The 13+ Exam
Children and parents are often anxious about the 13+ exam. How your child performs will determine whether they can progress to their chosen Senior School, and they only get one chance. At Hampstead and Frognal Tutors, we make 13+ entry as easy and stress-free as possible. Our team of highly trained tutors has guided hundreds of students through school application procedures, helping them to shine in both tests and interviews. With patience and enthusiasm, our tutors will give your child the skills and confidence they need to succeed.
13+ is an important entry point for boys’ independent schools (girls typically progress to Senior school in Year 7) and candidates are assessed in number of ways over several years. Many independent schools first ask boys sit an assessment called the ISEB Common Pre-test. This is a standardised, age-adaptive test designed to measure a student’s ability and attainment, and is typically sat in the Autumn term of Year 6. It consists of four parts and takes about two-and-a-half hours to complete. Children are tested in English (25 minutes), Mathematics (50 minutes), Verbal Reasoning (36 minutes) and Non-Verbal Reasoning (32 minutes). The test is taken on the computer and can be sat at home, at your son’s current school or at the school he is applying to. Students only sit the test once, and their results are shared amongst the relevant schools.
If your child performs well in the ISEB Common Pre-test, they will be invited back to sit school-specific entrance exams. The dates of entrance exams vary from school to school, however they typically take the form of Maths and English tests. Your child may also be asked to take part in assessed group activities and to attend a short one-to-one interview.
Depending on how your child performs in the exams, group activities and interview, he may be offered a conditional place. To secure his offer, he must perform well in the 13+ Common Entrance exams which are sat in Year 8. At Common Entrance, children are assessed in the core subjects — English, Maths and Science —and can choose to sit papers in a wide range of subject including French, Geography, German, Classical Greek, History, Latin, Religious Studies and Spanish.
13+ Scholarship admissions are offered by a number of schools. Some schools offer scholarships as merit to performance in the 13+ tests or common entrance. A number of top UK Day and Boarding schools however, set additional scholarship exams. Westminster School for example sets the Westminster Challenge 13+ Exam, and Eton, the King’s Scholarship.
Our 13+ Tutors
Our tutors have years of experience helping children secure places at prestigious independent schools. Whether your child is taught by a qualified teacher, a full-time professional tutor or a first class Oxbridge graduate, we know that you won’t be disappointed. School entry is becoming increasingly competitive, and the bespoke private tuition we offer could help your child stand out from the crowd.
We will assign you a specialist tutor who has successfully prepared students for the same schools you are applying to. We pride ourselves on our excellent track record, and all of our tutors know the different school application procedures inside-out.
Hiring a tutor is an important investment in your child’s education. At Hampstead and Frognal Tutors, we have a scrupulous recruitment process. All applicants must supply two references, provide proof of their qualifications and hold an up-to-date DBS certificate. What’s more, we never hire anyone without interviewing them in person first. When we recommend a tutor, therefore, we know they won’t let you down.
How our Tutors Teach 13+
Children can feel a great deal of pressure at this point in their school lives. Our 13+ tutors equip students with the knowledge and self-belief they need to excel. A wide range of skills are assessed at 13+ level and students are likely to find some subjects harder than others. Our tutors identify their pupils’ strengths and weaknesses, and thoughtfully target problem areas. We compile lots of practice material, familiarising students with the format of the exams and preparing them for what to expect.
Our tutors do more than improve exam performance, however. We want our students to enjoy learning; to be curious and intellectually stimulated. Schools can identify real enthusiasm and passion, and our tutors always strive to make their lessons dynamic and engaging.
13+ Tuition Results
- Our London based 13+ Tutors provide one to one and online tuition for students preparing for the ISEB Pre-tests, School tests and Scholarships.
- 100% of students, both girls 13+ and boys 13+ applying to UK Boarding Schools were accepted for their first choice.
- 94% of students preparing for 13+ Test for schools in London received offers for their first or second choice schools.
- 100% of students applying for schools through Scholarship were accepted to their first choice school.
- All of parents agreed that The 13+ Booster Courses raised their children’s confidence and abilities in English, Maths and Reasoning.
We just received the results for J’s 13+ common entrance exam results. He got 93% in Maths and 90% for English. Thanks for all your help. We have informed your tutors, Jenny and Matthew, about the results.
Linda, LONDON SW7
13+ Schools we Cover
Students are assessed at 13+ level in a range of different ways. Below, we have set out some of the schools we prepare children for, along with their individual admissions procedures.
Admissions criteria in detail.
City of London School
|Admissions||City of London welcomes around 40 boys at 13+ entry. Boys cannot be entered for both the 11+ and 13+ examinations.|
|Tests||Boys must sit the ISEB Common Pre-test during the Autumn term of Year 6.
Candidates who perform well will be invited for short written assessments in Maths and English. This will take place in the Spring term of Year 6.
|Interview||On the same day as they sit their Maths and English assessments, boys will attend a one-to-one interview.|
|Other criteria||Confidential reports will be acquired from the Head of your child’s current school.
An offer is made on evidence of the exams and the interview. Offers are conditional, however. Boys must achieve at least 70% in each subject at Common Entrance in Year 8.
|Scholarships||Academic scholarships (worth £250) are awarded on the strength of a boy’s ISEB pre test results, interview, short written assessments and a further scholarship assessment in Year 8.|
|Admissions||Almost all boys join Eton at 13. For entry at the age of 13, boys must be registered before 30th June in Year 5. Around 110 boys are accepted each year.|
|Tests||Boys must sit the ISEB Common Pre-test in the October or November of Year 6.
