Benenden School « 13+ Exam, Year 9 Entry » Key Details

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Benenden School is an independent boarding school for girls in Kent that occupies a magnificent 250-acre campus between Cranbrook and Tenterden. Offering limited day places, it caters for over 500 pupils in line with the distinct educational model and motto: A Complete Education. [1]


Benenden is characterised by a diverse range of learning opportunities and a fundamentally cross-curricular approach to educating, supported by relevant and innovative syllabuses. The subject options extend from languages and natural sciences to DT and mathematics, with a strong focus on enriching the intellectual development of each girl. 


Outside of classes, there are over 150 different co-curricular activities to choose from, including drama, CCF, equestrian, lacrosse, orchestra and DofE. The outdoor education programme is vibrant, featuring activities such as gatherings around firepits, along with opportunities for students to engage in running routes that weave through the school’s woodland. [2]


Benenden is a high-achieving establishment, boasting exceptional GCSE results. Recently, 82% of all grades were in the superior 9-7 range, which not only reaffirms the school’s esteemed academic standing but also highlights the effectiveness of its outstanding educational strategies.


Top-quality teaching is successfully combined with effective pastoral care within Benenden’s nurturing environment, catering for the individual needs of each and every student. Girls enjoy a perfect balance: residing in a secure and scenic countryside setting while frequently embarking on excursions to wonderful beaches and the ever-vibrant city of London.


Benenden School 13 Plus (13+) Entry Admissions Process


Open Days are held each term, allowing families to visit the campus, tour the facilities and boarding houses and learn first-hand about the extensive educational offerings. Individual visits can also be scheduled, providing a more personalised experience. Further details are available on this page


If you wish your daughter to be considered for 13+ entry, she should be registered with Benenden by the end of Year 5. The form can be accessed through this page and should be submitted with a payment of a £350 registration fee, which is non-refundable. The fee is not applicable to those applying for a bursary.


While in Year 6, your daughter will be asked to sit an online test. This can be taken in the Autumn or Spring term (between early October and late March). In the following stage of the admissions process, your daughter will be asked to attend a Preview Weekend, held in April of the same academic year, during which she will undertake further written tests and take part in fun lessons and challenges.


Scholarships for outstanding 13+ applicants are awarded in the following areas:


⦾ Music

Music scholarships are awarded following a successful audition and interview. Applicants will be expected to perform at Grade 5/6 level.


⦾ Sports

As part of the evaluation process for Sports scholarships, there will be an observation of performance, a fitness test and an interview. A positive reference from the applicant’s current sports teacher is also taken into consideration.


⦾ Drama

Drama scholarships are awarded in part on the basis of an audition, taking place in January of the calendar year of entry.


⦾ Technology

Technology awards are offered to applicants who are willing to spend additional time in the technology suite, developing skills through the use of both physical and digital tools. Assessments are held in January.


⦾ Art and Design

Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of various criteria, including a portfolio. They will be expected to have a record of involvement with artistic activities, both in and out of school. 


⦾ All-Round ability

These awards are offered on the grounds of a successful performance in two co-curricular areas, chosen from art, drama, DT, music and sports, while also considering academic potential. Applicants will also sit the Academic assessments.


⦾ Academic ability 

Academic scholarships are allocated to academically strong candidates following further assessments in English, mathematics, science, humanities and languages, as well as an interview and group activities.


Families in need of financial assistance with paying Benenden’s tuition fees are advised to apply for a means-tested bursary. Application forms, available from the admissions office, should be submitted by the beginning of March, 18 months prior to entry.


Please note that the financial assessment will evaluate your income, expenses, assets and other financial factors. Households with a joint disposable income of under £30,000 may qualify for a 100% bursary, while households with a combined income of over £120,000 are typically considered ineligible for any type of financial support.  


Benenden School 13 Plus (13+) ISEB Pre-test Information


Address: Cranbrook, TN17 4AA

County: Kent

Admissions info: [email protected] or 01580 240592

School type: Independent boarding school for girls (with limited day places)

Open events: Each term

Pre-test exam date: Autumn or Spring term of Year 6


To join in Year 9, your daughter will be asked to complete an online assessment called the ISEB Common Pre-test, which assesses skills in Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The test provides a universal and standardised measure of attainment, ability and potential.


