UK vs Canada – Studying & Exams

By Christevie Ngoma, University of Toronto, Canada

3 exams and 3 assignments later, I’ve officially completed my third year at UofT! After experiencing the Canadian University system for a year, I think I’m qualified to compare it to the UK!

Quantity of Assessments

I would say in UK institutions, exams & assignments come at a specific time. For example, we know during Christmas a lot of us are preparing for exams & essays due in January. Whereas at UofT the assessment is constant and we didn’t actually have anything to prepare for in January, there was always a deadline arriving or there was always something to submit. Weekly or Bi Weekly we either had a quiz, a reflection and this picked up closer to the end of term. An advantage of this was that it kept me constantly engaged with the work BUT there was always a constant feeling of stress due to never ending deadlines …

Diversity of Assessments

This moves me on to my next part about the diverse forms of assessments at UofT. As someone who studies PPE in Manchester, I was used to solely exams and essays. For example, most of my Politics modules were 60% exam based and the rest being split into essays and participation. Whereas, at UofT there was a lot of different ways that I was being assessed for different Politics modules. I had video projects, map quizzes, presentations, weekly reflection paragraphs etc. I think an advantage of this was that there was a range of opportunities to boost up my grade, and it was nice to gain different skills from different assessments.

Professors & Classes

The final comparison would be to do with classes! The range of courses and modules offered at the University of Toronto and I would say North American Universities in general is really impressive! They have an African studies department, Caribbean Studies, Women and Gender studies and so much more. Alongside their amazing PPE modules, I’ve been able to study African Youth Languages, Global Christianities and other really interesting courses. From my perspective professors do emphasise participation a lot more, I have found the bigger classes at Manchester easier to hide in. This isn’t really applied to Economic modules though, even in a different continent those classes are huge.

I hope this comparison is useful!

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