Applying to Eton College: The 13+ Admissions Procedure explained


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January 20th, 2020

Applying to Eton College: The 13+ Admissions Procedure explained

In this blog, Sobia - an experienced school entrance tutor - explains the Eton College admissions procedure for 13+ candidates, and provides a clear step-by-step guide of what to expect at the different stages.

The admissions process for Eton can sometimes be confusing for parents of prospective students. There are a number of  selection stages with different exams, that have varying formats. It helps to have an idea of what is tested at these key stages, so that effective preparation can take place well in advance.

The main stage for selection is at the age of around 11 when most students will be in year 6. Following this, some students  are offered a conditional place at the age of 13, dependent on their performance in the Common Entrance, Eton entrance paper or Kings Scholarship paper. (Application for entry at age 13 can be made at any point up to the June of the academic year where the students turns 10 years of age, i.e. year 5 in the UK). Below I will break the process down further into key stages.

Applying to Eton: Stage 1

The stage 1 assessment consists of the ISEB Common Entrance Pre-tests which takes place in the Autumn term of year 6. These are computerised multiple-choice tests lasting around 2.5 hours, and consisting of Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal reasoning. Parents are informed of the results by December.

Stage 2: Second round assessment

If stage 1 is passed successfully, the candidate will be invited for the second round, Stage 2 assessments in the Spring/Summer term of the following year (the exact date depending on the candidate’s birthdate), and these take place at Eton. They consist of an interview and a further online test of aptitude in verbal, numerical and perceptual reasoning. The results of these are disclosed within a month or so from the assessment date.

Stage 3: Common Entrance exam (and Kings Scholarship)

At this stage, if all goes well, the student will be invited back to Eton in the September following his 13th birthday, to sit the Common Entrance exam. The subjects to be sat will be a core of Maths, English and Science as well as a language, and usually, a higher Maths paper. If a student is going for the Kings Scholarship, he will instead sit his paper in the April before the September entry. The scholarship exams require more analytical and creative thinking, and past papers can be viewed on the Eton website.

So the above is, in a nutshell, a summary of the key points in the Eton admissions process. Each assessment stage requires a focus on different areas in terms of a students preparation, and some papers such as the scholarship paper require quite specialist preparation. However, forewarned is forearmed – and if you are considering Eton as a prospective school for your child, hopefully, this guide will help you in your decision-making process. Good luck!

More about Sobia

Sobia qualified as a teacher in Science in 2002, and now works as a tutor with Owl Tutors.

Sobia has done a lot! She initially trained to be a doctor, before switching to working as a Science teacher. She has since taught for over ten years, and found time to complete a PhD in English along the way. She currently teaches and tutors in between her own writing.

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