Structure of the Program
Palmer offers a Pre-AP Honours Mathematics Program for motivated and capable students in which three years of junior math (Math 8, 9 and 10) are covered in an accelerated fashion within two years (Grades 8 and 9). The program begins in Grade 8 with Pre-AP Honours Math 8, where students cover the Math 8 and 9 curricula up to approximately two-thirds of the way through Math 9. In the second year (Grade 9), students who successfully complete Pre-AP Honours Math 8 then undertake Pre-AP Honours Math 9/10, where the balance of the Math 9 curriculum and the entire Math 10 curriculum is completed. Upon successful completion of Pre-AP Honours Math 9/10, students will have gained credit for Math 10 (which is required for high school graduation).
Thus by the end of Grade 9, students in the Pre-AP Honours Mathematics Program will effectively be one year ahead in their high school math education. These students may then take regular Pre-Calculus Math 11 or Enriched Pre-Calculus Math 11 during their Grade 10 year, subsequently followed by Pre-Calculus Math 12 in Grade 11. Ultimately, these students may then enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus 12 – the equivalent of a first-semester university calculus course – in their Grade 12 year.
Palmer’s Pre-AP Honours Math Program provides excellent preparation in Mathematics for students who plan to continue into a post-secondary program where calculus is required. In fact, students who do very well in high school AP Calculus may be permitted to proceed directly into second semester calculus upon entering university, or into an honours Calculus course (depending upon the university). Palmer Pre-AP Honours Math or Pre-AP/Incentive students who have undertaken the Provincial Math 10 Final Exam and/or the College Board’s AP Calculus final exam have done exceedingly well over the years, often scoring perfect scores on these exams (100% on the Math 10 Provincial Exam, or a 5/5 ranking on the AP Calculus exam), and have gone on to do well in their university calculus courses.
Please note that the BC Ministry of Education is currently revising the curriculum in secondary Mathematics as well as the high school graduation requirements. There is NO Math 10 Provincial Exam for the 2016/17 school year. Beginning in the 2017/18 school year, the old Math 10 Provincial Exam will be replaced by an alternate provincial assessment (grade level and format still to be determined).
Entry into the Pre-AP Honours Mathematics Program at Palmer is by application, and candidates are required to write an entrance exam (usually in early February for Grade 7 students who are applying for entry into the Pre-AP Honours Math 8 class). Grade 7 students who are applying for Palmer’s Pre-AP/Incentive Program are also required to write this Math entrance exam, and to submit a separate application for the Pre-AP/Incentive Program (please refer to the next section below for more details about applying for the Pre-AP/Incentive Program).
Once a student has been accepted into the Pre-AP Honours Mathematics Program, he/she does not need to re-apply each year to proceed to the next course in the program. However, each student must meet minimum achievement and performance standards in order to remain in the program in subsequent years.
Students in Grades 8-10 who are not currently in the program may also apply for entry into any of the upper courses in the program (ie. Pre-AP Honours Math 9/10, Enriched Math 11 or AP Calculus 12). Students are generally required to write a qualifying exam, and a teacher recommendation is also usually required.
Application forms for all courses in the program are available on this website, in the school’s Main Office or from the Mathematics Department. Click on the following link to access the Pre-AP Honours Math 8 Application Form. If you instead wish to apply for Pre-AP Honours Math 9/10 or Enriched Math 11, go to the Application Process page in the top menu and select Pre-AP/Incentive 9-11 on the drop-down menu to access the Grade 9-11 form.
Pre-AP/Incentive Program Applicants
As explained above, students who wish to apply for the Pre-AP/Incentive Program must complete a separate application form (as well as undergo a more detailed application process). Students may apply for the entire Pre-AP/Incentive Program suite of courses (all four academic courses including Pre-AP Honours Math), or just for Pre-AP Honours Math. If a student enrolls only in Pre-AP Honours Math, he/she is not considered to be a student in the Pre-AP/Incentive Program (which requires a student to be enrolled in Pre-AP/Incentive Science and/or Incentive Humanities – ie. English and Social Studies – to be in the Program). If you wish to apply for the Pre-AP/Incentive Program, please click on “Application Process” in the top menu bar; you may also select the desired grade level in the drop-down menu for grade-specific information.
Extra-Curricular Mathematics Enrichment Opportunities
Palmer Secondary School offers our students several opportunities in which to enrich and challenge themselves in mathematics.
In all of the Pre-AP Math courses, one important learning and enrichment activity is the opportunity for students to undertake various regional and national math competitions. These math competitions typically involve problems that are at a higher level than the usual curriculum questions encountered in class. Practicing such questions will help students to develop broader creativity, insight and problem solving skills.
In addition to the Pre-AP and AP Calculus classes, there are also Palmer’s Math Clubs where members practice and prepare to compete in a variety of local and national mathematics competitions. Senior math students also gain leadership experience by volunteering to coach or co-coach junior math teams.
One prestigious and well-known competition in which we participate is the University of Waterloo series in February for Grades 9, 10 and 11 (the Pascal, Cayley and Fermat contests respectively), as well as the Euclid Contest for Grade 12 in April, and the Grade 8 Gauss Contest in May. In addition, senior students may take part in the Canadian Open Mathematics Competition in November (sponsored by The University of British Columbia, among other universities). Palmer students have done very well on these and other contests, often placing themselves and the school in the top 10% or higher in the country, and regularly winning zone, regional or provincial championships.
MathChallengersBC is Grade 8 and 9 math enrichment and competition program that is hosted by Simon Fraser University and The University of British Columbia. It is jointly sponsored by the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers (BCAMT) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC). Palmer has a long tradition as a perennial contender in the provincial finals competition of this contest, and has previously won the provincial championship, as well as occasionally placing teams in 2nd, 3rd and 4th spots.
Palmer also occasionally competes in the Canadian National Mathematics League High School Contest series. This involves a series of six 6-question contests for Grade 9-12 students. In most years, Palmer finishes first or second in Richmond on this contest, and usually ranks in the top eight schools in BC out of about 35 which take part provincially every year.