If your child performs well they will be invited to the school to sit a specially designed computerised test. This takes place either in the Spring or Summer term of Year 6, depending on your son’s date of birth.
|Interview||On the same day as your child sits the test, he will participate in assessed group activities and attend an interview with one of the masters.|
|Other criteria|| Eton will obtain a report from your child’s Head Teacher covering his academic strengths, interests and character.
Offers are conditional on a boy passing the King’s Scholarship, Common Entrance Exam or Eton Entrance Exam at age 12/13 in school Year 8.
|Scholarships||About 14 scholarships are awarded annually. The College examination is held at Eton in late April or early May. Every candidate must take the four compulsory papers (English, Mathematics , Science, and a general paper ) and at least three of the optional papers (a tripartite paper with questions on history, geography and divinity; French or Spanish; Latin; Greek; mathematics B, general paper II).|
St Paul’s School
|Admissions||Online registration for St Paul’s takes place from October when boys are in Year 5 and closes at the end of September when boys are in Year 6.|
|Tests||Boys must sit the ISEB Common Pre-test in the October or November of Year 6.
If they perform well, boys will be invited to sit two 15 minute papers, one in Maths and one in English. These are sat between January and July of Year 6.
|Interview||On the same day as they sit the entrance exam, boys will attend a 20 minute interview, where they will discuss their academic studies with a senior member of teaching staff.|
|Other criteria||The school will request a report from your child’s Head Teacher covering their character, academic strengths and interests.
If your child is offered a place, it is conditional on him achieving at least 70% in each subject at Common Entrance in Year 8.
|Scholarships||For external candidates, the scholarship exam takes place in the May of Year 8 and is sat in place of Common Entrance. Compulsory papers are set in English, History, Geography, Latin, French, Theology & Philosophy, Mathematics and Science. Scholarships are worth £60.|
University College School
|Admissions||The main points of entry for boys at UCS are 11+, 13+ and 16+. However, boys cannot apply simultaneously for both 11+ and 13+ places. Around 25 boys join the school at 13+ entry.|
|Tests||Boys must have sat the ISEB Common Pre-test by the end of November, Year 6.|
|Interview||The results of this test determine whether boys are invited to the Interview and Taster Day. The interview consists of a short discussion with a senior member of staff. On the same day, your child will participate in an academic discussion with a small number of other applicants.|
|Other criteria||A confidential report will be requested from your child’s current school. This plays an important part in the assessment procedure.The offer is conditional upon ‘acceptable’ performance at Common Entrance in Year 8.|
|Scholarships||No academic scholarships are available at 13+ entry level.|
|Admissions||Boys may apply for entry at Westminster at either 11+ or 13+ but not both. There are roughly 120 places available at 13+ entry.|
|Tests||Boys must take the ISEB Common Pre-test in October-November of Year 6.
Candidates who perform strongly are invited to sit further short tests in Maths and English.
|Interview||On the same day as the tests, boys will also attend individual interviews.|
|Other criteria||A reference will be obtained from your child’s current school. If an offer is made, it is conditional on how they perform in entrance exams in Year 8. Boys may sit The Challenge (Westminster’s Scholarship examination) or Common Entrance involving Maths, English, French, Science, Latin, History and Geography.|
|Scholarships||Candidates sit the scholarship papers in late April or early May of Year 8.|
|Admissions||Wetherby reserves a small number of 13+ places for competitive selection for boys in Years 7 and 8 who have missed out on the ISEB test, but have flourished later in their school career.|
|Tests||Boys must sit the ISEB Common Pre-test in the Autumn term of Year 6.
If your son performs well, he will be invited to sit written papers in Maths and English in the Autumn term of Year 7.
|Interview||Selected children are invited back for interviews in the subsequent weeks.|
|Other criteria||A reference will be obtained from your child’s current Head Teacher.
Offers are provisional on Common Entrance results.
|Scholarships||The school has a Wetherby Bursary and Scholarship Fund for families who cannot, due to financial circumstances, send their son to a school such as Wetherby.|
|Admissions||Wycombe Abbey is a girls’ boarding school but, unusually, 13+ is a major entry point. The registration deadline for 13+ entry is 1 June the calendar year before entry.|
|Tests||Your daughter will attend an Assessment Day in the September of her Year 8. There she will sit an online test of verbal, non-verbal and mathematical reasoning.
If your daughter performs well, she will be given a conditional offer, dependent on results in the entrance exam. The entrance exam consists either of a Common Entrance paper (English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies and a Foreign Language) or a Scholarship paper. These are sat in the January of Year 8.
|Interview||Your child will attend a short individual interview on the Assessment Day in September.|
|Other criteria||A reference will be obtained from the Head Teacher of your child’s current school.|
|Scholarships||Academic scholarships are awarded at 13+ level. Girls must sit papers in English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies and a Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese). There are also optional papers in Latin and Greek.|
Is 13+ tuition right for your child?
Choosing a Senior School for your child can be daunting. At Hampstead and Frognal Tutors, we want to give you options. With care, patience and enthusiasm, our 13+ tutors will guide your child through the application process, helping them to excel at every stage.
The knowledge and experience of our 13+ tutors is unrivalled, as is their passion for education. Every member of our team seeks to maximise the academic potential of their students, working closely with parents to give children the best possible education.