What is an Advanced Placement Program?
Advanced Placement is a program of college level courses and exams for secondary students developed by the U.S. College Board in Princeton, New Jersey. It gives high school students an opportunity to receive advanced placement and/or first year credit in college and university. Currently there are 35 different exams that students can write ranging from sciences to mathematics to arts.
Satisfactory grades on advanced placement examinations may offer many benefits. This could allow students to skip work they've already done in high school and move on to higher level courses. If students earn the university's required grade on an AP exam, they may receive the equivalent credit for a first year course; thereby saving the cost of course fees. The basic reason for taking an AP course however is to learn a subject in greater depth, to develop analytical reasoning skills, and to develop disciplined study habits necessary for continued success at the post secondary level.
Check out the AP website at
Centennial's Advanced Placement Program
Centennial School's students have always had the ability to write AP exams though no formal classroom instruction has taken place. Though that option will continue, Centennial now offers instruction in several areas of AP: Biology, Chemistry, World History and more to courses come in the future.
To allow students to take these 'additional' courses, it is essential that they start early in their high school career by taking additional courses. In grade 9, science AP students would take Science 9 online – on computer – during semester 1. Those students will meet once or twice a week during tutorial for lab work, discussions and presentations. Tests and quizzes will be done online at the student's convenience. This course is in addition to the student's regular course load. In semester 2 of grade 9, the student would enroll in Science 10 in a regular class. In grade 10, they can take a science 11 or two.
Math advanced placement students write an entry exam in January of their grade 8 year. If successful, they would take a Maath9/10 Honours class in grade 9 thus advancing their education. In grade 12, the students will have the opportunity of taking – and receiving credit for – a university Calculus course taught by Douglas College at Centennial school.
The following is a possible course of study for a science AP student:
Science 9 online
Social Studies 9
Social Studies 10
Social Studies 11
Advantages of the Advanced Placement Program
In addition to the financial savings and increased range of educational choices mentioned above, some other advantages of taking AP courses include:
- Students may select a single course or a combination of courses, gaining enrichment and challenge in areas of academic strength and interest.
- A gradual acclimatization to collegiate work load and pace.
- Enrichment without sacrifice of extracurricular activities.
- Students begin to work with and develop networks with their peers.
- Excellent preparation for both provincial as well as many external scholarship and contest exams.
- Some universities are using Advanced Placement exams as a way of distinguishing between enrolling students.
- Almost 3000 colleges and universities in Canada and the United States grant credit or advanced placement for students successfully completing a standardized exam equivalent to first year studies. This exam is available in 35 different courses of study!
Advanced Placement at North American Universities
Some B.C. Institutions that recognize the AP program:
- Simon Fraser University
- University of British Columbia
- University of Victoria
- Trinity Western University
- University of Northern B.C.
Many Institutions outside of B.C. recognize the AP program:
- University of Alberta
- University of Manitoba
- University of Waterloo
- University of Toronto
- University of Waterloo
- Most U.S. Colleges
As more high school graduates continue to apply for a limited number of places for first year students, post secondary institutions are embracing the Advanced Placement alternative more than ever before. In North America more than 11,000 high schools participate in AP and 2900 colleges grant credit to over 46,000 students.
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