Frequently Asked Questions

+ - What is the Advanced Placement Program?
The Advanced Placement Program is designed for academically motivated students and regulated by the College Board, a U.S. educational association focusing on post-secondary school readiness. AP courses taught at local high schools allow students to participate in university level course work while in high school. Students enrolled in AP courses simultaneously cover Ontario curriculum to earn high school credits. Each AP course concludes with a standardized exam, which is written in May of each school year and scored by external professors and AP evaluators. Depending on the AP exam score, certain universities may grant university credit, advanced placement, or both.
+ - What are the advantages of taking an AP course?
The main advantage of taking an AP course is enhanced preparation for university. Studies show that students master in-depth content at the university level more easily after completing AP courses in high school. Students also acquire sophisticated academic skills and increased self-confidence in preparation for university. Students who take AP exams may receive university credit(s) while in high school, saving both time and money. However, students must check with the universities they are interested in attending to determine if those institutions accept AP exam results for credit and grant advanced placement.
+ - How does an AP class compare to other high school courses?
AP classes are more challenging and stimulating so they take more time and require more work. AP classes require students to be energetic, organized, involved, and motivated.
+ - Why should I take an AP class?
Students who succeed in AP courses generally do better in university as a result of the rigorous academic preparation required. Universities look favourably upon students who challenge themselves by completing AP courses.
+ - Do I have to take an AP course in order to write an AP exam?
No. However, research indicates that students who take AP courses score higher on AP exams compared to those students who self study instead of taking the courses.
+ - What background do I need in order to succeed in an AP course?
The content of AP courses is more challenging than that of typical high school academic courses. Students should have had practice in analyzing content, drawing comparisons, and reasoning through problems. They must be able to read perceptively and independently. Additionally, students will need to be proficient in writing clear, concise essays. Students who are not skilled in these areas must be even more highly motivated to improve these skills while taking more rigorous courses at the same time. The earlier the students prepare for AP or university courses by taking the most rigorous classes available, the more likely they are to succeed with AP. The keys to success are motivation, self-discipline, and academic preparation.
+ - Will I receive University Credit?
After writing AP exams in May, students are mailed their results in the summer. Exam scores range from 1 (no recommendation) to 5 (extremely well qualified). A student can choose to provide their AP exam scores to universities. Each university determines the minimum score they accept to grant credit, advanced placement, or both. Most universities require a minimum score of 3 to be eligible. Students should contact individual universities to find out about their specific policies regarding AP. AP is recognized by many Canadian universities and by post-secondary institutions in over 60 countries around the world.
+ - Where can I find a list of AP courses that are offered at Lisgar?
For an up to date list of AP course offerings please visit the courses page on this website. Please note that courses are subject to change based on enrollment
+ - How do I register for a course that I am interested in?
The process for registering in courses at Lisgar is changing with the introduction of a new online registration process. To register for an AP course at Lisgar please speak to your guidance counselor. They will help you to select the appropriate course code via the online platform. Please note that AP courses fill up quickly so, if you would like to take an AP course, please register quickly.
+ - What is the deadline for registration?
The deadline to register and pay for an AP course is October 30th.
+ - What happens if I register after the deadline?
Students cannot register for an AP course if the course Has reached capacity Is being offered in a semester in which the school’s course change deadline has passed If neither of these conditions apply, students can register for an AP course by completing the course change process with support from their guidance counselor. Please note that late registrations are subject to a $70 late fee.
+ - If I take an AP course, must I write the corresponding AP exam?
If students choose to take an AP course at Lisgar, they will be expected to write the final corresponding AP exam in May.
+ - Can I withdraw from an AP course after registering?
Students who withdraw from an AP course after the registration deadline are subject to removal from that section (to be placed in a non-AP course section) and a late withdrawal fee.
+ - Do I need to be in Grade 11 or 12 to take an AP course or write the exam?
AP courses are delivered in tandem with a course found within the Ontario curriculum. As such, in order to register for an AP course, you must be eligible to register for the corresponding Ontario curriculum course. For example, if you would like to take AP Calculus, you must be eligible to register for both MHF4UR and MCV4UR.
+ - What if I only want to take the exam and not the course?
In order to provide you with the full AP experience and give yourself the best possibility for success on the exam, students are strongly encouraged to register for in-person AP courses. However, if you would like to write the exam without the benefit of the AP course please contact the AP Coordinator. Once your exam has been ordered, you will write the exam at the same time as those who have taken the course.
+ - Can I write an exam for a course that is not currently offered at Lisgar?
NOTE: Due to restrictions put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lisgar will not be able to host external students for exams this year. Under normal circumstances (non-Covid years) the ability to write exams for courses that are not currently offered at Lisgar is determined on a case by case basis subject to interest. Please note that students who select this option are responsible for the course registration fee AND the cost of an exam proctor to oversee the exam (typically $200). The cost of the proctor is distributed amongst the number of students who have chosen to write each exam. For example, if four students are interested in writing an exam, the cost that each student would pay for the proctor would be $50.
+ - Why do I have to pay money to take an AP course?
The bulk of your registration fee goes towards the cost of ordering your exam from the College Board. Lisgar reinvests whatever money is left over back into the AP program to pay for teacher training/certifications, specialized equipment and course administration.
+ - Is financial assistance available?
Financial assistance is available through guidance. Please contact your guidance counselor to discuss your options.

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