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Advanced Placement Courses

What are they?

The Advanced Placement (AP) program makes college and university level courses available for students to take while they’re still in secondary school. For students who are interested in extending their learning beyond the grade 12 level, while still in high school, these courses can be a great option. Students can earn additional credits at the high school level by completing these courses and may also be granted first year college or university credits, depending on the post-secondary institution, when the AP exam is taken. 

AP courses are overseen by the College Board which is recognized for advanced credit or placement in many Canadian and American universities and colleges. Schools are permitted to offer AP courses from a set list, and are responsible for ensuring that any courses they offer meet College Board standards. Students complete the course work and are then required to write a formal ‘AP’ exam administered by the College board to earn the additional AP credits. 

HCOS offers a select number of AP courses, based on the in-house expertise of our instructors and course developers. The list of AP courses offered each year can be found on the HCOS course description webpage and AP exams are written in May of each school year. 

How do they work? 

In general, if a student enrolls in an AP course and completes all the required components, they will earn 4 external credits for the high school level course. Generally, the additional AP material extends or expands on the concepts and content addressed in the grade 12 level course. In addition, if a student successfully completes the AP exam, university credit may also be granted (see section below)

What about the AP Exam?

AP Exams are administered at authorized schools and test centers each school year in the month of May. AP course work is arranged so students have ample time to complete the necessary AP work prior to writing the exam in May. This may mean students have some coursework remaining to complete after the AP exam is written, depending on how the course is laid out. 

HCOS staff will help students arrange for a proctored exam location with an email going out to students in the beginning of the year to gather interest and information to help set sessions up.

The exams are marked and scored on a scale of 1 to 5 by college and university professors and experienced AP teachers (not the HCOS AP course teacher). Many post secondary institutions offer credit for AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.