TOPS is a significantly accelerated and enriched program, by the completion of grade 10, TOPS students have completed three years of mathematics in two with enrichment. In Grade 11, TOPS students take the AP equivalent TOPS Calculus course. More than 2/3’s of them opt for the more difficult of the two calculus options. Either way, these courses are full first year university equivalents and are significantly enriched compared to the high school “Calculus and Vectors” course. Thus, students in the regular stream have not had enough mathematical preparation to pursue studies in grade 11 TOPS.
In grade 12, the academic divide between the preparation of TOPS students and standard program has further enlarged. Physics courses for example, use the calculus that was taught in grade 11 to explain and solve problems.