, universities will use the average R Score of all courses or the R score from the program from which you graduated most recently, whichever is higher.


In what cases is the R Score not calculated? 

-A course with less than 6 students in it

-A course in which less than 6 students obtained a grade of 50 and over

-High-school make-up courses or other mise à niveau courses

-A course in which all students received the same grade


What is the impact of taking an intersession/summer course on my R Score?

Summer courses count as courses for the Summer semester, so taking one would be equivalent to adding a semester to your CEGEP journey. Courses taken during intersession would count towards the R Score of the Winter semester that begins right after.

source:  http://www.bci-qc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/R_Score_Survey-of-its-purpose-and-use_july09-2018.pdf