The FAQ's found below come from questions that have been asked by students and parents during AP orientation sessions. Each year new questions arise and the answers are posted here to educate teachers, parents and students.
General Preregistration Questions
How do I enroll in the AP Program?
Once you’ve decided to take the AP challenge, talk to the AP teacher of the desired course to discuss the workload and prerequisites. Talk to students services during course registration about registering for the upcoming school year. Information is available on the Registration page on this website.
Is there any monetary cost to me if I take the course?
There is no cost for students wishing to take the AP courses.
Are the Virtual AP courses Grade 11 or 12 courses?
The five courses offered are Grade 12 courses, The Human Geography course meets the Global course requirement for graduation from N.S. high schools and the English Literature course meets the NS Grade 12 requirement.
Can Grade 11 students take the Virtual AP Courses?
Grade 11 students can enrol in the AP Virtual courses but they must have completed the suggested prerequisite courses. Please see the respective course pages for information on the prerequisites for those courses. Students wishing to undertake any of these courses while at the Grade 11 level must have a strong academic record and be a capable independent learner.
Can I take more than one Virtual AP course at a time?
Yes students can take more than one course. Most take no more than two at a time. If you are involved in extracurricular activities at your school two courses can be quite demanding. We do not recommend taking 3 virtual courses during one school year although some students have been successful taking three.
Do I have to take the academic Grade 12 course in the subject I am interested prior to taking the AP course?
Students do not have to take the Grade 12 academic course in the subject prior to taking the same AP subject. The AP subject serves as the Grade 12 credit in that subject.
If I have already taken the Grade 12 academic course in the subject I am interested, can I still take the AP course in that subject?
Yes you can take the AP course but only one course can be counted for credit towards a NS graduation. This is standard practice for most courses in schools with students taking two of the same courses at the same grade level. This is never a problem with AP students as most graduate with 23 or 24 credits leaving them room to accomodate the credit.
I have been told that I have to have an average above 85% to take an AP course?
All students can take AP courses. The course content is similar to that taught in a first year university course. If a student is considering applying for university entrance in the future then they might consider appling to take an AP course. The courses are designed to introduce students to how to learn at a university level, enhance time management skills, develop independent study skills and learn content at a level higher than the hich school academic level. Like any course taught in high school, the stronger you are academically is an indicator of potential success in AP courses.
How will taking AP courses affect my college career?
Students start taking college-level work while in high school and in the process improve problem solving and writing skills. Time management and the ability to work independently are also enhanced.
How will taking AP courses impress my College Admissions Officer?
AP courses are recognized on an international basis. They will demonstrate your academic maturity and readiness for college courses. It will demonstrate the willingness of students to take demanding challenges.
If I don't get a good grade on an AP Exam, will it hurt my chances for college admission?
If you take an examination as a senior, colleges will not receive your grade before July–probably well after you have been admitted. If you choose to report AP grades obtained before your senior year, you will primarily be telling the colleges that you undertook a difficult course and that you are serious about your studies. Overall, approximately two-thirds of all AP test takers receive AP grades of at least 3. This grade is regarded as an indicator of an ability to do successful work at most colleges.
If I take an AP course will I receive a lower mark than if I took an Academic or Advanced course?
The answer to this depends on you. AP courses are designed to challenge students but students rise to the challenge and their marks usually stay the same as if they had taken academic level courses. Universities look favourably on students with courses of a challenging nature on their high school transcript.
If I take AP courses will it enhance my chance of receiving a university or college scholarship?
An increasing number of universities are giving preference to students who have AP courses on their high school transcript. There definitely is a positive benefit of having AP courses when applying for scholarships as some universities will weight AP and IB courses higher then other courses thus enhancing the student's average.
How late can I drop a course before a mark will be recorded on my transcript?
All students MUST contact Student Services at their respective schools before dropping an AP course. All drops must be made in consultation with the school counselor. Students wishing to drop an AP virtual course after the recognized drop date will have a WD placed on their transcript. The drop date for virtual AP Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, English Literature and Human Geography is the last Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving in October..
How late can I enrol in an AP Virtual course?
The last date for enrolment in an AP Virtual class is two weeks after the commencement of school in September.
AP Exam Related Questions
Is there a cost to write the AP Exams?
There is no cost to the student. The cost of the AP exams is covered by the province as well as the cost for the return of unwritten exams if a student decides not to write after the exams have been ordered.
If I take an AP course do I have to take the exam?
No, but students are strongly encouraged to take the exam. University credit cannot be achieved unless a student writes the AP exam. It is the exam mark that universities use to grant credit or advanced placement.
If I cannot decide whether to write the exam where can I get advice?
The best person to contact is your teacher. He/she will give you an honest opinion of your chances for success. Please do not make the decision on your own - get some advice.
If I choose not to write the exam when do I have to indicate this to the teacher?
Preferably the teacher should be notified prior to exam ordering in March. If the student decides later then the teacher should be notified a minimum of one week prior to the exam writing date.
Where will I take the exam?
Virtual tests are administered in the SIS Room at Horton High School while on-site courses are administered in their respective schools.
When will I write the AP exam?
The exams are administered during the first two weeks of May. (Schedule)
How many times can I repeat an AP Exam?
You can take an AP Exam each time it is offered (AP Exams are offered once a year in May). Your grade report will include your grades for all the AP Exams you have taken, including yearly "repeats" of the same subject exam.
