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COMMON APPLICATION FORM 2021
There are often stories of disappointment from people allocated inappopriate schools. Or even unacceptable for their child. There are various reasons that this may happen. Although, it’s often because parents did not:
- Grasp the admission criteria for their chosen schools.
- Comprehend the process of allocating schools – the Equal Preference System.
It really should not happen that children lose out on school places. Certainly, not because their school preferences were entered incorrectly on the CAF (Common Application Form). Often this happens because parents listen to a headteacher or teacher.
Even Headteachers and teachers are not always aware of the best procedure. Or able to advise on the correct way to complete the CAF. Often, parents have entered the following order of preferences on the CAF on the advice of their child’s Headteacher.
- Preferred grammar school, not a catchment school.
- Local Comprehensive school, heavily over-subscribed.
- Local, catchment grammar school.
ISEB Exam Intro
- ISEB, or the Independent School Examination Board, provides sets of Common Pre-tests for senior school students in year 6 or 7, when the students are aged 10 to 12.
- While candidates who are aged 6 take the 11+ Common Entrance Exam, those who are aged 8 years take the 13+ Common Entrance Exam for admittance to the senior school of their choice.
- The ISEB tests are considered entrance tests for students by many prep or senior schools and the marks achieved therein help students to gain admittance to independent schools.
- As these tests are age-standardised exams, students start to prepare for them at a very young age in readiness for joining their senior school.
- ISEB tests are held online by the school administration in which the pupil currently studies. They include multiple choice questions in English, mathematics, non-verbal and verbal reasoning.
- As it is the responsibility of the senior school students to inform the parents about the Common Pre-tests, parents do not need to register.
- The ISEB is taken once a year for those children applying to several senior schools.
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Common Entrance Exam 2021
The Common Entrance Test is offered by Galore Park, which is the selected distributor of the Independent School Examination Board (ISEB) exam papers. The common entrance exams are titled the 11+ Entrance Test and the 13+ Entrance Test.
The 11+ Common Entrance Test is conducted by senior schools in the United Kingdom in order to assess the eligibility of the candidate to enter the respective senior school. The test is held in year 6, during the spring or autumn. The subjects for the 11+ entrance exam are English, mathematics and science. The exam is at one level only.
One set of parents were advised to put the comprehensive school as high as possible on the form if they wanted a chance of getting a place. The Headteacher was under the impression that if the child qualified for grammar school; the comprehensive school will automatically be ignored. She was wrong.
Private School Entrance Exams / ISEB Common Entrance Exam Papers
Unfortunately, the Admissions Department could not allocate the child a place in the grammar school. Even though the child did qualify for a one. Although he/she qualified for grammar school allocation, the first preference school was oversubscribed. Therefore the Admissions Department automatically moved to the next preference school. The Admissions Department had to believe that that was what the parents intended. To therefore award the child a place at the comprehensive school.
The only solution for the parent was to go on to the waiting lists for both grammar schools. To hope that a place would become available at one of the. Or to fight an over-subscription appeal for both schools. Luckily, on this occasion, a place came up at the local, catchment grammar school in the second round of allocations.
As the example above shows, even experienced professionals can give incorrect advice, despite their best intentions.
In many areas of the country, the CAF allows you to express up to six preferences. This is generally sufficient for most parents. However, in certain areas, there are only three spaces on the CAF, and completing the form presents considerable challenges.
The golden rule for completing the CAF is that you should always put the schools in your real order of preference.
COMMON APPLICATION FORM 2021 Part IV
Remember when completing the CAF:
- If your child is taking the 11+, list all your preferred grammar schools above any other type of schools.
- Be realistic. If a certain grammar school is 15 miles away then don’t list it as a preference. Although if you live only 8-9 miles away, take a chance.
- Your last preference school should be your ultimate fallback if all else fails. Therefore, make sure it is still a school that will be acceptable. Plus, one that your child is certain to get a place.
- Keep a copy of your CAF (print the online version or make a copy of the form signed and dated version). You will be very glad if you decide to appeal. Then need to prove what you filled in.
- Get proof that your application form has been sent. Take a screenshot or send it by recorded mail. You can even phone the local authority a few days later to confirm.
- If you have any questions – ASK. You only have one opportunity to apply for secondary school places. So make sure you do it right.
- If your child does not get a place at any of your listed preferences, your home local authority will allocate your child a place. Check carefully with your local Admissions Department. Or with the School Choice Advisers.
Our Private London Schools Guides
Private London School Sixth Forms and School Entrance Exams 10+.
Private School Entrance Exams 16+ and also Independent School Entrance in City of London.
Westminster Private School Entrance Exams and also Wimbledon Prep Schools Entrance Exams.
Private School Admissions (A-M) for London; plus Private School – Maths 11 Plus Practice and English 11 Plus Practice ; and also Private School Exams for the GDST and GSA Consortiums.