Mini School Entrance Success!

Paul Romani

It’s that time of year when many of our Mini School students receive the exciting news about their acceptance!

Each year from September to November, Pear Tree Education helps potential mini school candidates prepare for the VSB mini school test.

Mini School

After receiving news from a number of families about being invited for the interview stage of the mini school admissions process – an indication of good mini school exam results, parents are now reporting the exciting news that their children have been accepted into their particular mini school programs of interest:

“I wanted to send you a note to let you know that my daughter got into King George Mini School! She is really excited.

Thank you so much for the work you did with her in preparation for her test. You really pushed her in a good way. Her writing has shown a real improvement since the course she took with you. Thank you!”

Pear Tree’s mini school preparation course

As both an unseen and unconventional exam, Pear Tree felt that such a test created unnecessary stress for such young students. Consequently, Pear Tree’s mini school exam preparation course gives students a strong idea of the plethora of question types they can expect to face, as well as the poetry analysis / essay writing component.

Pear Tree provides 10 x 1-hour classes, which includes 4 hours of cognitive assessment test preparation, 2 hours of poetry analysis and essay writing practice, and 4 hours of standard secondary admission’s test preparation.

“My daughter got into the Mini School at Lord Byng. I strongly believe that the [Pear Tree] Mini School Prep course allowed her to excel on the test so thank you again.”

Mini School Popularity

Mini schools are not widely advertised by the Vancouver School Board. Despite this, large numbers of families apply for the entrance exam each year, with only a small percentage being accepted.

As Pear Tree only has a limited number of places available for its preparation classes and, currently, seems to be the only organisation offering such classes, it would seem that the most students have no preparation going into the exam – putting them as a severe disadvantage!

Also, the vast majority of families that use Pear Tree’s mini school preparation course state that they have little to no idea about what mini schools are, who they’re for, what the exam consists of, and so on; again, this is likely due to the lack of advertising surrounding mini schools by the VSB.

Ultimately, mini schools are like the private school of public schools: a more elite program for public school high-school students. As the program is paid for by tax payers, the ethics of providing a special program for a small group of students is controversial.

While the program is likely geared more towards ‘gifted students’, anyone can take the exam. And, realistically, anyone with good academic aptitudes can do well on the exam without having to be designated as gifted.

“My son got into Killarney mini school and St Thomas More Collegiate”

More about the Mini School exam

One of the key components of the exam is the combined poetry analysis / essay writing section. In Pear Tree’s experience, virtually no students coming from VSB public schools have any poetry analysis or essay writing experience.

As an optional extra component of the course, Pear Tree offers a Poetry Analysis course in advance of the mini school course in order to give students more time and practice for this section of the exam.

More Information

For more information about Pear Tree’s mini school exam preparation course, please visit our main webpage using the link below: