Welcome to our Common Entrance Exam / ISEB test practice resources.

Common Entrance Exam / ISEB test practice

The ISEB Pre-tests are:

  • Taken n Year 6 or 7 and are set by GL Assessment.These tests.
  • Conducted online at pupils own schools.
  • Are multiple choice.
  • 4 sub-tests: English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
  • Typically approx. 150 minutes in admin time.

Pupils take the tests once in an academic year and the results will be shared across all the schools applied for. What may follow from the Pre-tests is: an unconditional offer for strong candidates. Or most likely an offer conditional on 13+ Common Entrance results.

If your child is applying for a place at an independent senior school, they may sit tests provided by the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB) as part of the admissions process.

The ISEB sets a range of tests that are used by hundreds of independent prep schools and senior schools, including Common Entrance examinations at 11+ and 13+.

Here’s an overview of the assessments set by the ISEB and what they involve for your child.

Common Entrance at 13+

Children at prep schools generally sit the examinations at their own school. Pupils at state schools can either take the examinations at a sitting centre, or at the senior school they are applying to.

It’s up to schools to decide which papers their pupils will sit.

The ISEB publishes a list of schools that use Common Entrance exam at 13+.

Common Entrance Exam at 11+

Common Entrance at 11+ is similar to the 13+ assessments, although pupils only take the core subjects: English, maths and science.

  • Traditionally, girls move to independent senior schools at the age of 11 (the beginning of Year 7).
  • Schools admitting children at 11+ can use Common Entrance at 11+ assessments as part of the process.
  • There are two exam periods, in November and January of Year 6.
  • Most pupils sit the examinations in January.
  • Common Academic Scholarship at 13+


Common Academic Scholarship examinations

The Common Academic Scholarship exams are:

  • Used by a number of schools to determine which pupils are highly proficient in a certain area.
  • To award a financial benefit in the form of reduced school fees.
  • Also used to establish which pupils enter a ‘scholarship stream’ of high achievers.
  • Candidates are entered by their prep schools.
  • Senior schools mark the papers and set their own scholarship criteria.

The ISEB provides Common Academic Scholarship assessments in English, maths, science, history, geography, religious studies, French and Latin.


Common Pre-Tests

The ISEB also provides Common Pre-Tests in conjunction with assessment provider GL Assessment:

  • Taken by pupils in Year 6 or Year 7.
  • Between October and June.
  • A ‘growing number of senior schools use the Common Pre-Tests to assess whether pupils are realistic candidates for admission at 13+.
  • Include English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.
  • Are online, adaptive tests which means their difficulty adjusts as the test progresses.
  • Common pre-tests ‘ standardised results account for age variations across the school year.

Common Entrance exam

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Common Entrance Exam – ISEB practice tests