QMS Prep Program
Assessment & Placement
QMS Prep Program
Queen Margaret's School is excited to announce the launch of our new Prep Program.

This is a one-year program designed to prepare mission appropriate students in Grades 7-10 with full-time English Language needs for entry into mainstream academic courses at Queen Margaret's School for the following year. Students are provided with opportunities to develop their academic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Additionally, students will develop subject-specific vocabulary to assist with comprehension while learning to adapt to Canadian culture and curriculum before enrolling in the mainstream academic program. Upon completion of the year, students will be awarded a certificate of completion; however, school credits will not be provided as this is a skill-based learning year.  Students who have successfully achieved the required level of English will take their place at Queen Margaret's School the following academic year.

All QMS Prep Program students will reside on QMS’s spacious 27-acre campus in our boarding residence where students live and study together in a secure and supportive environment. This is where life-long friendships are ignited with peers from around the world.

Students will also benefit from social and cultural activities while being provided the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities such as volleyball, yoga, theatre, music, choir, basketball, track and field, badminton and many more.

In addition to intensive small class instruction, all students will be part of a fun, vibrant and close-knit community that will explore Vancouver Island and British Columbia. Off-campus excursions will further develop students’ English language skills.

The QMS Prep Program will integrate students and English native speaking students academically and socially through various school-wide initiatives where all students come together.

Advantages of The Prep Program  
  • The ability to communicate in a new language
  • Increased problem-solving abilities
  • Greater comprehension of how the English Language works and is used
  • Improved listening, reading, speaking and writing skills
  • Cultural immersion 
  • Prepares students for the academic program at QMS
  • Small class size of 14 students
  • Social integration and confidence building
  • English Language immersion

Through the Boarding Life Program at QMS, students will learn cooperation, patience, and understanding while experiencing what it means to be part of a global community. Many cultures are represented in the Boarding Program, providing an opportunity for all students to celebrate the differences between perspectives, customs, and language.

Staff will guide students as they grow, both emotionally and intellectually. The residence staff are professionally trained in the understanding of teenage development and communication skills.

QMS will support the academic and personal success of each students’ goals. This support will be provided by supervised evening prep time (homework time). Social time and extra responsibilities will only be permitted after academic goals are met.

Residence Objectives: 
  • To allow students to make use of the residence program and facilities for English immersion.
  • To provide students with opportunities to embrace and share cultures.
  • To provide students with opportunities to develop English skills in social settings.
Assessment & Placement
All students will be assessed through the Vital English test before arrival. Vital English is an online software that enables schools to accurately place students in programs that will house language support needs.

The assessment consists of two sections; a reading and a listening section, each with 60 multiple-choice questions (for a total of 120 questions). A maximum of 15 minutes is permitted for each section or 30 minutes in total. Questions in both sections test for grammar, vocabulary, listening and reading (the latter two skills through Functional Language, which is a demonstration of the practical application of language knowledge and skills).

The items in the assessment have been selected to assess common points of difficulty and key aspects of language development. Multiple-choice distractors have been carefully crafted to reduce the probability of guessing the right answer.

At present, there is no writing assignment and Vital English does not have an oral test for students. 

Results are available to QMS instantly and the test works in all jurisdictions, including Mainland China and Hong Kong. 

In 2019, Vital English tested over 9,000 international high schools students before they arrived in Canada. Many of these students were tested face-to-face after arrival and the test score correlation is highly accurate. 

A math diagnostic tool has also been introduced, which can reliably identify a student’s math level in 15-20 minutes.

All students who do not meet the required test scores for regular mainstream QMS course curricula’s but who are mission appropriate will be considered and or recruited for The Prep Program. The Director of Admissions and Associate Director of International Enrollment will aim to recruit students with comparable Vital English test scores.  Testing will be followed by an interview by the Admissions office to determine if the candidate is appropriate for in-take.

Upon arrival at QMS, a language specialist will test students to further determine language needs. The following will take place: an informal interview, personal writing sample submission and a formal writing sample submission.

Miscellaneous Info


Weekend and Extra-Curricular Activities 

Frequent trips and activities are arranged on weekends for boarding students.  Examples:
  • Sightseeing and shopping trips, Victoria and Vancouver
  • Art Galleries and Museums
  • Concerts and Theatre productions
  • Dances
  • Movie Nights
  • Discussion evenings and guest speakers
  • Hiking, Swimming, Skating, Bowling, Yoga, Boot Camp  Residences 

Signing Out 

Signing out is mandatory for every activity that takes place outside of the Residence, including activities such as going to the Equestrian stables or the exercise room. 
I'm proud to work at a school that is committed to creating opportunities for growth and professional development for staff that positively impacts student learning and achievement.
- Elizabeth Tarkowski, QMS Staff Member