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Eton King's Scholorship

(41 Posts)
motherrye Wed 30-Jan-19 12:12:33


I'm new here, but have read many of the threads relating to Eton and found them extremely informative. I have some more specific questions which I hope you knowledgable lot can assist with.

I have applied for a King's scholarship for my 12 year old son and he is going to Eton a week on Tuesday to sit an initial test. He has never been before. I understand this test to be verbal and non verbal reasoning, maths and a short essay. Can anyone confirm that? Whilst I'm not particularly concerned about this (he scored full marks in his CAT test at his current senior school) however, when I discussed the requirements with the admissions department they indicated that as he has had no preparation for the final 3 days of exams in April/May he is very likely to be unsuccessful. He has had no coaching in any of these papers, although is bright.

Without preparation what would you say, in your experience his chances are? I've downloaded the previous papers and we still have a bit of time to look over them so he is used to the type of questions he will face.

Any practical advice would be most welcome. He's currently at a public school (as a day boy) but it's not very high achieving and he wants to leave to go somewhere 'more challenging'

I look forward to hearing your responses. Please be honest. I want to be realistic!

Thanks you all.

OP’s posts: |
williteverend99 Wed 30-Jan-19 13:16:19

If you look at the lists of successful KS candidates that Eton publish every year, almost all have been to a handful of UK prep schools which prepare for KS or at schools in Hong Kong which do the same.

I think that gives you your answer.

Lenazayka Wed 30-Jan-19 13:35:35

I wish your son all the best.🤗
Sometimes a miracle is happen. However, it is just the small chance. He will be among of very well prepared children whose parents spent a lot of time and money for this purpose.
But not try is worse than skip it.🤞
Please take your every minute, look at the past/sample materials, including the time and answer sheets. You also will need to prepare the mental health ( feed the brain) of DS, adding some vitamins B complex (double dose) and good portion of chocolate. If it possible, try do not go the school concentrating on the lessons only but don’t forget about break. Seat by the child at all time. 🤓
About CAT test: Entrance test into any highly selective school means to be at least one year ahead than CAT test at the state school.
So, best of luck to your🤞😊

TonTonMacoute Wed 30-Jan-19 18:59:52

It does rather sound as if you have confused the Kings Scholarship with the ordinary entrance test, which is taken at 10/11 years old.

The KS exams are for entrance into College, and are extremely demanding. They are for the brightest and best only, and most boys will have been rigorously prepared for them. Only 14 boys per year are successful.

Having said that, I have no idea of your son's abilities, so I may be being unfair to him. More information about the KS is available here

blackeyes72 Wed 30-Jan-19 19:29:20

Have you downloaded past papers? They are very challenging and he won't pass without preparation. The maths alone is yeses ahead of middle of year 9 in a state or public school top set.

Notmynom Wed 30-Jan-19 19:33:00

I think you can apply for a King's scholarship until quite late on in the process (rather than in yr 6) in which case they probably have to do the general entrance test first and then the scholarship papers.

PaddyF0dder Wed 30-Jan-19 19:38:09

Not sure what the point is of going to Eton.

If the Eton graduates at parliament are anything to judge by, its a shite school.

TonTonMacoute Wed 30-Jan-19 20:19:38

I think you can apply for a King's scholarship until quite late on in the process

Yes, you can. You used to be able to take the KS even if you applied earlier and were rejected, although that may have changed.

in which case they probably have to do the general entrance test first and then the scholarship papers.

Yes, it seems so and that shouldn't require preparation.

I was really replying to OPs question about the main exams in May, which the school has advised her her son is unlikely to pass without proper preparation.

motherrye Wed 30-Jan-19 22:24:41

Thank you for all your valuable feedback. My son is very keen to try so he will at least sit the first part of the test. If he doesn't pass that (which I understand to be similar to the CAT tests) then he's not going to thrive at Eton in any case. If he does pass then we will prepare like mad for the main exams using the past papers for inspiration.

My eldest son has a masters in maths from York so we have expert assistance in this area.

I'm very grateful to you all taking the time to reply. As one response said it's good to at least try. It's a life experience and you never know, miracles can happen. He's an unusual boy with a photographic memory.

OP’s posts: |
Prufrockspeach Thu 31-Jan-19 15:03:03

My DS1 sat scholarship exams for a similar UK school and in his scholarship set at school there were boys sitting scholarship exams for a variety of different schools including 2 for the Eton Kings Scholarship - most of the preparation was done as a class. Here are the headlines:
In terms of English, provided he is well read and good at writing/comprehensions he should be fine. From what I remember there aren't any set texts. History/Geography/RS they are usually looking for broad knowledge across the common entrance syllabus (which you can download from ISEB) but also knowledge beyond that which is not specified. The advice they were given was to choose a few themes (i.e in history you could take cause/impact of wars) and then read around the topic. The questions tend to be quite generic i.e. "discuss the impact of diplomacy in times of war" or " wars never solve anything - discuss". The essays are quite brief so you don't need masses of subject knowledge but they are looking for insightful thought. With geography they want the candidate to be able to look at the topics and perhaps relate to current affairs etc. Math for my son was roughly based upon the Common Entrance Level 3 papers (you can buy these online from ISEB) but the questions were worded in a much more complicated manner...or they were looking for original application etc. I'm not sure if the Kings Scholarship is the same but I think it might be - they are not expecting them to be ready to sit an A-level in math - but they will certainly ask questions that most kids at GCSE couldn't' answer (but the actual "math" required is not even of GCSE standard iykwim). The one area that you may struggle in is the latin and the french which I think IS close to GCSE level. This is the bit that you can't get away with "just being clever". If you are going to throw any money at this, I would suggest getting a bit of additional language tuition to pick up the grammar - if he has a photographic memory the vocab won't be an issue. There is usually an oral and a listening part in French - make sure he prepares some things to say about the world/current affairs etc - its a real chance to shine as he can show off some new vocabulary that no-one else has used.
Don't be put off by people telling you its too difficult - these exams are about spotting the truly talented child - not the one who has had the most tuition/tutoring.

