Introduction to the ISEB 13+ Common Pre-Test

Of all the school entrance points, 13 Plus / Common Entrance is surely the most complex.

The process usually lasts several years, and students must sit multiple sets of exams in the broadest range of subjects. Whereas applicants at 11 Plus normally get away with papers in Maths, English and Reasoning, the poor Common Entrance applicant often sits papers in the Sciences, French, the Humanities, Latin and more. To even get here, they must sit and pass the school’s pre-test when they are in either Year 6 or Year 7 when the applicant is between 10 and 12.

The Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB) organises a communal pre-test, which is now subscribed to by many schools. This is usually sat at the child's current school, if they are able to administer the test. If not, senior schools can have students in to sit them instead.

We have put together some information that you might find useful as you navigate this complex school entrance pathway.