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11+ ENTRANCE EXAMS
Asked by Deidre

What are the standards of 13+ exams for private/grammar schools?

The standards of 13+ exams vary depending on which school you are applying for. Most private schools use Common Entrance as entrance exams (if you are not applying for an academic scholarship), but different schools require a different average of grades (some will require an average of a C, some of a B etc.) and they will also have different grade boundaries (one school’s C grade will be 50% whereas another’s will be 55% etc.), so for private schools especially there is a big variation of standards. For schools like Winchester College which have their own entrance exams, the standard tends to be very high, and some schools including Eton and Marlborough will have pre tests which put candidates in a tier for entrance (if you are on the A list you have a definite place provided you get the required grades at Common Entrance, if you are on the B list you might have a place if someone from the A list withdraws their place etc.). So if you are thinking about private school then, for entry standards, you will have to enquire with the specific school(s) that you are thinking about applying to. For grammar schools, the standard tends to be high as places are very competitive and sought after (especially at 13+ as there will be less places available as the majority will have been taken up at 11+). From memory, the pass mark tends to be 85% average across subjects, but again this differs between different schools. Another point to note is that, when grammar schools are oversubscribed, they will admit candidates with the highest scores first before admitting other candidates, even if they have passed the exams. I hope this is helpful!

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Sumei Bao-Smith
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