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BISHOP McNAMARA HIGH SCHOOLA Catholic, Holy Cross, Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Grades 9-12

Advanced Placement

Logo for the Advanced Placement Program

Bishop McNamara Advanced Placement Program offers rigorous college-level curricula and assessments to students in our high school, bringing a rich college experience to Bishop McNamara with the opportunity to earn college credit at thousands of universities across the nation. AP Courses are offered in English language, English literature, digital art, calculus, statistics, computer programming, psychology, chemistry, biology, physics, French, Spanish, U.S. history and European history. Advanced Placement courses may also be offered in music theory, Latin Vergil, Latin Poetry, and modern & classical language literature, as well as others determined by student interest.

AP courses are taught by highly qualified Bishop McNamara 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.

Feel free to go to AP Central at CollegeBoard for more information.

More About Advanced Placement

What is an Advanced Placement Course?

AP® is a designation for a course that involves preparation for an AP® exam.

AP® exams are administered in the second week of May each year, by CollegeBoard®, the makers of the SAT®.

Who should take an AP® course?

Students identified by their instructors as possessing the skills, background knowledge and demonstrated success in pre-AP® work.

Students willing to commit extra time and take more control of their own learning process.

What are the Benefits?

AP® courses allow students to pursue subjects that interest them with particular thoroughness, intensity and rigor, similar to college level classes.

AP® courses often move at an accelerated pace.

Colleges often ask if a student took the most challenging level of a course possible. In multiple subjects, AP® courses are the most challenging courses we offer.

Students earn 1.0 weight towards their grade point average for every AP® course.

Students can have their AP® exam scores reported to colleges, who use these scores to:

  • Exempt students from courses
  • Allow students to take more advanced classes as first year students
  • Reduce the number of course hours required for graduation

AP® Course Offerings at BMHS

AP® Biology

AP® Calculus AB

AP® Calculus BC

AP® Chemistry

AP® English Language & Comp

AP® English Literature & Comp

AP® European History

AP® Physics 1: Algebra-Based

AP® Psychology

AP® Spanish Language & Culture

AP® Statistics

AP® Studio Art:2D Design

AP® US History

Note: Each year all courses are reviewed, including AP® courses. These listed courses may or may not represent all the choices available in the years to come.

Why take an AP® exam?

AP® exams give students a chance to compete with other bright, motivated students throughout the country.

AP® exams give students an introduction to the kind of thorough, challenging exams that are often the main components of their college grades.

Students can receive college credit for high AP® test scores, fulfill requirements, or take more interesting intermediate level courses sooner, depending on the colleges they attend.

What are the Details?

The fee for an AP® Exam is set by the CollegeBoard®. 

 Parents will submit an online registration form and the fee for each AP course their student is taking. Information regarding exam registration, fees and dates are sent to parents and students via email. 

Fee reductions are made available to students who qualify according the guidelines provided by the CollegeBoard®. This process must be initiated early through the Counseling Office.

Why Choose AP®?

Are you ready for a unique learning experience that will help you succeed in college? Through AP's college-level courses and exams, you can earn college credit and advanced placement, stand out in the admission process, and learn from some of the most skilled, dedicated, and inspiring teachers in the world.

A Different Kind of Class

From the moment you enter an AP classroom, you'll notice the difference in the teacher's approach to the subject, in the attitude of your classmates, in the way you start to think. In AP classrooms, the focus is not on memorizing facts and figures. Instead you'll engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.

Prepare to Succeed in College

AP courses can help you acquire the skills and habits you'll need to be successful in college. You'll improve your writing skills, sharpen your problem-solving abilities, and develop time management skills, discipline, and study habits.

Earn College Credit and Placement

More than 90 percent of four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP Exam scores. By entering college with AP credits, you'll have the time to move into upper level courses, pursue a double-major or study abroad.

Important Exam Registration and Fee Information


  • Registration is completely online in Parents' MACCESS under "My Forms"
  • Online Registration begins early in February each year
  • All AP parents receive an email prior to Feb. 1st with dates and reminders
  • Registration ends early in April each year with a late fee assessed after that date.


  • Students approved for accommodation with the College Board should contact  the Counseling Office as soon as possible prior to testing dates for information regarding AP Exam accommodations. 

Non-attendance and Missed Exam

  • CollegeBoard® assesses a fee for those students who have not taken their AP exam. 
  • If a student has an emergency illness on the day of an AP exam, the student MUST contact the Academic Dean as soon as possible.



Mr. Brian Brower
Dean of Students and Programs
301.735.8401 ext. 112