Nova Scotia has been given an overall mark of C in the Conference Board of Canada's first education and skills report card.

The report card looks at the performance of the provinces and Canada compared to 15 international countries.

The countries were chosen based on three criteria: standard of living, population size and geographic size. All levels of education were studied from kindergarten to post-secondary.

Canada performs well at the national level in reading, math and science tests. Significant differences emerge at the provincial level.

British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta are the top performers among all the provinces, earning a B grade.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador all earned Ds overall, while P.E.I. earned a D-, scoring worse than the lowest-ranked international peer country.

Conference Board of Canada Report Card

Nova Scotia ranks 12th out of 26 jurisdictions, but there is some good news.

"Nova Scotia has a number of strengths in its education and skills performance," said Michael Bloom, the vice-president of industry and business strategy at the Conference Board of Canada.

"In particular, a high percentage of the working-age population has completed high school and a large share has a college diploma."

Conference Board of Canada Report Card

Nova Scotia got A grades for the share of the population aged 25 to 64 that has completed high school and the share of the population aged 25 to 64 that has a college diploma.

Nova Scotia's grades on university-related indicators are superior to those of many provinces. It earned a B grade for the percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 with a university degree.

While Nova Scotia got a C on the number of science, math, computer science and engineering graduates in 2011, it ranks ahead of all other provinces and behind only Finland, the United Kingdom and Australia among the 16 international countries, including Canada.