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

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The Oratory School is a co-educational boarding and day school in Woodcote, near Reading, that boasts fantastic facilities on its 100-acre campus. Nurturing a Roman Catholic ethos, it has been operational since 1859, when it was founded to provide converts from Anglicanism with an alternative to other Catholic schools in the area. The Oratory’s alumni list is long and impressive, including many politicians, sportspeople and military officials. [1


Pupils at the school benefit from vigorously delivered lessons, covering a wide range of subjects. From computer science and MFL to PSHE and politics, the syllabuses are aimed at improving students’ intellectual agility, actively preparing them for further education. 


Allowing each individual to find a domain in which they can thrive, the co-curricular provision comprises a plethora of activities, such as Chemistry Club, photography, Medical Society, film-making, swimming, horse riding, squash, debating, Surf Society, LAMDA, cooking, coding and ballroom dancing. Regularly scheduled trips abroad offer thrilling destinations, including Barbados, Hong Kong, Spain and South Africa. [2]


With an educational philosophy that places great emphasis on compassion, humility and service, The Oratory offers valuable and memorable educational experiences, which help shape pupils into persons of skill and integrity. 


School trivia: The school’s Medical Centre offers extensive care from trained nurses, who are available to students 24/7. They regularly receive updates and training to ensure that the provided care is evidence-based and aligns with current best practices, comprehensively supporting the cohort’s physical and emotional well-being.


The Oratory School 13 Plus (13+) Entry Admissions Process


Whole School Open Mornings take place in the Autumn and Spring terms. They are held with the aim of providing prospective families with the opportunity to explore the campus and meet members of the staff, as well as some current pupils. Private visits can also be arranged, including a tour of the classrooms and boarding houses. For more details, please reach out to the admissions team.


To register for a 13+ place on behalf of your child, you will be asked to complete two forms:


Declaration form

Registration form 


These should ideally be submitted early in the autumn term of Year 6. The registration fee is £150. In the following stage of the admissions process, your child will sit an online test, which can be taken between October and the end of June of Year 6. However, it is preferable that it is sat in the autumn term. All 13+ candidates will also attend an interview with a member of the senior leadership team.


Following the online test and interview, your child may receive a provisional offer of a place. Firm offers are extended following further examinations, taking place while your child is in Year 8. Applicants take one of the following routes:


⦾ ISEB Common Entrance: If your child is enrolled in a Prep School that uses CE, they will take exams at their current school in June of Year 8.


⦾ Scholarship Exams: These exams are conducted at The Oratory during the Spring term of Year 8.


At 13+ entry, The Oratory School offers scholarships and exhibitions for excellence in the following areas:


– Academic ability

– Drama

– Sports

– Music 

– Art

– DT


Scholarships for all-round ability are also available. Please note that the value of each scholarship will not exceed 10% of the tuition fees, and exhibitions are worth 5% of the tuition fees. 


Academic scholarships are awarded on the basis of assessments that test knowledge in English, Mathematics, Science, Latin, French, History and Geography. (Your child will only sit the Latin and French papers if they study these languages at their current school.) There will also be an optional paper, giving pupils the choice between Spanish and Religious Studies.


The Oratory School is committed to making its education accessible to talented pupils, regardless of their parents’ income. For this purpose, it offers bursaries: means-tested financial support covering a percentage of the school fees. 


Parents interested in applying for a bursary should inform the admissions staff through a separate letter during the admissions process. The bursar then provides an application form, which must be completed and submitted with the necessary documents, all of which are kept confidential.


The allocation of bursaries is at the school’s discretion, considering various factors, such as parental income, assets and specific family circumstances related to the pupil. Importantly, these bursaries are subject to an annual review. Please note that receiving a bursary does not exclude a pupil from also holding a scholarship award.


The Oratory School 13 Plus (13+) ISEB Pre-test Information


Address: Woodcote, RG8 0PJ

County: Oxfordshire

Admissions info: [email protected] or 01491 683522

School type: Independent co-ed day and boarding school 

Open Mornings: Autumn and Spring terms

Pre-test exam date: October-June of Year 6 (preferably in the autumn term) 


To join in Year 9, your child 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. 


The Oratory 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 Oratory School 13 Plus (13+) ISEB Pre-test


Do I need to register my child for The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


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


Where can my child sit The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


If your child attends a Prep School, the 13+ ISEB Pre-test can be sat there. If your child attends a state-funded school, alternative arrangements will be made.


Will older pupils have an advantage in The Oratory 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 child take The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pre-test?


The Oratory School ISEB 13+ Pre-test can only be sat once.


The Oratory 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!


The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pretest Mock Tests


These full mock tests are designed to provide your child 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 child’s progress as they work through the practice tests, quickly identifying their strengths and weaknesses.


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The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pretest Video Courses


We’ve also produced online video courses that cover everything your child 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 child 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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The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pretest Skill Practice Tests


Our Skill Practice products consist of focused tests that allow your child 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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The Oratory School 13+ ISEB Pre-test Preparation Tips


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


1. Grasp the ISEB Pre-test format:

Using our practice tests enables your child to become familiar with the various sections of the exam and gauge its level of difficulty, a crucial aspect for excelling on the big day.


2. Benefit from error analysis:

Encouraging your child to review and learn from their errors in our practice tests is vital. This helps them avoid repeating the same mistakes in the real assessment, which is an integral part of exam success.


3. Enhance time management abilities:

Our practice tests are designed to improve your child’s speed and precision in answering questions, equipping them to handle the time constraints of the ISEB Pre-test effectively.


4. Get comfortable with the digital exam format:

It’s essential for your child to become adept at using the online exam interface. This includes smoothly transitioning between the digital tasks and written workings, a key skill for the ISEB Pre-test.


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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