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difference between 11+ and Common Entrance

(13 Posts)
printpress Sat 03-Nov-12 22:44:46

My DS is only 3 so no urgent need to worry about this but I keep hearing these terms bandied about, don't quite understand the difference and would like to have a clearer idea of what they are. (I didn't grow up here.)

Does a child take both? Is there one 11+ exam and one CE exam or do schools create their own versions of each? Do people have their children sit the 11+ and then, depending on the results, sit the CE later on? What topics do they cover?

difficultpickle Sat 03-Nov-12 23:03:11

They only apply in independent schools not state schools.

Toughasoldboots Sat 03-Nov-12 23:10:45

Do you mean the 11+ for grammar or 11+/13+ for independent schools?
It depends on the school, the area you live in and whether the school has its own entrance test.

There are so many variations.

printpress Sat 03-Nov-12 23:20:17

Toughasoldboots, independent, I suppose. I'm in London, don't think there are grammars though may be wrong.

EdithWeston Sat 03-Nov-12 23:20:39

11+ can be for state grammar schools or independent schools. It can be set by the LA (stte only) or the individual school, or a group of schools (like GDST) or by a central provider like ISEB (who are the CE exam board). It is a competitive exam - highest scorers getting the places. Tie breaks decided by various means, typically distance or lottery in state sector, and interview in private. Papers and formats vary, but often cover English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

Common Entrance (the ISEB 13+ exam) is used by the private sector only. It is not a competitive exam. To sit for a school, the candidate must have a conditional offer from the school (secured by pretest in year 6 or 7, or interview/reference or even first come first served, or mix thereof). The papers are set BT ISEB, but marked by the school. The candidate will be admitted if they secure the pass mark (lists are managed so the numbers should be right before the exam is sat).

In addition, there may be 13+ scholarship exams (for which you do not necessarily need a conditional offer) or the school's own exam, which willprobably be competitive (like 11+).

soda1234 Sun 04-Nov-12 19:02:05

Most boys and co-ed prep schools prepare for CE (tests in English, maths, geography, history, RS, French, Latin etc), at 13+ the tests are sat by all pupils but then sent to the senior school of choice. Each will have their own standard and pass mark, so school A may pass a pupil with 60%, but school B may require 75%.

Girls schools usually have their main entry at 11+, but often have an entry at 13+ for those who have been at co-ed prep schools?

The girls independent schools here set their own tests, usually in Jan of yr 6, they tend to be VR then a maths and English paper.

Hope this helps

LIZS Sun 04-Nov-12 19:09:41

Many prep schools use CE as their curriculum basis for years 7 & 8 but the kids may take the relevant 13+ exam set by their choice school earlier in year 8 so their place isn't dependent on it as such. Other schools may pretest in year 6 or 7 and allocate a place conditional on certain CE results at end Year 8. CE at Year 6/11+ does exist but I only know of schools using their own 11+ exam for entrance tests and even state grammars may opt not to use the county wide exam but set their own.

Sulfur Sun 04-Nov-12 19:25:05

Common Entrance usually means a 13+ series of exams taken the week after the May half-term in prep schools. The results come out the following Thursday, although results are released on the Tuesday or Wednesday to schools. The exams are sat in prep schools and the papers posted to senior schools each day for marking. The senior schools decide the mark schemes and grade boundaries. Very few candidate fail CE as the real selection happens in protests (VR/NVR taken in cY6). CE covers the whole KS curriculum in Y7 and 8, with advances into KS4 for some subjects, eg MFL.

There is a standard 11+ attainment test, aka "girls' common entrance" used by a small number of independent schools. Most 11+ indenpendent schools will use their own exams, often VR/NVR but often a maths and English comprehension and composition. They don't usually do all the subjects that the 11+ CE covers.

In a typical mixed prep school, where girls are prepped for 11+, they will all do whatever their individual senior schools require (so will practise 11+ CE papers as well as VR/NVR). The boys will go along with this. Once the girls have their school places, the boys will knuckle down to 13+ CE prep - which means individual papers in all their subjects.

printpress Sun 04-Nov-12 20:50:27

Thanks for all the helpful responses. So, to clarify, there are different 11+ exams set by different bodies, so one could be substantially harder or easier than another and cover fairly different material? And the test that girls sit to enter prep school is also set on a school-by-school basis?

difficultpickle Sun 04-Nov-12 20:59:16

Most schools set their own tests for 11+ ime.

By prep I assume you mean year 3 entry? Again schools set their own tests. You tend to know locally which are the easiest/hardest schools to get into.

Savonarola Sun 04-Nov-12 21:07:29

I've never heard of a school that does an 11+ Common Entrance (as opposed to an 11+ exam set by ISEB). What schools take the CE 'dating agency' approach at that age?

Hamishbear Sun 04-Nov-12 21:37:19

My recent copies of past ISEB papers for entry at 11 have '11 plus Common Entrance' printed on the front (just checked) - English & Maths.. So I imagine it must be known as both.

Savonarola Sun 04-Nov-12 22:14:29

CE is a qualifying exam, so presumably there must be schools making conditional offers in years 4 and 5, and then CE in year 6 (like the year 6 and 7 dating game for offers conditional on CE in year 8). I was just interested in which schools did it this way, as I'd only ever heard of competitive 11+ before (whether set by ISEB or others)

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