Mini School Tutoring (CogAT), VancouverPear Tree Education
Pear Tree Education

Mini School Prep Classes Vancouver

CogAT Mini School Prep Classes Vancouver

If your child is applying with one of the VSB’s Mini Schools, Pear Tree Education can help your child!

For Mini School preparation, Pear Tree provides a combination of Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and SSAT exam preparation (English-version only).

Our CogAT / SSAT Mini School Prep specialist has a Masters of Education degree from SFU and extensive experience preparing students for a variety of high-school entrance exams, both local and international.

While we do not guarantee that your child will be accepted by such schools, we offer the ultimate preparation for your child to ‘put their best foot forward’.


  • 6 x 1hr CogAT Preparation = $480 + GST

One-to-one classes must be booked by email or phone 604 355 2155


  • 6 x 1hr CogAT Preparation + 4 x 1hr Upper-Level SSAT Preparation = $800 + GST

One-to-one classes must be booked by email or phone 604 355 2155


  • 6 x 1hr CogAT Preparation + 4 x 1hr Upper-Level SSAT Preparation = $500 + GST

Book and pay online (for Small Group classes only)

Pear Tree online secure booking system


What are Mini Schools?

The VSB advertises their Mini Schools as “programs [that] provide opportunities for enrichment for students who are Vancouver residents and consistently achieve B averages or higher, who are highly motivated students and who would benefit from a learning environment with highly motivated peers.” They are available at high-school level only, starting in Grade 8.

In our opinion, Mini Schools are like the private high schools of public high schools. They offer enriched learning, small class sizes, and specialist programs with specialist educators / guest speakers. Basically, all children would love studying at a Mini School, but they are generally only open to top students.

As stated by the Vancouver School Board: “over 1400 students apply [each year] for approximately 600 Grade 8 spaces in the Mini School programs. Acceptance is based on test marks, Gr. 7 report cards, applications and interviews. Applicants must have residency in Vancouver.”

*Here is a list of the VSB’s mini schools.


Cognitive Abilities TestWhat is CogAT?

CogAT is short-name for the Cognitive Abilities Test, which is designed for elementary and high school students. CogAT uses a battery of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal tests (see below) to calculate a student’s learned reasoning and problem solving abilities. It is generally used as an entrance exam for gifted and mini-school programs.

There are 10 x levels of the CogAT related to the age and grade of the child. A 13-year-old child (in Grade 7) will take the Level 13 test.

Verbal Battery

  • Picture/Verbal Analogies
  • Sentence Completion
  • Picture/Verbal Classification

Quantitative Battery

  • Number Analogies
  • Number Series
  • Number Puzzles

Non-Verbal Battery

  • Figure Matrices
  • Figure Classification
  • Paper Folding


When Should I Start Preparing?

Ideally, you should start in September in order to prepare for this year’s Mini School exam date (November 21st) assuming that your child is in Grade 7 in September. However, you need to consider whether there is enough time to complete all of the preparation classes beforehand. If not, you will be preparing for 2019’s exam.

Important VSB Dates 2018 (To be confirmed)

REGISTER ONLINE for the test: Estimated dates: Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, 2018
Test date and time: Nov. 20 at 1:00 p.m., 2018
Application to programs deadline: Dec. 20, 2018 by 3 p.m.


Small Group Session Dates 2018/19

Session 1:

  • CogAT Classes: 10th, 12th, 14th, 17th, 19th, 21st September 2018 – 4.30-5.30pm
  • SSAT Classes: 26th, 28th September + 3rd, 5th October 2018 – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 2:

  • CogAT Classes: 8th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th October 2018 – 4.30-5.30pm
  • SSAT Classes: 24th, 26th, 31st October + 2nd November 2018 – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 3:

  • CogAT Classes 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 16th November 2018 – 4.30-5.30pm
  • SSAT Classes: 21st, 23rd, 28th, 30th November 2018 – 4.30-5.30pm

Parent Testimonial:

Paul has been working with our son on his preparation for an overseas school entrance exam since September 2015. The test demands strong writing skills and comprehension ability. Our son has been improving due to Paul’s strength in encouraging and guiding our son’s critical thinking and analytical skills. Equally important is Paul’s ability to connect with our son by engaging him with good questions and seeking smart responses. Finally, as a consummate educator his willingness to listen to parents’ concerns and effecting the desired outcome put us as parents at ease. We are pleased with our son’s progress and we look forward to more of Paul’s positive input to our son’s preparation for the exam.

It occurred to me that I never got back to you about the boys’ admission. They were both successful in getting into Southpointe Academy in Delta, BC. Thanks again to you and Laura for all your help.

My son relates to you and your teaching method.

Thanks Paul. He was telling me about the vocabulary in the car. We appreciate all the techniques you’ve shared with him. You were a great match for him, and I know he learned a lot.

My son still treasures your assigned readings from last year. I can’t begin to express how much impact your sessions have had. I think he was little disappointed he couldn’t continue the sessions but he’s been lucky to have awesome teachers in the program this year to keep him engaged with school.


Goals for Learning

  • Picture/Verbal Analogies
  • Sentence Completion
  • Picture/Verbal Classification
  • Number Analogies
  • Number Series
  • Number Puzzles
  • Figure Matrices
  • Figure Classification
  • Paper Folding
Grades 6-9

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