Academic Insights: TCS Advanced Placement Program

AP Research Presentations

The annual Advanced Placement (AP) exams, typically held in May each year, were significantly disrupted by the pandemic for a second year. While normally Trinity College School students would gather under exam conditions to write standardized AP exams up to three hours in length, this year the College Board ran three different exam administration blocks and allowed many of the exams to be written online from home.

All AP courses are graded on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest possible grade and indicating that the candidate is “extremely well qualified” in that subject; a grade of 3 is considered to be a passing grade.

TCS continues to offer one of the widest arrays of AP courses in the country; this year 159 students took 212 exams in over 25 AP disciplines. Below is a list of courses/exams and the number of TCS students who participated:

  • Psychology – 6
  • Research – 12
  • English Literature & Composition – 8
  • Statistics – 6
  • 2-D Art and Design – 5
  • Art: Drawing – 8
  • Environmental Science – 4
  • Biology – 9
  • Microeconomics – 9
  • Macroeconomics – 1
  • Computer Science A – 20
  • Seminar – 37
  • Chinese Language & Culture – 5
  • Chemistry – 14
  • French Language & Culture – 9
  • Physics 1 – 11
  • Physics 2 – 10
  • Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism – 1
  • Physics C: Mechanics – 1
  • Calculus AB – 9
  • Calculus BC – 4
  • English Language & Composition – 20
  • Human Geography – 1
  • World History: Modern – 1
  • European History – 1

The goal of the AP program is to enable students to pursue further enrichment and university preparedness by engaging with first-year university-level academic content while still in secondary school.

AP Capstone Diploma
TCS continues to embrace the innovative AP Capstone Diploma. The diploma is built upon the foundation of two core courses – AP Seminar and AP Research – both intended to supplement and enrich the comprehensive, subject-specific study provided through the School’s senior-level courses.

The AP Research course is only available to Grade 12 students who have successfully completed the pre-requisite AP Seminar course in Grade 11. AP Research provides a unique opportunity for graduating students to engage in sustained, in-depth research on a topic of personal interest. The course is structured to actively develop research, writing, revision, presentation and oral defence skills. TCS alumni who completed the AP Capstone Diploma have continually cited how helpful the program was in terms of preparedness for the research and writing they faced in university.

This year’s AP Research class worked diligently towards completing their 5,000-word essay on their original research, along with building a 20-minute multimedia presentation and preparing for an oral defence. See the list of Grade 12 presenters and their topics below:

  • Zoe Fingas, Homelessness and Community
  • Fiona Miller, The Creation and Implementation of Hydro-electric Boats in Muskoka
  • Evelyn Maguire, Canadian Adolescents’ Perceptions of Politics
  • Jasleen Billing, The Role of Advertisements in Destigmatizing ADHD
  • Ayo Eyesan, Antidepressants and Lo-fi: An Alternative Treatment Plan for Major Depression
  • Carly Lin, Effects of Culture and Gender on Adolescents’ Emotional Expression
  • Emile Hameury, The Awareness of Canadian Citizens Concerning ISIS Cyber Recruitment on Social Media
  • Kyle Munns, Theatre for All: ESL Pedagogy for Drama Classrooms
  • Allie Riihiluoma, The Effects of Television on Pretend Play Activity in Children (aged 2-7)
  • Vanessa Lolomari, The Use of Unethical Imagery by NGOs
  • Ty Gadbois, Warming Up & Athletic Performance
  • Alex Northey, A Hard Day’s Night: Optimizing Productivity of Arabidopsis Thaliana in Hydroponic Systems

To learn more about the AP Capstone Diploma and how to participate, visit

Special thanks to Ms. Laurie Caine, assistant to the academic directors, and to Ms. Suzy Hall, director of academic administration, for their work in coordinating hundreds of exams and student writers.

In this year of pandemic-related challenges, our TCS students and AP teachers are to be commended for their outstanding work in our Advanced Placement program.

- By Mr. Myke Healy, director of teaching & learning