The majority of top 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 50% 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, children usually sit tests in Maths, English and Science.
For 16+ entry for the IB Diploma, there are often different requirements. Entrance exams and interviews are usually about 10 months in advance of entry in the subjects a student is planning to study at Higher Level. 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 Language Assessment. A number of boarding schools require students applying from outside the country 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 around 10 months before the proposed date of entry. It is prudent to prepare for them and 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. 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 current studies
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 with either online or face to face lessons.
Exam Revision Courses in the UK
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.