Prep School Entrance Tests

The main point of entry to prep school is at 7+ into Year 3. The actual entry process varies considerably from school to school. Many prep schools have a pre-prep section starting as early as 2 or 3 years old, from which there is normally automatic progression to the next stage. For some schools, especially in London, places for all ages are in high demand, and it is advisable to register your child as early as possible. Even then, a place is by no means guaranteed so many parents will register their child at a wide range of schools.

Is there a standard entrance exam at 7+

Prep schools operate their own entry procedures, with some making offers based on previous school reports, and an interview with the parents and child. Children are often invited for a taster day to see how they interact with their peers and adults and how receptive they are to doing activities. There are some highly selective academic prep schools which set entrance tests at 7+. Some of these may be stand alone prep schools that will then prepare your child for entry to a top academic senior school and others may be all-through schools with their own senior department for transition at 11+ or 13+.

Children normally need to be registered for 7+ entry by the November of the year preceding entry, when they are in Year 2 and the exams are sat the following January or February.

What do 7+ entrance tests involve?

Children are usually tested in Maths and English with additional assessments of spelling, mental arithmetic or creative skills at some schools. Most schools will invite children to attend assessment days which will include the written papers as well as group activities to look at a child’s personality and thirst for learning.

How can I assess my child’s ability?

We offer a comprehensive Academic Profiling Test for children from age 6, which will assess your child’s ability in four key areas: English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The APT can be taken as a stand alone test with detailed personal feedback from a senior consultant, or is included as part of our school advice and placement service. The APT will provide you with valuable information about how your child is likely to fare in an entrance test as well as the sort of school they are likely to be happiest in. Please contact us for more details.

Should my child be tutored for prep school entry?

If you are targeting a highly selective academic prep school for your child it may be worth engaging a tutor to help prepare them. Schools never encourage tutoring and indeed there is little merit in pushing a child simply to pass an entrance exam for a school which would actually be too pressurised for them. However, familiarity with what is required and a little preparation can be really valuable for boosting a child’s confidence and making sure they are able to relax and do their best on the day. We can recommend the best tutors for your child so please do get in touch for advice.

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