Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP)      



Click the image to view the entire PDF document.


In May, 2016, 131 students wrote 200 exams in twelve different courses. Each of these exams are three hours long. The exams are marked on a five point scale—94.5% of the exams received a passing grade of 2 or more—19.2% of the exams received a mark of 5—the highest possible mark. Congratulations to all the students who wrote the AP Exams including the 59 grade 11’s. In order to be considered for an AP Award at Paul Kane, a student must write at least three AP Exams and receive a mark of at least a three in all exams written. If students would like more information about the AP Exams, they should contact their AP teacher or Mrs. Chanasyk.


Students took AP Examinations in May after completing challenging college-level courses. The College Board recognizes several levels of achievement based on the number of courses and exams. At Paul Kane High School:

  • Six students qualified for the AP Scholar Award by completing three or more AP Exams with grades of 3 or higher.
  • Four students qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award by earning an average of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more on these exams.
  • Three students qualified for the AP Scholar with Distinction Award by earning an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
  • Two students qualified for the National AP Scholar Award by earning an average grade of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on five or more of these exams. If these students are attending the U of A, they will receive a scholarship of $1000.

AP Examinations, which students take in May after completing one to four courses, are graded on a 5-point scale (5 is the highest). Some of the nation's colleges and universities award credit, advanced placement, or both for grades of 3 or higher. The AP Examinations consist of multiple-choice and free-response (essay or problem-solving) questions.   


The College Board is a national nonprofit membership association whose mission is to prepare, inspire, and connect students to college and opportunity. It supports academic preparation and transition to higher education for students around the world through the ongoing collaboration of its member schools, colleges, universities, educational systems, and organizations. In all of its activities, the Board promotes equity through universal access to high standards of teaching and learning so that every student has the opportunity to succeed in college and work. The College Board is committed to the principles of equity and excellence, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns.


Thirty-five AP Exams are currently available. If a student would like to write an AP Exam that is not offered in the regular class setting, the student needs to contact Mrs. Chanasyk to make arrangements to do so by December.

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 grade 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.

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 exams are held during the month of May each year.

Will taking AP courses affect extracurricular activities?

The time commitment to AP will depend largely on how many AP courses a student takes.  At present, a number of our AP scholars are very involved in many different activities both in and out of school including athletics, music, Student Council, 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 which are used to qualify for scholarships.

Research shows that your AP experience can benefit you in several ways when you reach college. At the U of A, an AP mark of five is equivalent to 96% and an AP mark of four is equivalent to 86%. These percentages can be used in calculating the 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 websites: or
For course descriptions, refer to specific subject sections in this guidebook.

What courses should I take?

Grade 10 students are encouraged to enrol 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 French

Honors 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.

Many AP courses are available for online study including: Calculus AB, Biology, Chemistry, English Language, French Language, Spanish Language, Physics B, Psychology, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, U.S. History, U.S. Government and Politics.  See the Advanced Placement Coordinator and the following website: