Advanced Placement Programs

Pre-AP English Course Perspective

Among the most popular AP courses, AP English Literature challenges students to read and interpret a wide range of imaginative works. The AP and Pre-AP courses invite students to explore a variety of genres and literary periods and to write clearly about the literature they encounter. On a daily basis, it asks them to read critically, think clearly, and write concisely. By the end of the course, students have cultivated a rich understanding of literary works and acquired a set of analytical skills they will use throughout their lives.

A Focus on Rhetoric

What makes Pre-AP English different from other high school English courses is its additional focus on rhetoric. In promoting writing in many contexts for a variety of purposes, the Pre-AP English course is the place where nonfiction texts and contexts take on an increased roll in the curriculum. Here students think deeply about language as a persuasive tool and about the dynamic relationship of writer, context, audience, and argument.

Reading and Writing from a Different Perspective

Pre-AP students need to adjust their perspective and build on their Critical Thinking skills/techniques when they take on the course. When we talk about familiar techniques of diction, syntax, imagery, and tone, we need to help students see how persuasive writers marshal these devises to the service of argument. When we talk about audience, we need to get students thinking about particular audiences and specific contexts for writing, rather than presuming a general audience as we usually do for literature.

This “finding of the argument” and “making of their own arguments” is often new for students, so the Pre-AP English course is designed to allow them time for reading, thinking, and writing. Reading time allows them to begin to recognize the various shapes and parts of an argument. Thinking time helps them explore issues, think about logical reasoning, and begin to understand appeals and rhetorical modes. Writing time provides them with the opportunity to work through the process of creating an argument.

There is neither a required reading list nor a required textbook for AP/Pre-AP English. Teachers are encouraged to select works of literary merit culled from a variety of genres and periods from the 16th century to the present. While students should have exposure to a variety of works, it is also important to make sure they get to know several works of literary merit in depth; this usually begins with roughly 5 pieces in Grade 9 and expanding to 7 for the Grade 12 AP course (includes summer reading list expectations).

Students will also devote a substantial portion of the class to poetry; not only can it be wonderfully rewarding to both teacher and students, but it can also be very useful test preparation: nearly half of the AP Exam includes questions about verse.

Who Should Take AP Literature, and Why?

It is important to recognize the power of an AP English class to challenge a wide range of students; however, the most important skill set necessary for Pre-AP English success is a strong motivation and the desire to work hard, as once a skill has been taught the students are expected to implement it independently. In addition, with an augmented reading list Pre-AP English students must be individually motivated to read and must not require coaxing from the teacher or parents to do so. Any apprehension by the students to complete the required readings on the structured timelines will result in them quickly being left behind.

All students who want to strengthen their analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills belong in Pre-AP English.

The AP French Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP French Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in French.

The AP French Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).

What makes this course interesting?

  • Learn about contemporary Francophone societies and cultures by examining their products, practices and perspectives through thematic study
  • Use authentic sources such as newspaper and magazine articles, websites, films, music, video clips, blogs, podcasts, stories, and literary excerpts in French to develop language skills and communicative proficiency in real life settings
  • Build communication skills through regular class discussion, one-on-one conversation, collaboration with classmates, role plays, email responses, essay and journal writing, and oral presentations
  • Develop your French language proficiency through the exploration of a variety of interdisciplinary themes that tie closely to French culture.

What It Takes to Take AP

You’re already using the skills it takes to succeed; AP challenges you to take them to new levels.

Students looking to enrol in Advanced Placement Geography or History need to have an interest in learning, enjoy solving problems and be looking for a more challenging learning environment. The AP student does not have to be at the top of their class but needs to have the good work habits and desire to be successful.

Work Towards University Success and Stand Out to Admissions

Our students have scored above the global, national, and provincial average and 97% of our students have been successful on their AP Human Geography and World History Exams.

A number of Assumption students have used the Advanced Placement pathway to earn University credit while enrolled in high-school; many as grade 11 students. Even though our students are successful it is not the only reason to consider the AP pathway as it helps students to prepare for a university environment and lets elite universities know you are prepared to succeed when you enter their institution.

More About Our Programs and What Our Students Say


What is Advanced Placement?

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program created by the College Board, which offers College/University level curriculum to high school students. Colleges and Universities may grant course credit to students who obtain high scores on the AP examinations depending on individual school/program requirements, however, the AP exams are not mandatory or required to obtain the AP course credit.

AP courses are taught by highly qualified and/or trained teachers who use the AP course descriptions to guide them. The course descriptions outline the course content, describe the curricular goals of the subject, and provide sample exam questions. While the course descriptions are a significant source of information about the course content on which the AP exams will be based, AP teachers have the flexibility to determine how this content is presented.

What is Pre-AP?

Pre-AP exists in order to ensure that all students are provided with the requirements necessary to fulfill the AP curriculum but also the Ontario curriculum.  Grades 9 through 11 are considered Pre-AP years in preparation for grade 12, which is the AP year for each subject.

Pre-AP aims to prepare every student for higher intellectual engagement by starting the development of skills and acquisition of knowledge as early as possible. It provides an opportunity to help all students acquire the knowledge, concepts, and skills needed to engage in a higher level of learning by consistently challenging students to expand their knowledge and skills to the next level.

AP Science Courses at Assumption

For more information about Advanced Placement you can also visit the AP Canada website.

De Franco, RobAdvanced Placement Programs