13+ Online ISEB Pre-tests: A brief introduction

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In response to increased demand and competition for places, a number of top independent schools have introduced the concept of online pretesting to enable them to deal with the large number of applications that they receive.


The pretest process assesses a child’s current learning and potential and forms the first stage of the admissions process for entry into secondary school in Year 9. Most students take pretests whilst in Year 6 or 7.


If a child is successful at pretest, they may be invited to sit a series of written tests and be interviewed. They may then be offered a place conditional on them passing Common Entrance, or Scholarship, in Year 8.


The Online ISEB Pre-test Can Take Various Forms


Some schools use the ISEB Common Pretest, created by GL Assessment, which is an online, multiple-choice test covering Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. It comes in four sections lasting a total of 2.5 hours; these sections can be taken at different times or in one sitting. They are usually administered by and taken in a child’s current prep school, but in some circumstances can be taken at the senior school for which he or she is entered.


Some schools devise their own bespoke pretests. They can be made up of just written papers or a combination of offline and online elements. In most cases, if a school has developed its own online test – usually in conjunction with a known educational provider like GL or CEM – this will cover the reasoning component.


How Can Pretest Plus Help?


Pretest Plus creates specialist online practice tests and courses that help children to prepare for online pretests and for the computerised component of pretests which have both online and written sections.


There is absolutely no doubt that familiarity with the format and exposure to the content style of these tests and courses will dramatically improve your child’s chances in these increasingly competitive examinations.


Our online practice tests will give your child a very good idea of what the tests will look like, give them a feel for the online interface and provide exposure to various question types. The feedback that we provide per question will aid learning and help increase speed, accuracy and confidence.


We also supply a full breakdown of age-based statistical averages to give you even more context on your child’s performance.


Working on a computer requires a different approach to tackling a written paper. For example, some tests are set up so candidates cannot return to a question later so a child needs to be focused and decisive in their approach. Tests are also time-pressured and require a refined examination technique. Therefore, practice is key and will aid in keeping students calm so that they perform to their maximum potential.


Our practice pretests are particularly pertinent for those applying to schools which use the ISEB Common pretest (including Harrow, St Paul’s Boys’ School and Westminster), but they are also very helpful for any school that has a pretest with a computerised component e.g. St Paul’s Girls’ School, City of London School for Boys and City of London School for Girls.


Click here to find out more and purchase our practice tests and courses.


Please get in touch if you have any further questions; we are always happy to help and advise!


You can visit the official ISEB Common Pretest page here.

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