Benefits of AP

Updated January 2023

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 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 2022, Burnaby North students wrote 355 AP exams.  We had 24 AP Scholars, 17 Honour Scholars, 42 Scholars with Distinction, 2 AP International Diplomas, and 18 of our students were issued AP Capstone Diplomas and/or Certificates.

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 $145-$180 (well below the cost of 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). Note: there are no refunds on ordered AP Exams and exam registration was closed as of November 1st.

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 according to AP College Board’s research. 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 20232-2024, see AP Course Descriptions page for course information and requirements.

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB (BC)
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science A
  • Computer Science Principles (NEW)
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Economics (Micro & Macro)
  • English Literature & Composition
  • European History (offered in even years)
  • French Language and Culture
  • Human Geography (offered in odd years)
  • Psychology
  • Physics 1
  • Physics 2
  • Research (Capstone*)
  • Seminar (Capstone*)
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art 2D Design
  • Studio Art 3D Design