Common Entrance & Scholarships
The Common Entrance examinations are used for assessing pupils who transfer to many senior independent schools at 13. Most candidates take their Common Entrance papers in June of the year of entry to their senior school.
Examiners, appointed by the Independent Schools Examination Board (ISEB), set the Common Entrance papers, but the answers are marked by the senior school for which a candidate is entered. The Common Entrance papers consist of written papers in the following subjects: English, Maths, Science, French, History, Geography, Religious Studies and, if appropriate Latin.
Common Entrance is essentially non-competitive, in that if a candidate reaches the required standard then a place will be given. Some schools however, are now awarding academic exhibitions to those pupils who produce the best overall Common Entrance score at the school.
As a general principle, better grades at Common Entrance will improve the possibility of candidates being put into higher 'sets' when they enter their senior school. Our expectation is therefore not simply to pass, but to do well in the Common Entrance exams.
Pupils who are in the Scholarship group have the opportunity to sit papers for Scholarship awards to their chosen senior school. Scholarship exams are generally sat either in spring or summer in Year 8. Each senior school has its own syllabus for each of the papers, and set and mark their own papers. A number of schools, such as Epsom College and St John's use the Common Academic Scholarship which consists of papers set by the Independent Schools Examination Board. These papers are still marked individually by the senior schools. The scholarship process normally consists of a series of papers in the main academic subjects, plus an interview and language orals.
The results can be at one of three levels; an award, which can be a scholarship, an exhibition or a bursary; no award but the pupil is excused Common Entrance on the strength of their papers and finally no award and the pupils is asked to sit Common Entrance. Our expectation is for all our scholarship pupils to be excused Common Entrance on the strength of their papers and each year our results bear testament to this.