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Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement (AP) is an internationally recognized enrichment program that offers acceleration and challenge to motivated and gifted students as it prepares them for the transition from high school to university. Successful completion of AP exams permits students to obtain credit or advanced placement in first year university courses at over 6,000 colleges and universities around the world.

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.
AP Chart

What are the benefits of AP?

The Advanced Placement Program:

  • allows students to study one or more subjects atan 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

What is an AP class like?

There is more to AP than you ever imagined. Drive the discussion, discover for yourself how things work and get ready for post-secondary studies.

What courses should I take?

Grade 10 students are encouraged to enroll in as many AP courses as possible. Students who register in an AP course in one grade are not obligated to remain in the AP stream for all three years. On occasion a student might choose to move into the AP stream in Grade 11 or 12. Generally it is easier to start in AP and move out if necessary than to try to catch up in Grades 11 or 12.

AP Course Required Concurrent Courses AP Exams
(written in May)
Diploma Exams
(written in January/June)
English None English Language (Grade 11)
English None English Literature (Grade 12) English 30-1
Mathematics Math 31/35 Calculus AB or BC Math 30-1 (Grade 11)
Biology Biology 35 Biology Biology 30
Chemistry Chemistry 35 Chemistry Chemistry 30
Social Studies European History European History (Grade 11) Social Studies 30-1
Psychology None Psychology  
Studio Art Art 31 AP Studio Art  

AP French

Honor students in FLA 30 should consider writing the AP French Language and Culture exam.

AP Spanish

Students with advanced Spanish language skills may wish to write the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.

AP Psychology

Jump start your post-secondary experience. Give AP Psychology a try. Learn about human behavior and the science of psychology. The prerequisite course is either Personal Psychology 20 or Biology 30.

AP Online

Many AP courses are available for independent study including:
Biology, Calculus AB/BC, Chemistry, Comparative Government and Politics, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, European History, French, German, Human Geography, Italian, Japanese, Chinese/Mandarin, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Physics 1 and 2, Music Theory, Psychology , Spanish, Statistics, Studio Art, U.S. History, U.S. Government and Politics, World History.

See the Advanced Placement Coordinator and the following the Apex Learning website.

Will taking AP courses affect extracurricular activities?

The time commitment for AP will depend largely on how many AP courses you take. At present, a number of our AP scholars are very involved in many different activities both in and out of school including athletics, music, Students’ Union, clubs, and graduation committees. Because of the flexibility of the program, AP students can be involved in other areas that interest them without jeopardizing their studies.

What are the costs for AP?

Paul Kane High School provides AP students with all the materials required in the various courses.

Scholarship and Scholar Awards

Students who are enrolled in an Advanced Placement course usually receive very high marks on the Diploma Examinations. These marks are used to qualify for scholarships. Research shows that the AP experience can benefit students in several ways when they reach college. At the University of Alberta, an AP mark of 5 is equivalent to 96% and an AP mark of 4 is equivalent to 86%. These percentages can be used in calculating your admission average.

AP helps students qualify for scholarships. Thirty-one percent of colleges and universities look at AP experience when determining scholarships.

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