CogAT Mini School Prep Classes Vancouver

IMPORTANT: The VSB has cancelled the mini school exam for 2021. As such, we will not be offering this course this year.



Please note that we will be taking increased precautions inline with government guidelines. Click here to see these plans.


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’.


4 x 1.5hr CogAT Preparation + 3 x 1hr SSAT Preparation = $500 + GST

(View course date options)

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.

mini schools

In our opinion, Mini Schools are like the private high schools of public high schools. They offer enriched learning, small class sizes, highly motivated students, 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 ‘gifted’ and top students.

Despite the high-level entrance requirements, the fact that Mini Schools are so much better than regular high schools means that an enormous number of families apply for the Mini School exam every year. 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.”

Based on this level of competition, being prepared for this unusual exam is essential to increasing your child’s chances of getting accepted.

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

What 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 2021) 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 2022’s exam.

We highly recommend signing up for our Poetry Analysis / Essay Writing classes in preparation for the Mini School course. Please note that there are 3 x levels for our Poetry Analysis course; Level 1 is a requirement to attend higher level courses. If you visit the Poetry Analysis page, you will see the dates/time options for each level.


Small Group Session Dates 2021

Session 1 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th September 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 7th, 9th, 14th September – 4.30-5.30pm
or 16th, 21st, 23rd September – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 2 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 17th, 20th, 22nd, 24th September 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 16th, 21st, 23rd September – 4.30-5.30pm
or 28th, 30th September, 5th October – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 3 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 27th, 29th September, 1st, 4th October 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 28th, 30th September, 5th October – 4.30-5.30pm
or 7th, 12th, 14th October – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 4 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th October 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 7th, 12th, 14th October – 4.30-5.30pm
or 19th, 21st, 26th October – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 5 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 18th, 20th, 22nd, 25th October 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 19th, 21st, 26th October – 4.30-5.30pm
or 28th October, 2nd, 4th November – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 6 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 27th, 29th October, 1st, 3rd November 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 28th October, 2nd, 4th November – 4.30-5.30pm
or 9th, 11th, 15th November – 4.30-5.30pm

Session 7 (CANCELLED)

PART 1: 5th, 8th, 10th, 12th November 2021 – 4.00-5.30pm
PART 2: 9th, 11th, 15th November – 4.30-5.30pm

Mini School

Parent Testimonials

My son took the mini-school prep courses with you in the fall and I wanted to let you know, he has been offered his first choice of programs. Thank you so much for preparing him so well.

My son was accepted to Ideal Mini. Again, thanks for your help!

Thanks for your lesson. My son was accepted by Churchill Synergy Program. You are really a good teacher, and all my family members appreciate your help.

As far as we are concerned, even if she doesn’t get into [a mini school], this was money well spent to prep her for high school.

My daughter came out of her second session with you and said “I just learned so much math!” – she was really excited. Thank you for being such a good teacher!

Thanks for the feedback. My son really enjoyed the session and said he was looking forward to the next one! I have never heard him say that about school work before! This is the kind of environment we are hoping a mini can offer him, a place where it is fun to learn.

I wanted to say thank you for the quality education you are providing to my daughter at Pear Tree. Thanks to your classes and guidance, she is more confident in her math skills and seems to be on the right track to build a strong foundation for math in high school.

We wanted to let you know that although my son was hesitant about joining the class before going, he has said that he is really enjoying your class. He said that your instructions/explanations have been very clear, and he has enjoyed making friends with the other boys in the class.