Advanced Placement® (AP)

College-Level Challenge

Bear Creek's AP Program gives students the opportunity to rise to college-level challenges in high school, enables them to potentially receive both high school and college credit, and prepares them to enter higher education well-prepared for its demands.

Why We Offer AP Courses

The ultimate goal of our Christian liberal arts curriculum is found in the end of our mission statement, to enable each student to become the individual God intends. As students mature, develop, and progress through our curriculum and program, we believe they should increasingly be able to pursue some of their individual interests, and our elective and AP courses allow that flexibility. At The Bear Creek School, we believe our mission is best accomplished when students engage our classical core curriculum and are also able to engage individual God-given passions through AP classes and electives. 

The College Board's AP Program

What AP courses are taught at Bear Creek?

Bear Creek offers the following AP courses:

  • AP Calculus AB*
  • AP Calculus BC*
  • AP Statistics*
  • AP Biology*
  • AP Chemistry*
  • AP Environmental Science*
  • AP Physics 1*
  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature and Composition
  • AP European History
  • AP U.S. History
  • AP Music Theory*
  • AP Computer Science A*

* See course catalog for prerequisites.

Upper School Course Catalog

Independent Study

Additionally, students who are passionate about a subject not listed above may choose to study independently for any of the AP Exams offered by the College Board, e.g. AP Psychology, AP Macroeconomics, or AP Art History (except AP Chinese Language and Culture and AP Japanese Language and Culture exams). Bear Creek will administer the AP Exam in May at the designated time.

How does an AP course compare to other high school courses?

Advanced Placement classes are designed to mirror courses offered on college campuses. They are more challenging and require personal discipline and independent study techniques. Students will experience an increased reading load and longer writing assignments in most AP classes. AP courses attract students who are academically motivated, personally invested, and diligent.

AP courses culminate each May with a national examination in each subject area. Students may earn college credit based on their exam score (typically with a 3 or higher).

What skills would enhance my ability to succeed in an AP class?

Students who choose to enroll in AP classes typically bring a well-developed skill set in the following areas: ability to analyze content, draw comparisons, and effectively reason through problems. They must be able to read perceptively and independently. Additionally, students need to be proficient in writing concise and clear essays. Students must have a minimum of a B in prior academic department coursework to qualify for AP course enrollment.

How many AP courses should I take in one academic year?

Honoring student uniqueness and individual circumstances, The Bear Creek School Office of Academic Advising will advise students on the number of AP courses a student should take. It is generally recommended students take no more than two AP courses simultaneously.  

The Bear Creek School sees AP courses as a valuable way students pursue development of their individual strengths and goals. The appropriate number of AP courses varies based on a student’s goals, strengths, and priorities. Bear Creek provides additional advising to students who desire take three or more AP courses in one year.  

Is there a fee to take an AP course?

While there is no additional charge to take one or more AP classes, The College Board charges an exam fee. In the fall, students register with The College Board for the exams they will take the following May. In March, families pay online for the exam(s) prior to students sitting for AP Exams in May. In 2023, the fee was $97 per AP Exam.

Are there any additional benefits to AP course work?

Students who succeed in AP courses generally do well in college as a result of the exposure to collegiate teaching and testing methodology and increased academic preparation. All AP courses are noted on the official Bear Creek transcript.

AP Course Description Videos

Hear from our AP teachers about the courses they teach.