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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:51 pm
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I had heard of a parent telling me about common entrance exams held for pupils who are good at their work and would be offered scholarship (for Independant schools) if they scored really well for these tests! Unfortunately, That parent has now lost contact and so I was wondering if anybody has any idea? Please shine some light for everyone here.
Many thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Location: Herts
Common Entrance Exams (CEE) are held during Year Eight for entry to the school at Year Thirteen. They are open to all. Hertfordshire state schools fill their quota at 11 with applications in October of Year Six, so CEE is not available but many private schools like Berkhamsted, Haileybury and St Albans Boys offer them. Scholarships are available but you need to be mindful that prep schools start preparing for CEE in Year Five, a friend of mine has been doing school hours of 8am to 5.15 since Year Five to prepare. Sports and Music Scholarships are probably the best options for state school children as they would have to be very able to compete against the level of preparation going on in prep schools. The whole focus of a prep school is to prepare for CEE DG


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:25 pm 
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Thankyou Daogroupie. You are right. maybe, if a child excells in the independent school individual exams then they might be offered scholarships at 11plus! I am probably mistaken. Thank you so much.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:45 pm 
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There are 2 types of entry at 13+ common entrance and scholarship entrance. They cover slightly different syllabuses e.g. there is no RS in scholarship entrance but most schools will require a Greek paper in addition to Latin and French. Common entrance is as the name suggests the same exam sat by all prep schools, the papers are then sent off for the relevant senior school to be marked. Different schools have different scholarship papers.
To gain a scholarship at 13+ you have to have sat the scholarship exam, except for a few minor schools. Scholarship is very difficult, many of the papers are at AS level standard, it is a lot of work for a very small discount on the fees. Scholars sit for the prestige and the challenge. Quite why anyone would want to get their 13 year old to AS level standard is beyond my understanding, and many children/parents stick to common entrance. Scholarship has the added advantage that if you fail you are invited to sit common entrance afterwards!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:18 pm 
Generally, independent schools do not expect state school children to take the common entrance exams (standard or scholarship) in year 8. Instead, they will often set their own entrance exams for such pupils which reflect the national curriculum and look for potential.

Some top (generally boys') schools set their own scholarship exams for state school pupils in year 6. These are looking for intelligence and potential, not proficiency in Latin etc! If the pupil is offered a scholarship this will generally include funding for the boy to go to a feeder prep school for two years (years 7 and 8 ) before joining the senior school in year 9 together with all the other, privately educated boys. That way the boy will not be behind the others when he starts in year 9, as he might be if he stayed in the state sector for those two years. He will also have had the chance to make friends with some of his future peers before he arrives, so he won't be the odd one out.

If your child is at an independent school already and you want to see what the difference is between the standard and scholarship papers at CE, go to this site www.iseb.co.uk/syllabus.htm and look through the various linked syllabuses. If you read them to the end they will tell you what will be in the scholarship papers.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Unfortunately, most of the top schools close their lists for 13+ entry before the end of year 6, although St Pauls closes theirs in year 5! London day schools pre-test in year 6 and make offers based on the tests and an interview. This is sensible because most have an 11+ entry and they don't want to see the same candidates returning, and also because all children at these schools are to sit early GCSEs for Latin and French, and will then start a new language for year 11 GCSE. This would be difficult if a child had only studied Spanish to date.
Generally further out of London and away from the top performing schools there is less competition for places and there is a lot more wiggle room. I have family in the country and thankfully for my niece the local private school will take state children at 13+ using KS3 based exams because they have places available. I am very cynical about schools, they are basically businesses and need income. If they have spaces and are running on an overdraft they will take anyone, they have to.


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