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Eton & WinColl Scholars - KS / Election results?

(41 Posts)
Mum8008 Sat 25-May-19 21:20:57

Does anyone know what kind of scholarship exam results lead to Kings Scholars at Eton or Scholars College at WinColl? (How many As or Bs are usual for someone selected?)

Jossina Sat 25-May-19 23:02:19

With WinColl at least it's a LOT more complicated. There's the CE but also other exams. Plus interviews.

Mum8008 Sat 25-May-19 23:20:18

Thank you - yes it definitely it (ISEB, House assessment/interview, HM letter, Election/Exhibition vs WinColl Entrance, more interviews, DT /Art /Music exhibition, etc). But DS is hoping - for Election / Exhibition Roll esp - someone knows if there is a usual standard for the grades across the 4 mandatory and 3-6 optional papers, i.e. at least x As and y Bs. Older friends have told him what is expected for KS at Eton, but can't say for WinColl.

Mum8008 Sat 25-May-19 23:22:25

Apologies, the second 'it' should read 'is'. Sigh.

Jossina Sun 26-May-19 06:33:48

Unless you have prior exams that your DS is taking and grading I can't think of a reason it would matter. Plus, I'm not sure anyone but WinColl knows. Just do the best you can and hope.

peteneras Sun 26-May-19 14:03:53

Don't know about WinColl but I suppose it won't be harder than Eton's KS exams which I'm more familiar with.

Eton's KS exams are graded in more details than simply a straight A-B-C-D grade. For each category of a grade e.g. 'A' - there are 'sub-grades' to it like 'A+'; 'A'; 'A-'; 'AB', etc. The same applies to the 'B' grade and so forth...

It is extremely rare to get an 'A+' grade - if at all. The exams are said to be of the standard of an Oxbridge entry level (taken by 18-year-olds) but here being taken by 13-year-olds!

Successful KS winners usually score between 'A' and 'B+' in all 10 subjects i.e. including the non-compulsory ones.

Mum8008 Sun 26-May-19 14:51:07

Thanks Peteneras, this is super helpful and fits with what the older boys have told DS for Eton KS. On another thread, a mum says WinColl is a bit distinct for WinColl Entrance - just D, C, B and As, and the latter very rare indeed. Does anyone know if it's the same for WinColl Scholars?

Numbersaremything Sun 26-May-19 20:30:47

Peteneras this is a genuine question, based on just happening upon this thread, as my DC is far too old & state school educated to worry about such things, but how many DC actually sit these exams? Do they actually have any life in their prep schools before they sit them? I know they will all go on to have glorious careers, but I can only feel pity for a 13 year old facing that sort of scrutiny & pressure.

DogsandBoysmeanMud Sun 26-May-19 20:39:11

My friends son is a KS at Eton. Be careful the pressure is huge. He is expected to get a '9' at all his GCSEs which is causing him massive stress despite him being most likely to achieve those grades with ease.

Jossina Sun 26-May-19 23:13:34

What is the point of being a scholar at WinColl? There is no fee reduction. As for Eton is that kind of pressure really worth it?

Michaelahpurple Mon 27-May-19 06:14:18

Early half the boys going to eton take the scholarship papers. Same roughly for Westmisnter. Quite a few aren't anywhere near the required standard which irritates the schools

Michaelahpurple Mon 27-May-19 06:15:57

At our prep school the year is split in half, give or take a rounded up boy one way of the other, with half taking CE and half scholarship, mostly to westminster and the rest usually to eton. So that is about 30 candidates in total. Generally about 4-6 for eton

Michaelahpurple Mon 27-May-19 06:16:36

Our prep generally sends about 1 a year to Winchester and they have been CE boys throughout my exposure to the school

Pythonesque Mon 27-May-19 12:05:52

My son was successful in Winchester Election last year. I don't recall his grades but they were mostly As and Bs, at least one C possibly 2 (French!). Roughly 50 boys sat Election and I gather that's about the number they like to have sit it. So I think they grade A-D across those 50, with some reference to standards from year to year. So they have far fewer sitting than some other schools I believe.

As to "what's the point of being a scholar" - for my son it has meant he can be himself (ie as geeky as he likes). He seems to be very much more comfortable in his own skin. I'm sure he's mixing with a variety of boys in his year, but putting a subset of the very brightest in the same house, can really help some of them. And some boys choose not to be there. Being in college also makes it very convenient for him to do organ practice!

So far as my son's preparation in year 8 was concerned, I think he thrived on the challenges presented to him, to be honest.

Mum8008 Mon 27-May-19 21:05:34

Thanks Pynthonesque, this is super helpful - exactly the advice we were hoping for. It does sound like WinColl Elections grading is a bit less complex than Eton KS, with A, B, C, D as options, and a range of A/B or even C grades being acceptable for Scholars (alongside other steps/factors). I can explain this to DS, who was becoming a bit bemused by his older Eton KS friends comparisons. His school hasn't often sent boys to WinColl Scholars, but he has been fascinated since his first visit - and loved the idea of either House or College. It sounds like your DS may be similar in some ways.

SirMister Mon 27-May-19 21:09:02

I agree with Peteneras,
what's the point in the scholarship.....they can still be geeky when they get to Win/Eton....but why at such an early age when they should be...well, just being kids.....entrance exams are stressful enough for an 11-13yr old.
The more time they spend being geeky is less time doing all the other stuff they should be doing (i.e. non-academic learning) in addition to isn't that what kids should be doing at that age?...It was when I was a kid.

