Hi, everybody! My name is Adam Lam. I am 12 years old, and a soon-to-be UTS student this fall.
I would like to thank Prepskills for allowing me the opportunity to share with you on what I did to score in the 99th percentile, specifically 2,097 out of a maximum of 2,130, of the SSAT Middle Level Test.
This score subsequently paved the way for my successful admission into Grade 7 of UTS of the coming September.
Yes, I always wanted to get into UTS.
Why? Because as far as I am concerned, it is the best secondary school in Canada, and some people seem to agree.
Besides, I think it’s rather cool to hang out around Bay and Bloor near the UTS schoolyard during lunch hours.
To get accepted, I knew I had to get excellent marks in SSAT before UTS would even consider my application. I did some research last June to find out what I would have to do to get good SSAT marks bearing in mind I only had less than 6 months before I would write the real test in mid-November.
I found out a few things:
- The SSAT Middle Level Test is for students in Grade 5 to Grade 7. I would be 2 months into Grade 6 in mid-November when I would have to write the SSAT test. That meant to score good marks, I would have to learn certain Grade 6 and Grade 7 stuff before the test. I took a quick look at some SSAT sample test questions, and found that some topics, such as algebra, geometry, vocabularies, etc., were indeed new to me.
- The SSAT Test would last for close to 3 hours. The longest test I had at school before was only 45 minutes. I wondered what I had to do to get accustomed to staying focused for 3 hours.
- Questions in this type of standardized test are riddled with tricks and traps. How could I get enough practice to avoid these pitfalls?
- Every year around 55,000 students in United States and Canada competing for seats of the best private schools write the SSAT Test. Many of them prepare well in advance of time for the test. What would I have to do to be competitive?
It was easy for me to conclude that I needed heavy duty coaching, conditioning, and hard work to make the grade, and I needed them fast.
I did three things:
- I took the Prepskills extended session preparatory course from the beginning of June to the end of October – with a one-and-a-half month summer break in the middle. I liked this particular program because it was spread out over a few months so that I had plenty of time to digest the materials. The 1 online and 2 sit-down simulation tests, all of which were three hours long, got me battle-tested. The excellent program materials and teaching methods gave me a fair shake at tackling every question that could come up in the SSAT Test.
- I bought the practice test books of SSAT Board and other publishers. Including the three 3-hour Prepskills tests and another 2 practice tests in the Prepskills workbook, I actually wrote 11 simulation tests before the real one.
- I marked down the practice test questions that I did wrong, and repeatedly redid them until I got them right.
I wrote the SSAT Test in November without a hitch. I knew I did well, but just didn’t know how well. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received my 99th percentile SSAT score in the mail. I raised my hands in victory and jumped up and down for joy for the longest time.
The next step was to get beyond Stage 2 of the UTS Admission process, which included an interview and additional testing in math and English. I left nothing to chance, and signed up for the Prepskills UTS Stage 2 Workshop. The Workshop prepared me well, and there were no surprises at all when I went through the actual UTS Stage 2 interview and testing.
Frankly I knew in my guts that I had made it even before I received the letter of acceptance from UTS. I am truly thankful that Prepskills helped me so much along the way to make my dream of entering UTS a reality! Thank you!