Skip To Content

Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement (AP) is an internationally recognized enrichment program that offers acceleration and challenge to motivated students. It prepares them for the transition from high school to university by helping them develop the skills they will need to thrive in a post-secondary environment.

Successful completion of AP exams can permit students to obtain credit in first year university courses at colleges and universities around the world, including the University of Alberta. AP exam scores can also be used when calculating admission averages, giving AP students a chance to boost their admission average if their AP exam score is higher than their final mark in a Diploma Exam course.

Even if a student receives an AP exam score that is not eligible for post-secondary course credit, research released by the College Board in 2021 found a positive connection between taking AP courses and exams and post-secondary enrollment and readiness.
Click here to read more about the  2021 Research on 1 and 2 AP marks and click here to read more about the 2020 Research on 3 or better mark.

What is an AP class like?

An AP class is driven by a passion for learning and for the subject matter. This creates a positive, focused classroom culture where students can explore ideas and stretch their capabilities in a supportive environment. All materials are provided for the various courses.

How does AP fit in with the Alberta High School Program?

AP fits in very well with all Alberta High School curriculum requirements. 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. Grade 10 students are encouraged to enroll in as many AP courses as possible, as it is easier to start in AP and move out than to try to catch up in Grades 11 or 12. Students are not obligated to remain in the AP stream for all three years.

Will taking AP courses affect extracurricular activities?

A number of our AP scholars are involved in many activities both in and out of school including athletics, music, Student Union, clubs, and graduation committees. Because of the program's flexibility, AP students can be involved in other areas that interest them without jeopardizing their studies.

What are the benefits of AP?

The Advanced Placement Program:

  • allows students to study one or more subjects at an advanced level, depending upon the individual student’s interests and expertise
  • provides enrichment and challenge for academically-talented and well-motivated students
  • helps students develop and practice higher order thinking skills
  • assists with transition from high school to post-secondary studies
  • helps students prepare for scholarship examinations and AP College Board examinations
  • provides students with an opportunity to earn university credits, standing and/or placement while in high school

Who should take AP courses?

Generally, a mark of 75-80% in a prerequisite course is suggested for students who wish to take an AP course. More important is the student’s motivation and commitment to the importance of education. To be successful, students should have the following characteristics:
  • 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


Scholarship and Scholar Awards

Students a PK who complete AP exams are eligible for recognition as an AP Scholar, and AP Scholar with Honor, and an AP Scholar with Distinction. The following descriptions are from the AP Scholar Awards Page 

The AP Scholar Awards are academic distinctions for students to cite among their credentials on applications and résumés. Students do not receive any monetary award from College Board.

 Award Criteria 
AP Scholar Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams
AP Scholar with Honor Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams 
AP Scholar with Distinction Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams

Please contact the AP Coordinator if you have any questions.

Conrad Hope

For more information, check the College Board website. AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board®. Used with permission.
Paul Kane High School