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Can someone roughly guide me through the 13+ for independent schools?

(16 Posts)
smilesandsun Wed 02-Mar-16 09:41:17


I am late in looking at the 13+ as we were thinking 11+ but changed to allow a few more years before the testing begins.

I've got 2 years before DS sits the 13+, what should I be doing and looking at for private schools?


cakeisalaystheanswer Wed 02-Mar-16 09:44:45

You need to check this on an individual school basis, they are all different. The more popular schools have pre-tests which can be as early as Y6, although some are later.
You can try naming the schools you are interested in and see if anyone knows the procedure for that school, but they change and you will need to check with each school to make sure the information is up to date.

smilesandsun Wed 02-Mar-16 09:46:42

Yes I will be checking with each school. I was just wanting a general guy. It seems different to the 11+, with offers being made before common entrance in some situations etc

IndridCold Wed 02-Mar-16 09:58:49

The big name schools test applicants and offer places at 11, the places are conditional on passing CE at 13. Winchester is the exception as it has its own entry procedure and test.
Other schools will be taking applications right up until entry, although passing the CE will be a requirement of entry.

To complicate matters further there are 3 different levels to the CE exam, so the more selective the school the higher level you will have to pass.

There is more info on the exam and syllabus on the ISEB website here.

Bombaybunty Wed 02-Mar-16 10:04:53

We're in Surrey.

Start by looking at the schools and speaking to the head of your child's current school. They should advise on suitable choices. Each school will have it's own requirements for CE pass rates etc.

Apply to the schools you like, round here the pre tests are in January on yr 6. Places are offered and then it's time to start preparing for the CE in yr 8!

happygardening Wed 02-Mar-16 11:15:33

Assuming you're at a prep that goes to 13+ then the first place to start is your current head. If it's a good prep he'll know your DS and the local independent day schools and the boarding schools that they send their pupils too, he will also know their admissions procedures including CE requirements. His job (that's what your paying for) is to advise you on what school he thinks will be best suited to your DS. So if I was you I'd make an appointment to see him sooner rather than later, it might be worth drawing up a list of must/mustn't haves to make everyone's life easier, e.g. Coed or SS, big name with marching fees or relatively unknown, happy to travel or local, day or weekly but no full boarding, golf course, or river for rowing, (never assume it will be there). Once armed with a list of potential schools visit them, talk to other parents on the side of the pitch and maybe start a thread on here there's lots of advise. What ever school you look at they'll be lovers of it and detractors this is normal the hard thing is to pick you're way through all of that to find out exactly what a school is about and whether it will suit you and your DS.

homebythesea Wed 02-Mar-16 12:50:55

You may well have missed the boat if schools have already done pre testing and made offers for 2 years' time. Those offers are conditional on getting whatever scores in the CE papers the school requires but the reality is hardly anyone doesn't get the place that's been offered.

Are you already at prep school or joining a prep school this year?

homebythesea Wed 02-Mar-16 12:53:12

Another thing to note is that unlike the 11+ you only apply to one school at 13+ . The target school marks the papers. Also you need to make sure there are no gaps in your DS coverage of the CE syllabus which in 13+ schools often starts in Y7

smilesandsun Wed 02-Mar-16 12:59:24

hmmm scary stuff!

We are at a good prep school now and I have just spoken to the head who has given me schools to consider for my son. Ive requested prospectus' etc I think i better get visiting the schools!

I am sure I haven't completely missed the boat the head didn't seem to concerned at all, just said best to visit them and lower the list down before year end (year 6 currently)

happygardening Wed 02-Mar-16 13:15:52

I'm sure you'll find somewhere its only the very over subscribed primarily super selectives that pre test at 11+, plenty of decent schools dont require registration until the beginning of yr 7 or even later.
Good luck OP.

LIZS Wed 02-Mar-16 18:05:01

Some schools pretest in year 6/7 and offer a place then which may be conditional on a CE result. Some will only rely on CE , others ignore it completely and use their own 13+ entrance tests (although some are actually sat in year 6 for deferred entry). Unfortunately the "common" in CE isn't a standard system!

Firstlawofholes Thu 03-Mar-16 15:05:07

In London more and more schools pre-test in Year 6, including ones that were traditionally seen as backups for the superselective ones. This has led to children sitting exams for a ridiculous number of schools during Year 6. 5 or 6 seems normal, as opposed to 3 just a few years ago. Around here, boys who don't have any conditional offers by the end of Year 6 face a very stressful Year 7.

But I suspect OP isn't in London if the prep head only starts talking to parents about future schools in Year 6! Around here it's typically at the start of Year 5, with the advice to register for the appropriate schools by the end of Year 5 / beginning of Year 6.

I think it's also different if you're mainly considering full boarding schools.

Brainiac Thu 03-Mar-16 15:34:20

Hi, looking forward to chatting, learning, sharing...

My little son has just got accepted at a grammar yesterday, yahoo, but we have looked at 11+ and 13+ a fair bit, we found the best was to cast a wide net and see the schools properly, even a few times.

Brainiac Thu 03-Mar-16 15:37:10

Many children do benefit from a few more years, and working with an inspirational mentor/tutor ( i.e not the parent, we all know what that is like) makes a lot of difference. Quality over quantity when it comes to mentoring...the fit and inspiration is so key, otherwise they call it "more school", like our one did!

AnotherNewt Thu 03-Mar-16 15:46:20

"Another thing to note is that unlike the 11+ you only apply to one school at 13+"

If Common Entrance, you apply to several and see what offers you get (after pretest/taster day/interview or however they select) and take advice on how securely your DC would meet the school's pass mark. You can only hold one CE conditional offer after the deadline (March?)

If competitive entry, you can apply to as many as you like, but like 11+ you cannot be sure of securing a place (though head should be able to guide you towards the ones where your chances are greatest). But watch out for the full timetable of exams, acceptance deadlines and when you have to cough up a (non-refundable) deposit.

If you decide to try for a mix of CE and competitive, you might need to brace yourself to lose a deposit.

homebythesea Thu 03-Mar-16 18:36:47

anothernewt what I meant was that you take the exams aiming at one school only, which is the school that marks the papers. I agree some do pretest (or whatever) for several schools but as you say you have to say yay or nay to all but one before the papers are taken

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