Tuition for School Entrance Tests
The majority of top UK private schools will require your child to sit entrance tests and be interviewed in order to be considered for admission.
As a general rule, virtually all schools in the top 75% of our league tables select children on the basis of their performance in admissions tests. Sometimes these are extremely competitive with only the highest performing students being offered places. These schools are "selective" to varying degrees.
For "non-selective" schools, entrance tests are used to ensure that a child will be able to cope with the curriculum and pace of learning in a particular school - and are more akin to diagnostic assessments than pass/fail entry requirements. The academically non-selective schools tend to make offers on the basis of references from a child's previous school, 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, boarding schools commonly use the Common Entrance Test set by the ISEB. 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. A large number of senior schools now pre-test children in Year 6 (age 10) and offer conditional places which are confirmed after the Common Entrance exam results are known. Not all schools use Common Entrance. Virtually all day schools set their own entrance exams, some in conjunction with other schools. For schools that set their own admissions tests the standard expected will generally be the same or higher.
For 16+ entry into 6th form to study either A-Levels or the IB Diploma, there are different requirements. Entrance exams and interviews are usually held in the November of the year preceding entry in the subjects a student is planning to study in the 6th form. International students whose first language is not English will also be required to demonstrate their language proficiency, usually by taking a school's own assessments or a standardised online English Langauge Assessment. A number of boarding schools require students applying from outside the UK to take a standardised UKiset test. This is sometimes used in lieu of a school's own tests, and sometimes used as an initial filter.
If you are applying for a scholarship, there will be separate tests or auditions.
Never underestimate the importance or timing of entrance tests. Most will be taken 6 to 12 months before the proposed date of entry. It is prudent to prepare for them. There are private preparatory schools in the UK which specialise in preparing children to pass the entrance exams of chosen senior schools, but even then your child may benefit from additional tuition.
Elite School Preparation
There are a small number of elite schools, where not only is it necessary to apply several years in advance (even up to four years ahead), but the pupil may be required to sit “pre-assessment” tests or interviews up to three years before the actual admissions tests. These include schools such as Eton, Harrow, Winchester and Wycombe Abbey. Children supposedly cannot be tutored for these tests BUT preparation and familiarisation are essential. If you are aiming for one of these top schools, you should consider having your child assessed to determine if you are targeting appropriate schools. There is little point in stressing a child who is never going to be suited to a high-pressure academic environment, when we can find them a far more suitable school.
Education Advisers' Personalised Pupil Assessments
We offer our own diagnostic assessments for students in Maths and English. These personalised pupil assessments allow us to see where an international student sits in comparison to children of the same age who have been educated in a UK private school. The test reports include details on areas that either need to be covered, or need further tuition to prepare for entrance tests. The assessments can be taken up to three years in advance of entry and will provide you with valuable information to help your child push to the next level in their education. Please contact us for further information.
Tuition for GCSE, A-level, or Other Public Examinations
There are many cases in which a student may benefit from extra tuition.
- It could be that they are weaker in a particular subject and would benefit from extra support
- They might have a particular passion for a subject and want help trying to achieve the best possible grade
- They might have missed certain elements of the curriculum, perhaps through illness or other personal issues, through a move of school, or perhaps the sudden departure of a teacher.
Whatever the situation, we should be able to introduce you to a tuition company who can provide an individual learning plan either with either online or face to face lessons.
Exam Revision Courses
These usually take place during the Easter holidays and are usually found in private 6th form colleges, as opposed to traditional private schools. Please let us know what subjects you are looking for, and your location, and we will introduce any suitable options.