Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement or AP, is an internationally recognized enrichment program that offers accelerated results to motivated students, preparing them for the transition from high school to university. Since 1955, the AP Program has enabled millions of students to take college-level courses and exams, and to earn college credit or placement while still in high school.

Successful completion of AP courses includes writing internationally-recognized exams which in turn results in potential credits for 1st-year university courses at many colleges and universities around the world.

AP is considered a global standard for academic excellence.  AP courses and exam grades are used in the admission process in more than 3,800 universities and colleges in 115 different countries.

Visit the AP Credit Policy database to learn how many credits your AP scores will earn you and which courses you may be able to place out of at your future college.

By taking an AP course, you aren’t just distinguishing yourself in high school and in the college admissions process; you are also building the skills you’ll need throughout your college years. Since AP courses give you the opportunity to get your hands on real college-level work while still in high school, you’ll get a great idea of what to expect when you move onto the next phase of your educational journey.

What are the Benefits of AP?

  • Competitive advantage in college admissions

“By making the decision to take an AP course, you’re letting colleges and universities know that you have what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. AP courses signal to admissions officers that you’ve undertaken the most rigorous classes your high school has to offer. They see that you’ve challenged yourself with college-level course work and expectations, and have refined your skills to meet these expectations. In the increasingly competitive admissions process, this knowledge can be very valuable.

“Importantly, AP courses offer admissions officers a consistent measure of course rigor across high schools, districts, states and countries — because all AP teachers, no matter where they’re teaching, have to provide a curriculum that meets college standards. So when admissions officers see “AP” on your transcript, they have a good understanding of what you experienced in a particular class and how well it prepared you for the increased challenges of college.” (College Board)

  • Makes candidates more attractive to colleges:
    • 31% of colleges and universities consider a student’s AP experience when making decisions about who will receive scholarships
    • 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admissions decisions
  • Opportunity to earn university credits &/or placement while in high school
  • Earn college credit for qualifying AP exam scores
  • Students study subjects at an advanced level based on their interests and expertise
  • Provides enrichment and challenge for academically-driven students
  • Helps students nurture higher-order thinking skills
  • Helps students prepare for Diploma exams and AP College Board exams
  • Eases the transition from high school to post-secondary environments
  • Better prepared for college-level work
  • Increases eligibility for scholarships

Who should Take AP Courses?

Generally, a grade of 80% or proficient to mastery in a prerequisite course and teacher recommendation is required for students who wish to take an AP course. However, students not possessing a grade of 80% or proficient to mastery are encouraged to apply and may be accepted depending on the strength of student application and teacher recommendation.

To be successful, a student must:

  • Enjoy a challenge
  • Have a well-developed work ethic
  • Be self-disciplined and self-motivated
  • Be motivated to achieve
  • Find learning stimulating and exciting
  • Have parental support and approval

AP application forms can be obtained from one of our guidance counselor’s office.

What AP Courses are Offered?

Typically, AP courses build upon the Alberta Curriculum and provide additional enrichment. By the end of grade 12, students in AP courses will have exceeded the Alberta requirements in those areas.

  • English 10 AP
  • Math 10 AP

Students registered in AP English are prepared for the AP English Language and Composition examination in Grade 11 and for the AP English Literature and Composition in Grade 12.

Students enrolled in AP Math can expect a 5-course sequence which is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB exam or the AP Calculus BC exam in May of the third year of the program.

ELA AP Overview

These advanced placement courses offer students a chance to do rigorous academic work that eventually leads to the opportunity to complete college level work in high school. Marks are reported as -1 stream marks. In grade 12, students will write the advanced placement exam gaining an advanced placement at a post-secondary institution if their grade is suitable. There is a charge for the AP exam.

There is a mandatory pre-test administered in June, please refer to the AP letter on this page for current dates and information. 

NOTE: The Literature and Composition steam of Advanced Placement has rigorous reading requirements. As such, students will be expected to read and complete work both over the summer and during semesters when they are not actively taking the course.

Math AP Overview

Math 10C AP has a mandatory pre-test administered in June, please refer to the AP letter on this page for current dates and information.  We have found that students who receive under 70% on the pre-test are not successful in Math 10C AP, therefore students who receive 70% or lower are placed into Math 10C. However, if you still wish your child to take Math 10C AP and your child received under 70% on the pre-test, please make an appointment with your grade level administrator to discuss this.

Course Structure

* Course numbers and sequence are subject to change

Grade 10
English 10 AP
Math 10C AP

Grade 11
English 20 AP
Math 20-1 AP

Grade 12
English 30 AP
English 35 AP
Math 30-1 AP
Math 31 AP

NOTE: The Literature and Composition stream of Advanced Placement has rigorous reading requirements. As such, students will be expected to read and complete work both over the summer and during semesters when they are not actively taking the course.

Will my Grade be Affected By Taking AP?

Marks are reported as ‘dash-1 stream’ marks — consistent with what they would have received in a regular ‘dash-1 stream’ course. Generally, students can expect AP course work to enhance, not hinder, their overall progress.


Will Taking AP Courses Affect Extracurricular Activities

Motivated AP students will still be able to balance different activities both in and out of school without jeopardizing their studies. Some of those interests might include:

  • Athletics
  • Music
  • Student Council
  • Clubs
  • Part-time employment
  • Various committees

What are the costs for the AP Program

There are no additional fees for taking the AP program – students are automatically provided with all necessary materials required to complete their coursework. However, there is one additional exam, of which AP students are responsible for paying for.

AP students are responsible for all examination costs.

In grade 12, students write the AP exam (50% of the fees paid in Grade 11, and 50% in grade 12), potentially gaining an advanced placement at a post-secondary institution.

In some courses, students may wish to purchase their own textbooks in order to build their own personal library of materials.

How to get started in AP

  1. Learn about AP from your counsellor (conversation starter), or the College Board website
  2. Select AP classes that will support your post-secondary career
  3. Be aware to pay the additional $91 AP exam fee


What scholarships and awards are available?

Students who are enrolled in an Advanced Placement course usually receive very high marks on the Diploma Exams which are used to qualify for scholarships.

The College Board partners with leading philanthropists and organizations to support academic excellence and achievement via awards, grants, and financial aid programs support.

Learn more about how you can take advantage of these programs.

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