Benefits of AP

Updated January 2021

By taking Advanced Placement courses and examinations, students can:

  • Study a subject at a greater depth with other equally interested students;
  • Determine if they really would like to continue to study a subject at university;
  • Develop, in a high school environment, the study skills and habits they will need in university;
  • Save money – a qualifying score (varies by institution/program) on an AP exam may result in credit for a 1st year course (~$500 savings);
  • Receive exemption from some introductory courses, thus getting more flexibility when enrolling in university courses or reducing time needed to obtain degree.

History and Success of Advanced Placement at Burnaby North

The Advanced Placement program at Burnaby North began in 1987/88 offering instruction in four course areas. Currently instruction is offered in 20 course areas and Burnaby North is recognized as having one of the largest AP programs in Canada. In addition to the size of our program, we have also been recognized for the excellence of our program. Last year, approximately 90% of the exams written by Burnaby North students earned a score of 3 or higher on a 5-point scale. This is well above the national average of 75% and directly attributable to the dedication and skill of our many fine Enriched and AP teachers in combination with the work ethic of our students.

In 2020, Burnaby North students wrote a total of 486 Advanced Placement exams with an average score of 3.9. We had 30 AP Scholars, 17 Honour Scholars, 54 Scholars with Distinction, and 16 of our students were issued AP Capstone Diplomas.


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 exam. For the current year, the cost of each AP exam is $135-$180 (very inexpensive compared to a university course). Regardless of whether 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 students want to pursue Advanced Placement and/or credit at a post-secondary institution, they must write the AP examination and forward their results to their desired institution(s).  Registration for AP exams in 2021 has been broken into two periods: Quarter 1 course exam registration closed in November and Quarters 2-4 exam registration and payment closes on Thursday February 25, 2021. For the 2021 school year, students who register and pay for their AP exams but who do not write the exam will receive a full refund.

Please note that Burnaby North Secondary only offers AP exams to students enrolled at Burnaby North. If you are interested in becoming a Burnaby North student, please inquire at our front office.  

The AP Student Post-Graduation

Advanced Placement students, when placed in advanced courses at university, tend to outperform other students. About 80% of these students receive A’s or B’s 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 work. 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.

Course Offerings

For 2021-2022, see AP Course Descriptions page for course information and requirements.

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB (BC)
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science A
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Economics (Micro & Macro)
  • English Literature & Composition
  • European History
  • French Language and Culture
  • Human Geography (not offered in 2022)
  • Psychology
  • Physics 1
  • Physics 2
  • Research (Capstone*)
  • Seminar (Capstone*)
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art 2D Design
  • Studio Art 3D Design
  • Studio Art Drawing