motherrye Thu 31-Jan-19 15:53:13

Thank you SO much for the above advice. It's incredibly helpful. I had coffee this morning with my son's now retired headmaster and he is going to give him some hints with a few bits. Thankfully we had the choice to be examined in Latin, French and Greek so we didn't choose these, instead plumping for the others (including divinity!)

Really useful points, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
dababa Tue 12-Feb-19 16:32:57

Have you applied KS already as the deadline is the 31/01/2019. You will be informed by the admissions to do a computerised test either in January or February and only after that test they will advise you whether or no your son can go ahead to do the KS exams in April. Good luck!

JustAMummy3 Wed 13-Feb-19 22:19:58

Any update on this? Looking at the same route. Thanks

spellingtest Fri 15-Feb-19 22:12:41


I received a phone call today to say he had just missed out. 2 marks! Poor boy is quite upset and asked if there was anything we could do.

The school itself is beyond amazing. We had a tour round the house he would have been in if he had passed. They have boy's maids who clean their rooms. Lunch is silver service and they have a butler (hopefully they don't become pompous twits with all that). The Dames are delightful and the housemaster was a lovely chap.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be for us. Anyone else considering it good luck. It's undoubtedly an amazing place to go.

peteneras Sat 16-Feb-19 13:32:38

"The school itself is beyond amazing. We had a tour round the house. . ."

I'm sorry to hear your boy has just missed out, spelling test. Although I'm always rooting for everyone to go to Eton, I accept that it's an impossible hope on my part as the School has only 260'ish places available each year and boys from the world over are vying for these places - although the school has a policy in not having more than 10% foreign boys at any one time so as to maintain its status as "a traditional English public school".

But the school is still overscribed up to 5 times in spite of the above policy.

I am confident in saying, "You ain't seen nothing yet" re your tour of the house/school. I remember when we (the parents) were being interviewed by the then Head Master, Tony Little, together with a team of five or six very distinguished looking middle-aged gentlemen in an equally distinguished room somewhere in the 15th century buildings and when asked what I thought about the School, I replied, "Out of this world!"

None of the gentlemen present in the room moved a hair nor bat an eyelid! grin

FourRedShoes Sat 16-Feb-19 15:07:00

He did incredibly well then. 2 marks off is still outstanding. Considering he had put far less into it than others, he would have got it had he had all the build-up tutoring that all the others had had.

Doesn't seem fair really but then nothing within the private system is particularly fair.

Can you try again at any point or is that it?

Tavannach Sat 16-Feb-19 15:09:55

If the Eton graduates at parliament are anything to judge by, its a shite school.


QuaterMiss Sat 16-Feb-19 15:21:20

Bad luck OP! I'm sure there's a different ideal school for your son.

But can I just comment on:

They have boy's maids who clean their rooms. Lunch is silver service and they have a butler

That does rather overstate the case! It's a boarding school - unless one expects the boys (or the teaching staff) to do all the housework and maintenance in the boarding houses, it dios rather stand to reason that there will be domestic staff to do this. As at any other residential institution. So rather less exhalted than the picture your words paint.

And I dunno about silver service ... Perhaps you only saw the scholarship boys' house? At least half the boys eat their meals in the central canteen. And definitely don't have any dealings with butlers - at least not at school.

LesLavandes Sat 16-Feb-19 15:38:20

You don't necessarily have to gave gone to 'x' prep school but to get a KS your son will have to be exceptional. Good luck☘️

QuaterMiss Sat 16-Feb-19 15:44:53

He wasn't taking the KS LesLavandes. The OP's son has just taken a late pre-test, which qualifies those who pass it to take the KS later in the year.

(The more usual route is to take the ore-test in yr 6 and then Common Entrance or the KS in yr 8.)

QuaterMiss Sat 16-Feb-19 15:45:59

pre-test not ore-test.

No preview function. Still.

ScholarshipHopeful Sat 16-Feb-19 18:00:26

We were there on Tuesday also!
Were you one of the families sent to the wrong entrance?!
My son has been at state school until 11m ago, we were shocked to get through, but feel it is VERY unlikely to gain one of the 14 places as they are almost always the same Prep schools, or Hong Kong students.
We are enjoying the experience and the chance to stay there in April.

The OP is correct, Scholars lunch is silver service in a grand hall. Formally dressed waiting staff!
The ladies that look after the boys are lovely, and the housemaster also very friendly & down to earth.
The whole experience was very different to what we expected.
Also so surprised by the amount of Eton haters online!
We don’t have a place through normal entry, just going for the chance at the scholarship.

QuaterMiss Sat 16-Feb-19 18:12:57

Hopeful I don't honestly think the type of school a boy is currently attending makes much difference to success or failure at the computerised pre-test. (Although of course if successful they will need proper preparation for CE or the state school focused entrance exam.)

LovingLola Sat 16-Feb-19 18:21:34

David Cameron and Boris Johnson are past pupils ... enough said !

LovingLola Sat 16-Feb-19 18:23:50

Jacob Rees-Mogg too !

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