Winchester college's year 9 entrance exam.

(54 Posts)
Iloveyouall Thu 26-Jun-14 06:36:56

How can we prepare for this? I hear it is the hardest exam ever.
Ds is overseas and hence can't use a tutor. Current school is not a feeder so they have no clue. Are bond resources helpful? If not, what is?

summerends Thu 26-Jun-14 16:01:46

Has your DS already passed the pretest? If so I would discuss with the registrar, explaining the syllabus and subjects your DS does. In schools that prepare for common entrance but not Winchester entrance the children for Winchester are often placed in the scholarship set from year 8 (higher level probably most useful for MFL, maths and latin if done). If your DS's school syllabus is not CE then I would think his results will be interpreted in that context as they would be for an entrant from a state school. If you wanted to do extra work with him then a lot of people recommend the Galore textbooks.

TalkinPeace Thu 26-Jun-14 21:46:26

I hear it is the hardest exam ever
Then you have fallen for the hype.

So few kids are even able to consider taking it .....
A friends son, who is not academic, passed it no hassle, as do a fair few of the kids from the local prep school.

happygardening Thu 26-Jun-14 22:10:26

We were told by a teacher at DS2's prep who really knew about entrance exams because he'd been in the job 40 years that it was virtually identical to the Harrow Scholarship exam. It's certainly harder that CE. It's graded A-D and from talking to other parents at Winchester getting C's and D's and the odd B is the norm, few get more than 1 A many don't get any. What makes it difficult is if your hoping for a string off A's, these apparently are only given for a really extra- ordinary performance.
I've no idea what books are useful although a friend who's also a French teacher said a standard GCSE French text book would be good preparation and a book listing all the common French verbs, you need to know all the tenses past imperfect present future future perfect etc and be able to use them in written work and speech for the oral.

summerends Thu 26-Jun-14 22:46:35

Talkin I also wondered whether the difficulty level of the entrance just reflects amount of syllabus covered by prep schools rather than academic ability.
However, having recently fallen prey to watching that CBBC programme of the three state educated scholarship boys at Eton, I was surprised that despite being presumably extremely bright, these three boys commented that even in the lower sets in which they were initially placed how their class mates were as bright as them and they were finding it much harder to keep up the pace than in their old schools where the work was easier (including a grammar school). Is that private school hype? The boys seemed pretty genuine.

TalkinPeace Thu 26-Jun-14 23:07:06

summerends
I've not seen the TV programme : but know how much things are edited to tell a story

Yes, the Winchester exam is probably pretty darned hard
BUT
it is definitely tutorable and the lad I mentioned up above is sweet but not the brightest in the world : he just went to one of the feeder prep schools

Nobody knows how hard the exam really is because the school (and others of its ilk) are not going to release past papers to the great unwashed
and
such a vanishingly small part of the cohort can even consider taking it that they are not representative of bright children in the UK or abroad.

summerends Fri 27-Jun-14 01:59:27

I agree that the content must be tutorable and only a fraction of bright children are in the position to take it. As HG says, there's a difference in passing it and getting A / B grades. Can't be too difficult to get past papers though, I am sure the OP could ask for them.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 27-Jun-14 06:53:37

Talkin I'm so convinced of the evil agendas of TV producers and governments that I don't even possess a TV. But even I've seen the CBBC progs. I'm sure you'd be able to whittle a tiny grain of interesting information from the hour of brainwashing guff. (Actually it was all rather lovely...)

Nobody knows how hard the exam really is because the school (and others of its ilk) are not going to release past papers to the great unwashed

Here you are. Not Winchester - just an ^other of it's ilk.^

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 27-Jun-14 07:19:43

(My phone has been educated beyond its ability...)

TalkinPeace Fri 27-Jun-14 13:54:43

Iloveyouall
To get back to your original query.

If your son is bright and motivated and has a well rounded education so far, and you can easily afford the fees, Winchester will be willing to help you give him the best chance at a place.
Speak to them and see whether they have a local "man in the know" who can chat to your DS and give him (and you) some guidance.

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 17:47:41

Talkin Win Coll do release to the great unwashed they send a whole pile to me before my DS sat the exam. Of more interest they also sent me a report written by the subject dons, detailing how the candidates did and more usefully how they marked the exams and what they were looking for. A couple of friends who were/are teachers at senior schools were surprised by hard they marked the questions and standard they were looking for to give out the top grade.
I personally felt that if you educated, well read, know you grammar, and with help from others who were teachers/tutors in fields then it was perfectly realistic to home tutor a child for the entrance exam in fact had I done this I'm pretty sure my DS who did very well would have done better.

TalkinPeace Fri 27-Jun-14 18:07:48

Perfect.
OP
happygardening has your answer : speak to the college, they will send you accurate and up to date information and you can make an informed choice

NB getting the top grade is NOT required for entrance, just for fee reductions and extra kudos.
the good connections and self assurance come to even the less bright in each group

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 18:24:49

No top grades are not required for fee reductions, bursaries are offered to parents in March before their DS sits the entrance exam!
Really talkin I usually enjoy your posts but please get your facts correct!

TalkinPeace Fri 27-Jun-14 18:33:30

bursaries or scholarships - they are not the same thing

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 18:46:15

Details of fee reductions (bursaries) are sent to parents before boys sit either the election or standard entrance exam. Scholarships which have no financial reward attached so you comment remains incorrect are only offered to those who sit the election the OP doesn't appear to be asking about the election.
So as I said grades in either exams have no impact on fee reduction. Kudus of course is a different thing altogether.

TalkinPeace Fri 27-Jun-14 18:49:49

I bow to your insider knowledge and despise a liar of a family member even more

OP
Contact the college and good luck.

summerends Fri 27-Jun-14 19:15:10

Talkin I said that to the OP in the second post of this thread smile.

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 19:19:42

Ah the despised lying family member we've all got at least one of those stashed away somewhere. If you thinking of using this fascinating information to further distance family relations I just want to reassure you my information is completely correct!

Tuppenyrice Fri 27-Jun-14 19:24:26

I know kids who have got in. They're very bright.
(And very wealthy.)
Due to heavy choir school commitments they're not overly prepped and didn't seem to have a problem - but could that be the amount of applicants per place can't be that high due to the fees?

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 19:44:53

We were told in a recent annual report that applications for places are at an all time high. But the school does restrict the number of pupils able to apply/register because of the long and in depth interview process. You are not able to register with a house till your DS is at least 8 yrs old and as far as I understand each House Master/house will only have about 30 boys registered for 12 places. He interviews all 30, but unlike other schools which I won't bother to name, the interview takes at least 1 1/2 hours including about 20 mins spent on some tests.

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 19:50:36

The school Tuppeny also has a generous bursary policy, slower perhaps than others to start offering bursaries it's vision is to be completely needs blind. I believe about 15% are currently on bursaries the average being a 65% reduction in their very substantial fees. The school virtually uniquely will also offer an indication of the size of any likely reduction even before registering so that parents can decide if they wish to continue with the application process.

Tuppenyrice Fri 27-Jun-14 19:57:29

I might have another look then!

happygardening Fri 27-Jun-14 19:59:28

It's definitely worth talking to the bursar and looking on their website.

summerends Fri 27-Jun-14 20:08:16

Fantastic school for ex choristers who love their music and academics. I suspect that there are a significant percentage are on bursaries. Seems pretty popular with choristers from Westminster and St Paul's as well as the local ones.

Tuppenyrice Fri 27-Jun-14 20:25:16

Yes it is.

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