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Advanced Placement is an alternative curriculum to WACE to the IB Diploma Programme, for students in Years 11 & 12.

Established over 40 years ago by the U.S. College Board, Advanced Placement (AP) courses are designed to expose able and motivated High School students to first-year university-level academic material. 

The AP is considered the benchmark for academic excellence in the U.S., with more than 50% of high schools currently participating. AP students demonstrate to universities and colleges that they have learnt a subject in greater depth, are motivated to take challenging courses, and have acquired the study skills necessary for successful study in college. AP course completion can also lead to significant financial savings, as more than 1,400 U.S. colleges and universities award up to a full year’s credit to students presenting successful grades on AP exams.

The International School of Western Australia is currently the only Australian Secondary School to offer the Advanced Placement to students.

Entry to Local and International Universities

Students who achieve a satisfactory score on AP examinations can receive credit at most American universities. In addition, approximately 300 international world-class universities accept AP grades in the admissions process. Included in that illustrious list are Western Australia’s own University of Western Australia, Curtin University, and Edith Cowan University.

The AP is fully recognised in the United States and Canada, where approximately 3,000 colleges and universities take part in the program. The vast majority of universities who receive AP grades grant credit or advanced placement for successful examination results. Students can earn anywhere from one college credit hour to sophomore standing, depending on the number of AP exams they have taken and the grades earned. AP students who are applying to universities are advised to inquire directly at the university concerning its respective AP policy. 

The AP is increasingly recognised as a university entrance qualification in Europe and throughout the rest of the world.  Students who have earned the Advanced Placement International Diploma or achieved successful results on at least three AP exams, fulfil university qualification requirements for numerous selective universities in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

 By taking an AP course, students demonstrate to university admissions officers that they have developed the advanced study skills required in higher education.

Why choose the Advanced Placement?

Advanced Placement has many benefits for High School students. Some of these benefits include the following:

AP students gain an edge in university preparation

  • Engage in university-level work
  • Improve their writing and problem-solving techniques
  • Develop the study habits necessary for tackling rigorous coursework

AP students stand out in university admissions processes

  • Demonstrate their maturity and readiness for college
  • Show their willingness to take the most rigorous courses available 
  • Emphasise their commitment to academic excellence

AP enables students to broaden their intellectual horizons

  • Explore the world from a variety of perspectives, most importantly their own
  • Study subjects in greater depth and detail
  • Assume the responsibility of reasoning, analysing, and understanding for themselves 

AP Subjects available at the International School of Western Australia

Our AP subjects vary according to student demand and teacher availability. AP subjects that have been offered at the International School of Western Australia include:


  • English Literature and Composition
  • English Language and Composition
  • French Language and Composition
  • Spanish Language and Composition


  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Computer Science


  • Calculus AB

Social Sciences

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • US History
  • World History
  • Psychology


  • Studio Art

Other subjects are available to be taken online and are supervised by school staff.

Visit the US College Board’s Advanced Placement website

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