If we're not careful, we'll begin to create an eastern style hot house environment which all our eastern friends have come to the UK to for thought?

peteneras Tue 28-May-19 01:35:37

Numbersaremything, I think you may be slightly confused in relating high achievements with stress and pressure. Whatever gives you the idea the two are connected is beyond me. OK, we all know the Eton KS exams are about the very toughest for 13-year-olds anywhere but that does not mean no 13-year-olds are capable of acing these exams. The KS exams are designed to seek out the naturally born truly gifted child; he would be one who’s performing well above his chronological age (by at least 5 or more years) and would have had a photographic memory to boot. He would grasps (new) knowledge with stunning speeds and enjoy more of the same challenges. So, stress and pressure don’t really come into their vocabulary.

Please also understand that nobody is obliged to take the Eton KS exams. On the same token, there are no hard and fast rules as to the eligibility in attempting them – other than being of the correct age. Boys are usually recommended by their prep school heads who in turn would be conscious not to make a fool of themselves in the eyes of Eton by recommending any –old—young Johnnys who are obviously not up to scratch, forward. Chances are, they would be writing many, many more such reports on their other boys hoping to enter Eton on the normal entry route in future years and they like Eton to see their reports as being credible.

Until about 15 or so years ago, the number of boys attempting the KS exams was around 130-ish annually including a few who would travel to the UK from overseas. In my son’s successful cohort, there was one who came from Thailand who managed to get on The Roll – the nephew of the then Thai prime minister, an Old Etonian himself.

KS exams today seem to have developed into a worldwide phenomenon amongst the very brightest boys as well as home grown ones. The average total number invited to compete for a place today is around 150-ish. Unlike previously, many of them especially the overseas ones, would have been filtered for competence in their own country before being invited due to increased numbers applying each year.

As for “stress and pressure” at prep school, I honestly did not detect any of those during DS’s time. True, there were ‘Scholarhip’ classes where all the scholarship hopefuls (to all schools) were taught together and for the rest of the time, the boys mixed together with other pupils like any other school.

To further illustrate my point about the absence of stress and pressure, Collegers at Eton take it among themselves to compete for everything both inside and outside of the classroom on top of the already heavy regular academic work. Talking of which, their “regular academic work” is no more and no less stressful or pressurised than the other 1250 boys living outside College. Like said above, they even take on extra “burdens” by taking on other voluntary tasks. For example, DS found himself to be House Captain of Sports. In almost all my visits to his room, I found him doing nothing but preparing/arranging sporting fixtures, not only for College but the entire school! Many a time I did wonder when does he ever get himself to do some real work – he was hoping to apply to do Medicine, for Pete’s sake!

So I think DS did have a fantastic time both at prep school and at Eton. No need to feel “pity” for these boys as clearly I know DS’s enjoyment and quality of life in his youth and teenage years far exceed that of mine – e.g. by the time he entered university he would have visited (and enjoyed) more countries in the world than possobly you have fingers and toes - certainly more than both his parents put together in their life times.

Pythonesque Tue 28-May-19 09:15:37

Whenever my son's come home this year he's been playing minecraft. With one or two of his friends from prep, including one who's just been successful in this year's KS exams. While playing they are also talking away about all sorts of things, maths and computing and music and all the other common interests they enjoy.

Numbersaremything Wed 29-May-19 08:10:39

Peteneras thanks for such a comprehensive reply. I was genuinely interested.

Undaunted77 Sat 01-Jun-19 22:18:58

There’s an OS and a KS in our family. The OS had a much more fun time despite having to “earn” his OS. The KS says “be careful what you wish for”. Expectations are so high...if you aren’t coming in the top 10 of every subject, eyebrows are raised, and that’s huge pressure.

trinity0097 Sun 02-Jun-19 21:24:41

You can get an exhibition at Winchester if your core subjects are OK (C/D) grades but you do very well (mainly A grades) in optional subjects.

IsThisYourSanderling Sun 02-Jun-19 21:49:21

More outsider curiosity questions here - it sounds like prep schools actively prepare their brightest boys for these exams; in which case, how are they able to distinguish the the 'truly gifted child' from the most comprehensively prepped and diligent child whose prep school knew what they were doing? Also, do any boys apply that aren't already at expensive schools? It sounds like they (outsiders) would be at a considerable disadvantage? Are the scholarships means tested or more of a status thing for those who can already afford the fees anyway?

Pythonesque Mon 03-Jun-19 10:53:52

Winchester financial support is 100% means tested.

The scholarship exams are supplemented by a variety of interviews, so I think they are looking broadly to work out which boys will thrive in the environment they offer.

I believe there have occasionally been boys succeed in Winchester Election having been homeschooled.

Undaunted77 Mon 03-Jun-19 11:14:49

An Eton KS used to mean no fees for all - now it’s means tested.

TonTonMacoute Mon 03-Jun-19 12:22:41

My DS was at Eton - definitely not College material - and he once referred to another boy as 'a KS but one of the normal ones'.

They do have a reputation for being real 'geeks' but there's nothing wrong with that. Some super bright people are very 'geeky' and if you put them altogether in a nurturing environment where they can fully explore that 'geek' potential, then amazing things can happen.

Google the obituary of a man called Simon Norton, a maths genius who was obsessed with bus routes. Quite a sad but rather lovely story. Apparently he was heard happily singing softly during the KS maths exam, because it was the first time he had ever been presented with questions that really challenged him. On the other hand Boris is a KS too!

I know nothing about WinColl, but a boy DS was at prep school with sat for the Election and did pass, but didn't want to go into College 'because they're all so weird'. He was rather arrogant though. Whenever I hear people say Etonians are arrogant and Wykehamists aren't, I always think of him.

I think that lots of boys also used to sit the KS exams who had no intention of going into College, just to get an exemption from CE, but I think they've cut down on that now.

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