• A guide to the different entrance exams used by UK private schools

    Feb. 7, 2015.

    Part 3

    13+ exams 

    13+ exams relate specifically to the private sector.  Children at Prep Schools will target their studies towards taking 13+ Common Entrance Exams in Year 8.  Children who are applying to a secondary independent school but who are not at a Prep School will usually sit specific papers set by the senior school.  These children are not usually expected to take Common Entrance papers but it is worth checking with the relevant school or looking at our schools directory for more information.

    There are a growing number of pupils who choose to start their education in a ...

  • A guide to the different entrance exams used by UK private schools

    Feb. 2, 2015.

    Part 2

    11+ exams 

    11+ exams exist in both the private and state sector in the UK, but they differ in format.  Here, the focus is on the private sector but refer to 11+ exams in the state sector for detail on Grammar School entry. 

    In the private sector, 11+ exams are set by the Independent Schools Examinations Board and are referred to as 11+ Common Entrance.  These exams are generally, but by no means exclusively, for entrance to senior independent girls’ schools but some boys’ secondary independent schools have an 11+ entry as well.  If concerned about the 11 ...

  • A guide to the different entrance exams used by UK private schools

    Jan. 30, 2015.

    PART 1  

    Pre-testing for entry to independent schools

    Pre-Tests were introduced in response to growing competition for 13+ entry to the major UK public schools.  The objective of the pre-test assessments is to give senior independent schools insight into a pupil’s ability and potential before they go on to sit Common Entrance in Year 8.  If they are successful at the pre-test stage, they will most likely be given a conditional offer to their senior school of choice, dependent on them passing 13+ Common Entrance Exams. On the other hand, children who do not do well enough to be ...

  • Top 10 private tuition subjects

    Dec. 5, 2014.

    Which private tutors are most in demand?

    1st equal:   English tuition and Maths tuition

    No surprise that English and Maths tutors are top of the popularity stakes.  This, however, does not simply mean that children find these subjects tougher than Science or History, but rather that there is the most pressure to excel with numeracy and literacy.  Exams, whether pre-tests, 11+ or 13+ Common Entrance focus on the fundamentals as they are an essential stepping stone to making headway across the curriculum.

    3rd and 4th equal:  Verbal and Non-Verbal tuition

    Close contenders are private tutors for Verbal reasoning and Non-Verbal ...

  • Should you use a private tutor?

    Nov. 28, 2014.

    Should you use a private tutor?

    Who should you listen to: Mums at the school gate? The Headmaster? Your child?  We’d advise listening to everyone before working out, on balance, whether a private tutor would be beneficial for your child.  There is no longer a taboo attached to receiving help from outside school and there are plenty of avenues to find a tutor.  The key is to make the right choices.  

    The first question: is there a need?

    Children will develop at their own rate and, if feeling on the back foot, they may need some one-on-one encouragement for ...

  • Helping your child prepare for November's Common Entrance Exams

    Nov. 18, 2014.

    Mock exams for Common Entrance can be more terrifying than the real thing in some respects.  Children have barely embarked on their Year 8 journey and the syllabus has not yet been taught in its entirety, let alone learnt.  Suddenly, exam week looms.

    Prep schools have different approaches to mock exams.  Some will use Common Entrance past papers, others will chop and change the structure and format to suit the topics covered to date.  Either way, seeing that title page with the words, ‘Common Entrance’, the fear will set in.

    To combat the pressure, the ideal approach is to enter ...


    Oct. 14, 2014.

    Penny Whitwell, 4th May 2014

    As the next round of 13+ scholarship exams approaches, we reflect on what an extraordinary challenge this is for our young people. 13+ scholarship exams are an alternative to 13+ Common Entrance exams but, without exception, they are much more difficult! Public schools can set their own brand of scholarship paper, aligned with the academic expectation of their school. However, many schools choose the Common Academic Scholarship Exams (CASE) published by the ISEB.

    The toughest of scholarship papers have been likened to higher-level GCSE or even A level in terms of standard. The incredible thing ...


    Oct. 14, 2014.

    Aiming for the best British public school?

    Demand is high, few will succeed: here’s how. We take the stress away and teach success, one student at a time. Our students learn winning ways and the habit of achievement. We start with the best tutors. Our tutors are first-rate teachers from first-rate schools. Our students don’t just learn their subject they learn how to succeed.

    To see how it works, take a look at the animation below created by one of our students. Pretty impressive for a 13 year old!

    I'm starting to believe that I'm really ...

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