When are the exams given? How much time does it take to finish one?
Most of the exams take two to three hours to complete. For subjects that correspond to half-year college courses, the exam is closer to two hours in length. Your AP Coordinator will notify you of the exact exam starting time.
Will I lose points if I answer a multiple-choice question wrong? Should I guess?
The answer to the first question is "no". Prior to 2011 there was a minor deduction for wrong answers but this has changed so that starting with the 2011 exam period no deductions will occur.
The answer to the second question is a conditional "yes." Random guessing is unlikely to raise or lower your grade if you are unsure about the answer to a question, because of the formula (described above) used to deduct points for wrong answers. However, if you have SOME knowledge of the question, and can eliminate one or more answer choices, informed guessing from among the remaining choices is usually to your advantage.
Can students with disabilities apply for exam accomodations if needed?
Students with disabilities who wish to take AP Exams with accomodations must receive College Board approval before the ordering deadline and it may take up to seven weeks for an accomodations request to be processed. requests must be submitted no later than mid-February. Students wishing accomodations should contact the AP contact at their school. The AP contact in with the help of resource personal will compile the necessary paperwork and make the application. The application MUST come from the school. Further info can be found at AP SSD Services.
What does my AP score actually mean?
The process and standards for setting AP grades remain the same so that the merit of AP grades is consistent over time. Each exam is scored on the following five-point scale:
Who receives my AP Exam results?
Starting in 2013 the AP Grade Reports will be posted online in early July by the College Board and also sent to identified universities. Exam marks are maintained by the College Board and can be accessed through student and school College Board accounts. At the time of the exam, students can indicate if they would like a university to receive their grade. After the exam, students can write to the AP Program and request that the grade be sent to other colleges as well. During the exam period students are given a Student Pack which contains their AP master number and info on how to apply for marks. Students are asked to create a College Board Student Online to access their marks. A tutorial is available to take students through this process.
What is the difference between the AP Course Mark and the AP Exam Mark?
The AP course mark is the mark you receive from your teacher based on assignments, tests and exams. This is the same type of mark that you will receive in regular school courses and it will be the one that will appear on all school records. The AP exam mark/score is the mark you achieve on the AP exam written in May. A description of this mark can be found above. This is the mark used by universities to determine if you should receive dredit or advanced placement.
Will the AP Exam mark be on my transcript?
No the AP exam mark does not appear on the school transcript. Only the course mark appears.
Who sends my AP mark/score to the university?
On the answer sheet for the exam is a place where students can designate to what university they want their mark sent. If the student would rather wait until after the exam they can but are responsible for contacting the College Board and paying a small administration fee to have the mark sent. There is no fee if the university/college is designated on the exam answer sheet.
Will the score on my AP exam affect my acceptance to university if I do not receive a mark that would be accepted for credit or advanced placement?
No. The mark will not have an effect on your already determined acceptance or scholarship. These marks are received by the university in late July, well after acceptance and scholarship have been determined. The marks are used to determine credit or placement only by the university.
AVRSB Virtual Program
Does my school have the technology to be part of the virtual program?
When students from an AVRSB school register for a virtual AP course the school is equipped with the appropriate hardware and software to facilitate videoconferencing lectures over the internet. If there are problems please contact your school AP contact or the school tech.
If I have high speed internet at home can I take the class from home?
Students with high speed internet must also have a webcam and a headset in order to communicate with the instructor. This would also depend on the scheduling of the on-line lectures.
Can I use my Chromebook for my online classes using VIA?
Chromebooks are compatable with VIA. Sometimes students have a problem is with the Chrome web browser. If students are having connectivity problems they should try an alternate web browser such as Internet Explorer, Edge or Firefox. If there is a problem please contact the technician at your school.
Who should I contact if my headphones or camera break?
If students have a problem with headphones or camera they should contact the AP contact at their respective schools immediately. Students should first run the Via Set-up to make sure the equipment is not working. Each school has been given extra headphones in case of breakage. If items need replacement they will be replaced within a week.
Can I use Wifi when taking a class?
Wifi does not work well for the virtual classes. Students must use hard wired laptops/desktops when taking classes. Wifi creates bandwidth issues with the cameras leading to connectivity problems.
When are the classes scheduled?
At the present time the class scheduling is very flexible. Classes run prior to school and after school. The scheduling of classes is determind so as to allow students to take multiple courses and not have conflicts. Please see the course websites on this site for information about each course.
How do I partake in labs in the science courses?
Instructors of the science courses arrange days when students go to Horton to complete a bank of labs. Some labs are completed virtually and in some cases lab kits are sent to schools so that you can complete a lab in your home school.
Will the lab activities be of an advanced nature?
The chemistry and biology instructors make use of all the technology and lab equipment available at Horton. This includes computer probeware, laptops and advanced lab kits. In most cases students are using equipment that is not available in their school.
Are there times when the virtual students are together for special activities?
The virtual science students come together at Central Kings (Bio) and West Kings (Chem) to conduct lab activities and in other courses instructors conduct field trips or have special presentations where all the students take part at one location.
If school is cancelled will classes be held online?
In the event of a storm cancellation by the AVRSB there will be no online virtual classes.
If a school is closed, has an in-service and others are not, will there still be a class?
If only one school or county has no classes the online classes will still be conducted. Students may choose to take the class from home or they may watch the recorded class at their own leisure.