Advanced Placement Program® (AP®)

Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) courses are college-level courses offered in high school. AP courses reflect what is taught in introductory college courses. At the end of an AP course, students take AP Exams—standardized exams that measure how well students have mastered college-level course work. Students who do well on AP Exams can earn credit and/or placement into advanced courses in university. On average our success rates are over 80%.

Why AP at Westmount?

AP Team at Westmount High School

At Westmount High School, we take AP one-step further. Advanced Placement at Westmount is a philosophy. Westmount is the only public school in Quebec to offer the AP program. The AP program has been at WHS since 2003 and our experience sets us apart. We strive to help students improve their performance, no matter the subject or level. We want to motivate students to rise to the challenge and test their limits. We want students to excel in their subject area and play to their strengths while improving on their areas of difficulty.

Our AP and Pre-AP teachers are seasoned practitioners who have specialized training.

All AP and Pre-AP teachers teach both AP and mainstream courses so that all students, regardless of level, benefit from their expertise.

There are a variety of AP and Pre-AP courses offered at Westmount High, including:

AP Calculus AB

The pre-AP math stream at Westmount High begins in Secondary 1. Students are placed through an entrance examination into the pre-AP math stream (some students may be moved into or out of that group during the first few weeks). Students in pre-AP math courses are accelerated through the regular program: they complete their math requirements by the end of their Secondary 4 school year.

In Secondary 5, our AP Calculus AB course is the equivalent of a typical university-level Introductory Calculus course. The goal for most students is to write the AP Calculus exam and obtain college or university level credits. Students’ interest, motivation, and ability are much greater factors of success than any truly “extra” amount of work or time devoted in comparison to the regular math stream. Students have math class about 3 times a week and are assigned from 2 to 4 hours of homework weekly. Tests and quizzes are usually administered at one or two week intervals and are corrected and returned promptly, providing feedback and Information to both students and parents.

AP Comparative Government and Politics

The AP Comparative Government and Politics program is offered in conjunction with the Contemporary World course that is part of Quebec’s curriculum. Students selecting the AP option complete a separate stream of assignments in the Contemporary World course, each of which is designed to prepare students to succeed on the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam.

In addition, students attend lunch and after school sessions that are exclusively focused on helping students prepare for the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam. The AP Comparative Government and Politics course introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of international settings. The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available Institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes. Comparison assists both in identifying problems and in analyzing policymaking. In addition to addressing the major concepts that are used to organize and interpret what we know about political phenomena and relationships, AP CGP focuses on six specific regions and their governments: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. Therefore, all the work done in both the Contemporary World class and in tutorials focus on helping students develop their expertise in the government and politics of these six regions.

AP English Literature and Composition

The AP English Literature and compositlon course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Through close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as the use of rhetoric, figurative language, tone and mood. The course includes an intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. Students read and analyze seven or eight novels and/or plays over the course of the school year.

Writing Instruction includes attention to developing and organizing ideas in clear, coherent and persuasive language. The AP English Literature and Composition exam is written in early May, and students who earn a score of 3, 4 or 5 will potentially be exempt from a first year English course at the post-secondary level.

AP Environmental Science

The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental science is interdisciplinary; it embraces a wide variety of topics from different areas of study, even though there are several major unifying themes that cut across the many topics included in the study of environmental science.

The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester college or university course to enable students to undertake a more advanced study of topics in environmental science. Students take this course over two years: Part 1 of the course is taken in Secondary 3 and Part 2 of the course is taken in Secondary 4 concurrently with the Science and Technology and Environmental Science and Technology courses.

AP French Language and Culture

For more than 10 years, Westmount High School has been preparing students for the AP French Language and Culture exam. The aim of this course is to provide students with a rich learning environment in which to develop their mastery of the French language as well as their knowledge and appreciation of francophone culture. By exploring a variety of themes and providing students with ample opportunities to improve their abilities in the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational), this course alms to prepare students for success on the College Board AP French Language and Culture exam.

Students are exposed to a wide variety of resources in a classroom environment where they can feel comfortable to practice their French. The course provides students with a well-rounded understanding of local and global francophone culture by comparing and contrasting examples from France, Quebec and other francophone nations from around the world.

AP Psychology

AP Psychology Introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. Through the examination of key studies and psychologists who have shaped the field, students get to explore topics such as:

  • History and Approaches
  • Research Methods
  • Biological Bases of Behaviour
  • Sensation and Perception
  • States of Consciousness
  • Learning
  • Cognition
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality
  • Testing and Individual Differences
  • Abnormal Behavior
  • Treatment of Abnormal Behaviour
  • Social Psychology

Students who take this course are provided with a valuable learning experience equivalent to that obtained in most Introductory psychology courses in college or university. Qualified students who wish to earn post-secondary credit are encouraged to write the AP exam at the end of the year.