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


5 credits

In AP Studio Art students will develop a body of work that focuses on artworks that demonstrate inquiry though “practice, experimentation, and revision” over time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete and submit a Sustained Investigation Project Proposal, which will identify the nature of your sustained investigation in terms of common themes, materials, ideas, and processes that you will pursue within your body of works. You will submit fifteen images total in this category for the portfolio, along with a written statement indicating the ideas, materials, and processes used in each work.

5 credits

Biology 20 AP is designed for highly motivated students with a deep interest in biology. All objects of the Alberta Biology 20 curriculum are covered, but they are explored in more depth through discussion, research, and laboratory activities. Biology 20 AP allows students to gain a deeper understanding and context of all the topics covered: Biosphere and Ecosystems, Evolution, Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration, and Human Body Systems.

8 credits

Biology 30 AP is a course designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore curriculum concepts on a deeper level. From class discussions to inquiry-based labs, this course will stimulate your love for biology and biological systems. Students will have the opportunity to discover and think critically while building skills so critical to future success. Biology 30 AP is a course you are going to remember and will provide students with a working knowledge of the biological world!

Computer Science Principles 20 AP

5 credits

Level 20 builds on the concepts solving more complex problems and explores different programming languages.   The Computer Science AP program offers two AP exams (refer to the AP page in this program).

Computer Science A 30 AP

5 credits    

(coming 2024-2025)
The Computer Science AP program offers two AP exams (refer to the AP page in this program).   The 30 level course can be used as a 30-level science credit for admission to many post secondary institutions.

5 credits

The depth and breadth of knowledge about chemistry concepts is expanded well beyond the Alberta curriculum in Chemistry 20AP. Topics such as the development of the atomic theory from Aristotle to quantum mechanics, periodic trends and advanced bonding models will be covered in this course. Student interest in the topics we cover often spark great conversations about the theory and also the application of this knowledge in our daily lives and the technology that drives our society. I emphasize the importance of applying the knowledge we gain in this class across all the science disciplines and our daily lives. Labs are structured to promote thorough observations, develop lab skills and to critically analyze the data recorded.

8 credits

Enrichment in chemistry continues in Chemistry 30AP as we investigate Kinetics, Equilibrium, Electrochemistry and Acids & Bases. We further explore its applications to Thermodynamics. Chem 30AP continues with Chem 35AP where we review all of high school chemistry and the necessary knowledge to write the AP Chemistry College Board exam in May. Although designed to be the equivalent of both first and second semester post-secondary chemistry courses, students will write a province wide Diploma exam in June. For those who are thinking of entering the medical and nursing field, engineering, research analysis, and environmental sciences, this is definitely the course for you.

5 credits

This course completes the requirements of English 10-1 with some enhanced content and assignments that lay the foundation for the AP exams written at the end of English 20-1 AP and 30-1 AP.

5 credits

English 20-1AP is the first half of the total AP English experience. More properly called AP Language and Composition, 20-1AP is a university-level writing course meant to teach students both how to write and to analyze text in a deeply nuanced manner. Students will examine everything from the individual diction choices an author makes through to the overarching style of an entire text. Students can expect to come away from the course with a finely tuned ability to analyze and appreciate writing, as well as a greater command of their own written abilities. For those who love to read and to discuss writing, this is definitely the course for you.

5 credits

In English 30-1AP, the AP Literature and Composition curriculum gives students the opportunity to work with a wide range of literary texts from the Renaissance to the present day. Students sharpen their close reading and critical thinking skills, refine their ability to present specific ideas and analysis in writing, and engage in deep discussions about the texts we study. This work expands their understanding of literature and eases the transition to a post-secondary setting. The 30-1AP classroom is a place where student engagement and personal interest in the subject matter creates a vibrant, positive classroom culture!

5 credits

Our AP program is spread over three years and begins in grade 10. The students complete an accelerated high school program that consists of Math 10AP in grade 10, Math 20AP in first semester grade 11 and Math 30AP in the second semester of Grade 11. At the end of grade 11, students write a province wide Diploma exam worth 30% of their final mark. The intent of this program is to develop the prerequisite knowledge to allow students to successfully complete our Math 31/35 AP courses. This is predominantly for students who are moving towards fields of study that require calculus as an entry requirement in a post-secondary program.

5 credits

AP Calculus AB is designed to be the equivalent of a first semester post-secondary course wherein we explore the basics of differential (limits and derivatives) and integral calculus (area and antiderivatives). While students who have successfully completed our Math 31 AP course will have the majority of the knowledge necessary to write the AP Calculus AB College Board exam in May, it is strongly encouraged that they continue their learning with the Math 35 AP course. This combination allows for a more complete understanding of the exam topics, and much better preparation for the AP exam itself.

5 credits

AP Calculus BC is designed to be the equivalent of both first and second semester post-secondary courses. It builds on and applies the concepts and skills introduced in AP Calculus AB to parametrically defined curves, polar curves, and vector valued functions. In addition we also delve into more techniques and methods for integration as well as introduce topics surrounding using sequences and series to model various function types. At the end of our Math 35 AP course, students have the option to write the AP Calculus BC College Board exam in May.

5 credits

Physics AP 1 gives students a meaningfully deeper understanding of the Classical Physics concepts found in the Physics 20 curriculum. Students are required to shift their focus from the usual calculation-laden problems to those problems that require a much more qualitative application of the theory, relationships, and concepts of the course. This requires students to look at problems from various angles and to intertwine concepts from different units. The course includes four additional units, namely Momentum, Torque, Rotational Motion and DC Circuits. Students will find that mastering the depth of the knowledge and skills gained through the course will be both challenging and truly rewarding.

The combination of the social science courses General Psychology 20 and Experimental Psychology 30 is AP Psychology. The purpose of AP Psychology is to introduce students to the study of the behavior and mental processes of the human brain. Topics such as Biological Basis of Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Social Psychology as well as many other focuses of General Psychology are studied throughout the course. AP Psychology provides the students with skills that will allow them to define, explain, and apply concepts, behavior, theories, and perspectives in psychology, analyze and interpret quantitative data, and analyze psychological research studies. For students looking to pursue a career in psychology or those looking to take psychology courses in post secondary education, the skills acquired in this course will help establish a base of information that will help to achieve future success.

Our AP Science program is spread over three years and begins in the 10th grade. Students start their journey through the AP Sciences beginning with Science 10 AP. This course covers all of the Alberta Science 10 curriculum as well as some additional AP material in the chemistry and biology units. Students can then choose from AP Biology, AP Chemistry and/or AP Physics 1 after completing Science 10 AP.

5 credits

This course covers the same concepts as Social 10-1 creating enhanced learning opportunities while working through the curriculum with expanded historical and ideological examples.

8 credits

The Social 20AP/European History Course is an eight-credit survey of European History. Through careful analysis of European History from 1450 to the present day, Students will develop an understanding of Historical Europe and its role in the development of political ideologies, economic systems and social constructs. This course focuses on the development of critical thinking skills through a historical lens. Students leave this course with foundational knowledge that will certainly assist them in Social 30 and post-secondary.

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.



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.