Advanced Placement

In 1988 the Advanced Placement (AP) Program was introduced to West Vancouver at Sentinel.  The AP Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities.  It allows high school students to undertake college-level academic learning in AP courses, and gives them the opportunity to show that they have mastered the advanced material by taking AP examinations.  Students can receive credit, advanced placement, or both from thousands of colleges and universities that participate in the Advanced Placement Program.

The AP Program has been administered since 1955 by the College Board.  AP procedures are determined by representatives of member institutions (public and independent schools, colleges and universities).  AP’s operational services are provided by Educational Testing Service.  In the United States, Canada and overseas, 19,493 high schools offer AP courses as well as the annual examinations.  In 2015, 4,516,208 examinations were administered to 2,483,452 students.  In Canada, 17,910 students wrote 27,761 examinations which were offered in 572 participating schools.  In British Columbia, 6,042 students wrote 9,848 examinations in 164 schools.  Last year at Sentinel 208 students wrote 433 AP examinations.

Highlights from the May 2014 Examination Session

  • In May 2014, 215 Sentinel students wrote 433 AP examinations and achieved an average score of 4.18 out of 5.0. This is well above the British Columbia average of 3.69, and the Canadian average of 3.47.  Our students’ success is even more pronounced when compared to the American average of 2.87.
  • Sentinel students achieved scores of 3 or more on 94% of their examinations which is 13% above the provincial average, 17% above the national average, and 35% above the American average.
  • Sentinel students achieved scores of 5 (the highest mark) in 48.5% of the AP examinations they wrote. This compares favourably to the provincial average of 33.3%, the Canadian average of 26.6%, and the American one of 13.6%.
  • Sentinel students achieved scores of 4 or 5 on 76% of their examinations.
  • 94% of Sentinel’s AP students achieved scores of 3 or higher on their examinations, compared to 81.2% of AP students in British Columbia and 61.3% globally.
  • 70% of the Grade 12 students wrote at least one AP examination in either Grade 11 or Grade 12.
  • 26% of the Grade 12 students wrote 3 or more AP examinations in their Grade 12 year.
  • In AP Studio Art, 41 portfolios were submitted for evaluation: 100% of them had scores of 3 or higher; nearly half (49%) of them had scores of 5, and 85.4% had scores of 4 or 5.  The average score for the portfolios was 4.46 out of 5.
  • 50 of the 53 students at Sentinel who were awarded BC Ministry of Education Grade 12 Graduation Program Examinations Scholarships participated in the AP program.  They took an average of 3.52 AP examinations and achieved a mean score of 4.52 out of 5.

Benefits of AP for Students

For students, AP can:

  • Provide college/university credits for courses and examinations successfully taken in high school.
  • Exempt them from some introductory college/university courses, thus permitting students to move more quickly into advanced classes.
  • Motivate them to attempt more challenging courses in both high school and college/university.
  • Develop, in a high school environment, the study skills and habits they will need in college/university.
  • Bolster their confidence that they can meet college/university requirements.
  • Reduce college/university costs and time to obtain a degree.

AP Grades and Reports

Each May, students take the Advanced Placement Examinations.  The multiple-choice portions of the exams are scored by computer and the free-response sections are scored by college and high school consultants at the AP Reading in June.  Grade reports are sent to students, schools, and colleges in July. The AP grading scale used in the reports is as follows:

5      Extremely well qualified

4      Well qualified

3      Qualified

2      Possibly qualified

1      No recommendation

 

Course Offerings for Students Enrolling in Grade 10

Pre-AP English 10
Pre-AP Foundations and Pre-Calculus Mathematics 10
Pre-AP Science 10
AP Art 11

 

Course Offerings for Students Enrolling in Grade 11

Students enrolling in Grade 11 who have the necessary preparation, and who wish to challenge themselves, may take the following courses which will prepare them for the Grade 12 level ones.

AP Art 11
AP Biology 11
AP Capstone Seminar 11 (1st course for the AP Capstone Diploma)
AP Chemistry 11
AP English 11
AP Physics 1 Honours 11
AP Pre-calculus 11

 

Course Offerings for Students Enrolling in Grade 11 or Grade 12

Students enrolling in Grade 11 or 12 who have the necessary preparation may take the following courses which will prepare them to write the AP Examinations in May.  Sentinel School has been authorized by the College Board to teach the following courses:

AP 2-D Design Portfolio 12
AP 3-D Design Portfolio 12
AP Studio Art Drawing 12
AP Biology 12
AP Calculus AB 12 (taken concurrently with Pre-Calculus 12 or after completion of it)
AP Calculus BC 12A (taken after completion of AP Calculus AB 12)
AP Capstone Research 12 (2nd course for the AP Capstone Diploma)
AP Chemistry 12
AP Chinese Language and Culture 12
AP English Language and Composition 12 (taken concurrently with AP English Literature 12)
AP English Literature and Composition 12 (taken concurrently with AP English Language 12)
AP French Language and Culture 12 (taken concurrently with French 12 or Français langue 12)
AP Human Geography
AP Japanese Language and Culture 12
AP Music Theory 12 (Examination only)
AP Physics 2 Honours 12
AP Psychology 12
AP Statistics 12

 

The AP examinations are written after the students have completed the senior level of the course.

AP Scholar Awards

The AP Program offers several Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams.  In addition to receiving an award certificate, the students’ achievement is acknowledged on any grade report that they send to college/universities the following fall.

AP Scholar. Granted to students who receive grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

AP Scholar with Honor. Granted to students who receive an average grade of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

AP Scholar with Distinction. Granted to students who receive 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.

AP National Scholar. Granted to students in Canada who receive 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.