Many of the top private schools in the UK ask prospective students to sit competitive entrance exams as part of the admissions process.
It’s a well-known fact that entrance exams to academically selective schools are difficult and stressful, both for the prospective pupil and the parents.
There are various reasons for the difficulty of these exams.
For schools with a high number of applicants, the entrance exams allow the school to select the most able students and maintain the academic standing of the school.
However, the exams also allow the school to identify those students who are best suited to the rigorous academic atmosphere of the school and those who have the potential to really excel in the school.
It’s not in the interests of either the child or the school to admit a student who will be unable to cope with the pressure of this type of education.
Each school will decide which entrance test they want to use and what the threshold score is for entry. Finding out this information in advance will give your child plenty of time to prepare for the exams.
The exams usually cover a variety of subjects, including core subjects such as English and Maths. If a child is applying for entry at the start of GCSE or A-level courses, the school may administer exams in the specific subjects that the student wishes to study.
Depending on the focus of the school, the admissions procedure is almost always broader than pure exam results.
A child who is not an academic superstar may well have the potential to be a fine artist or first-rate sportsman, and can make an important contribution to the school community through their abilities.
Most boarding schools will recognise the value of having a wide range of talents among their students, so it‘s important to keep in your mind that entrance exams are not the end of the story.