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Help with admissions tests

The majority of top UK senior schools will require your child to pass entrance tests as well as be interviewed in order to be considered for admission. As a generalisation these tests would be used by all schools in the top 75% of the league tables which we publish on this site. In the bottom quartile, there are a few non-selective schools (mainly US or international schools) which might consider a child on the basis of references from the previous school and recent school reports, plus in some cases an interview, either in person or via Skype.

Entrance tests vary by school and age group. For entry at ages 11 and 13, schools commonly use the Common Entrance Test set by the ISEB ( www.iseb.co.uk ). For 11+ entry children sit tests in Maths, English and Science in the November or January of Year 6. For 13+ entry the Common Entrance tests are taken in January of Year 8 in schools outside the UK or in May at UK prep schools. Children sit exams in all the main curriculum subjects, and the tests are marked by the target senior school. Each senior school sets its own pass mark – the more selective (academically) the higher the required score. Not all schools use Common Entrance. Some set their own admissions tests but the standard expected will generally be the same or higher.

At age 16 entry there are different requirements. Most IB schools will set tests in the 3 Higher Level IB subjects to be taken in the sixth form (year 12), and if you are applying for a scholarship, then there will be separate tests or auditions for those. 

Never underestimate the importance or timing of entrance tests. Most will be taken between 6 to 9 months before entry. It is prudent to prepare for them.

We use several different firms of tutors who are experienced in admissions test preparation – ask us for details on +44 (0) 1622 813870 or complete the form below.

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