Senior School Admissions Webinar

March 25th 2021

The landscape of senior school admissions is changing. 

In this webinar, William Clarence’s Diana Morant (Head of School and University Consultancy) and Beatrix Woodhead (School Placement Consultant) discuss this evolution in UK senior schools and how it affects both domestic and international families.  

The webinar also covers essential advice for school applications, including how to prepare, the interview stage, late entrants, and potential exam content. 

This webinar on senior school admissions explores: 

Pretesting (1.11) 

This is one of the latest additions to the senior school admissions process, and usually includes a computerised test, such as the ISEB. This process usually starts in the first term of Y6, aged 10-11. Depending on the results of this, prospective students are then invited back for a second round of testing.  

ISEB (2.18) 

In this pre-test, there are four different papers, which can all be taken in one sitting or on separate days. These test four areas: English (30 minutes), Maths (50 minutes), Verbal Reasoning (30 minutes) and Non-Verbal Reasoning (30 minutes). This is more to test potential than existing knowledge. 

Second round (4.00) 

Successful candidates from the pre-test stage will be called back for a second round of testing. This usually falls around January/February of Y6, although some schools (including Eton College) choose to start this process a little later.  

This usually involves another English and Maths paper, and on occasion, another (longer) reasoning paper. Sometimes, pupils may also attend an interview or team building day to see how they work together. Learn more by watching the webinar! 

Benefits of pretesting (5.45) 

It gives parents a quick and good idea of which schools will be the best fit for their children.  

Next stages (6.53) 

Following the above stages, you will receive the outcome after a couple of months, and successful applicants may be invited to a taster day. You will typically need to respond to an offer three to four weeks after the offer has been made, and both the deposit and paperwork will need to be submitted to secure the offer. 

International families (7.32) 

A lack of familiarity with the pre-test papers can be a disadvantage for international pupils. This is where preparation is absolutely key. 

Preparation (8.30) 

Our advice for school applications is to start preparing at least two years in advance, little and often, and make it fun!  

For any family who has less time to prepare, you may wish to do an hour or two a week to ensure your child is familiar and confident with the test content.  

Interviews (10.48) 

Our advice would be for pupils to prepare a list of achievements that they are proud of that they can talk about in the in the interview. It is also worth thinking about general knowledge and current affairs; for example, what has been on in the news. 

Watch the webinar to discover examples of questions that might come up in the interview! 

Late entrants (12.24) 

For late entrants – for example, pupils around 12 years old and recently moved to the area – we would recommend applying for a wider range of schools. However, this is likely to develop and change as the years go on! 

Exam content and scholarships (16.38)

There have been lots of changes in exam content and scholarships in recent years. For example, some schools are setting more homogenous questions. Watch the webinar for more details! 

Are you or your child seeking advice for school applications and admissions? 

If so, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced consultants at William Clarence today. As well as working with you and your child to establish a plan and route into their preferred senior school, we will also provide pre-testing, exam and interview preparation. 

Additionally, we can arrange personal tours with school admissions staff, and introductions to Heads and senior staff to ensure that your family is represented in the best possible light, and increase your child’s chances for a successful application.  

Contact our team to learn more today!


advice for school applications