When I came to U of T as a first year life science student, I had done pretty well in high school and I was pretty confident that I would be able to cruise through my classes. My laissez-faire attitude was quickly destroyed when I wrote my first CHM138 test. The type of studying that gets you good marks in high school, memorization and regurgitating facts, simply isn't enough at U of T. Luckily TLS saved me from my own bad study habits. When I went to my first TLS CHM138 test prep seminar, I really wasn't expecting much. But I found that the seminar was immensely helpful. Colin, the instructor, has a gift for taking difficult concepts and condensing them down into something understandable. The test prep packages are almost as useful as the sessions themselves, with a full review of all the course material and hundreds of past exam questions.
The CHM138 sessions were so helpful, I started going to the weekly MAT135 sessions and the CHM139 sessions in second semester. James is just as talented at explaining calculus as his brother is at chemistry and my marks immediately improved in both courses. TLS is more than just a series of seminars, though. The students and instructors in TLS form a kind of community and you meet a lot of people who help you out in other courses and who often become your friends. James and Colin are always willing to help, whether to give advice about picking courses or applying to medical school or just to talk. Because of TLS, I ended up with 100% in CHM139 and with the help of a great reference letter from Colin, I won a full scholarship at the end of my first year. I know that without TLS and the help of Colin and James, I would never have learned how to succeed in a university environment. Going to TLS was the best decision I made all year.