Advanced Placement (AP)




What is Advanced Placement (AP)?

The Advanced Placement program, administered by the College Board of New York,                          ( allows students to participate in university/ college level courses and possibly earn college credit while still in high school. Both the level of difficulty and course content are directly comparable to first year university courses. Secondary schools and universities/ colleges cooperate in this program to provide students with the opportunity to show mastery in college-level courses by taking the AP exam in May of each school year. Students who successfully complete examinations with a minimum score of 4 on a 5 point scale (some institutions only require a score of 3) may, upon admission to university/college, be granted credit and/or placement at most post-secondary institutions round the world. The AP program has grown to become the largest and most widely recognized university preparation course in the world. In 2016, over 2.6 million students from around 22,000 high schools wrote more than 4.7 million examinations. For more information about credits offered at various institutions worldwide visit

The Benefits of Taking an AP

Advanced Placement courses are enriched and challenging and are designed to enhance a student’s academic interest and performance. Briefly the benefits are:

  • Enrichment – students can study a subject in greater depth with other equally interested students; to participate in an AP class is to enter a world of intense discussion and thought, a class where students are given the intellectual responsibility to think for themselves and to learn to reason, analyze and understand;
  • Flexibility – students can receive exemption from some introductory courses; thus getting more flexibility when enrolling in university courses or reducing time needed to obtain a degree; furthermore, students can save money – a score of 4 or 5 on an AP exam results credit for a first year university course;
  • University Preparation – students can develop the study skills and habits they will need in university; the academic rigour required in AP courses prepares students exceptionally well for the challenges of university;
  • International Recognition – outside the United States, universities in 55 countries recognize AP Exam scores in the admission process and/ or for credit and advanced placement

Success of Students Taking Advanced Placement

In combination with the work ethic of our students and the dedication and skill of our fine AP teachers, students at Burnaby Mountain have done outstanding on their AP exams. In 2016, Burnaby Mountain had 139 students write 245 exams with 78% of these students earning a score of 3 or higher on a 5 point scale. Also in 2016, 33 AP Scholar Awards were granted to Burnaby Mountain student, by the College Board, in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement Program exams.

Writing Advanced Placement Examinations

Students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses are strongly encouraged to write the external AP exam in May. There is no fee for taking an AP course but there is a fee for writing an Advanced Placement examination. Since this is an external exam administered by the College Board, we are obligated to charge the students the cost of writing the exams. For the current year, the cost of each AP exam is $135 (very inexpensive compared to a university course). Regardless of whether or not the student writes the AP exam in May, the fact that they completed an AP course is acknowledged on their official ministry transcript. However, if the student wants to earn advanced credit at a post-secondary institution, they must write the AP exam and forward their results to their desired institution(s).

How AP Students Do After Graduation

Advanced Placement students, when placed in advanced courses in university, tend to outperform other students. About 80% of these students receive As or Bs in subsequent course work even at the most selective institutions. They usually have higher grade point averages and are more likely to graduate with honours from university having had less of an adjustment to university. As the local universities see the performance of AP candidates after they leave high school, they become more interested in recruiting these students to their campuses.

Advanced Placement Courses Offered at Burnaby Mountain

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science A
  • Economics (Macroeconomics & Microeconomics)
  • English Literature
  • European History
  • French
  • Human Geography
  • Mandarin
  • Physics 1 & 2
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

For More Information

For more information on Advanced Placement in Canada, visit
For information about AP credits at various post- secondary institutions in BC, visit
For additional information about AP courses at Burnaby Mountain, contact Mr. B. Callister at 604-296-6870 or