Benenden School 13 Plus (13+) ISEB Pre-test Exam Format 


The ISEB Pre-test assessment comprises the following areas:


⦿ English – evaluates reading comprehension and grammar (using cloze sentences, shuffled sentences and SPaG question types)

⦿ Mathematics – measures mathematical ability relative to the national curriculum stage

⦿ Verbal Reasoning – tests thinking and problem solving with words

⦿ Non-Verbal Reasoning – assesses thinking with shapes, space, diagrams and pictures


In total, the four parts of the ISEB Common Pre-test take 2 hours and 15 minutes to administer and complete. There is no audio component to any of the tests.


FAQs About the Benenden School 13 Plus (13+) ISEB Pre-test


Do I need to register my daughter for the Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


Yes, registrations for the pre-test are completed through the official ISEB website


Where can my daughter sit the Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


If your daughter attends a Prep School, the 13+ ISEB Pre-test can be administered there. If she attends a state-funded school or is an international student, she can sit the test at a recognised testing centre such as a local British Council Office.


Will older pupils have an advantage in the Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


No, the ISEB Pre-test is age-standardised so students are not disadvantaged by their age when they sit the test.


How many times can my daughter take the Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


The Benenden School ISEB Pre-test can only be sat once.


Benenden School 13 Plus (13+) ISEB Pretest Practice Materials


At Pretest Plus, we believe that a little preparation can go a long way to improving a student’s confidence and performance in entrance examinations.


We provide online practice tests, video courses and skill-specific tests which focus on helping students familiarise themselves with the exact types of questions that they will be asked in their ISEB Pre-test assessment. Read on to learn more!


Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pretest Mock Tests


These full mock tests are designed to provide your daughter with highly accurate practice ahead of their ISEB Pre-test assessment. Each practice test covers English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning, replicating the modules, timings and question types used in the actual exam.


Each test contains unique content, but they are all pitched at the same difficulty level as the actual assessment. This means you can easily benchmark your daughter’s progress as she works through the practice tests, quickly identifying her strengths and weaknesses.


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Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pretest Video Courses


We’ve also produced online video courses that cover everything your daughter needs to know for each section of the ISEB Pre-test assessment. These courses consist of a series of lessons that detail each question type, providing step-by-step explanations and techniques to help your daughter recognise the underlying patterns to look out for. The courses cover every possible question type that could come up in the ISEB Pre-test.


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Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pretest Skill Practice Tests


Our Skill Practice products consist of focused tests that allow your daughter to target specific question formats that appear in the ISEB Pre-test. They are an efficient way to improve skills and boost scores quickly. All tests are marked automatically and feedback, solutions and statistical rankings are provided upon completion.


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Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test Preparation Tips


Preparing effectively for the Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test can significantly enhance a student’s confidence and exam performance. Here are some Pretest Plus Preparation Tips for the Benenden School 13+ ISEB Pre-test:


1. Hone time management skills:


Practising with our tests allows your daughter to become adept at answering questions within pre-set time limits, which helps her comprehend the demands of the real exam.


2. Enhance Maths, Reasoning and Language skills:


Our practice tests are designed to improve language skills, including spelling, punctuation and grammar. They also cover essential mathematics topics, such as arithmetic and percentages, along with Verbal Reasoning modules like synonym identification and Non-Verbal Reasoning sections like pattern recognition.


3. Acclimatise to the digital test environment:


Considering the exam’s online format, it’s essential for your daughter to be adept at using a computer. This proficiency ensures a smooth transition between digital tasks and written workings during the actual test.


4. Review errors to improve:


Evaluating mistakes after taking a practice test is crucial. This process helps your daughter understand and correct her errors, preventing them from occurring in the actual exam.


The information in this post was believed to be correct at the time of publishing. However, please be aware of possible future changes. We advise you to contact the school directly if you are unsure of anything. School contact details are provided within the post.


Please note that Pretest Plus is an independent publisher of practice tests and not affiliated with or endorsed by the publishers of the ISEB Common Pre-test or any other pre-test publisher.

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