Marnie Landon, University of Toronto Schools

"My daughter Natalie was the last group of potential UTS students to write the UTS proprietary format entrance exam. The following year, UTS started to use the SSAT, aligning itself with other private schools.

Although UTS encouraged preparation on their website, it was difficult for parents to understand what sort of preparation was required. At the time, we had been taking part in the Spirit of Math Schools for many years and they recommended PREPSKILLS as a company that offers UTS-preparation services. The PREPSKILLS program engenders an excellent understanding of the UTS entrance exam and all of its complexities. It is a comprehensive program that inspires great confidence from the start.

The UTS exam had two phases. The first phase included reading comprehension, vocabulary, mathematics and analogies. My daughter was assessed by PREPSKILLS and she demonstrated strengths in all of the component areas except the analogies section. She had no understanding of what was required in that section. By the time she had completed her PREPSKILLS training she excelled in analogies and had complete confidence in her new understanding of logic.

At the time, the top 100 entrance exam participants were invited to write the Phase Two UTS admissions test. That phase included a written essay, problem-solving with full answers (not multiple-choice), an interview, and a summary of major accomplishments and academic history. Again, my daughter was very strong in all of the testable areas, but she lacked the experience and confidence to carry through with a strong interview. She was, after all, only 11-years-old! As part of its UTS training program, PREPSKILLS ran mock exam sessions and mock interview sessions for students. These mock sessions were extremely helpful for my daughter.

I believe the skills my daughter acquired from the PREPSKILLS program will serve her well throughout the remainder of her life. She is already a better student as a result of this excellent program. For example, PREPSKILLS teaches its students about the Latin and Greek roots to complicated vocabulary, which helps children understand that by learning a short list of words they can, in fact, define a very, very long list of words. My daughter uses this knowledge every day.Natalie has since been invited to apply for the very prestigious John and Margaret Withrow Entrance Scholarship. This invitation is extended to the top ten girls and top ten boys entering UTS. She is currently in her fourth year at UTS and continues to excel and enjoy the program. By providing her with the best preparation possible, I did not risk having her miss this outstanding and unique opportunity to learn.

As a testament to the PREPSKILLS program, my daughter did not begin to prepare until she had only 6 weeks left before the UTS entrance exam, unlike many of her fellow classmates who had begun a year or more in advance. Clearly, the PREPSKILLS program is an efficient, expeditious and effective learning format.

Had I chosen not to have my daughter apply to a private school, I would still have considered enrolling her in the PREPSKILLS program as it is an extremely worthwhile investment, both in time and money. I have complete confidence in this program and the people behind it."

Submitted by: Marnie Landon, Mother,Toronto
Current School: University of Toronto Schools (UTS)
Former school: Havergal College