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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:32 pm 
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Hello, All.

In advance, I apologize if this is all ground that has been covered before. I'm having difficulty locating in the archives the answers I'm seeking, but please feel free to direct me to previous posts if they're out there.

I'm from the US and am SUFFERING confusion regarding the testing system for UK independent schools.

We are applying to Eton and Westminster for 2015.

Here are my questions:

1) Will my son be taking the CE?

2) If not, are the tests given by both schools similar to the CE?

3) What is the best way to prepare for tests for these schools? Are the materials offered on this website appropriate for this purpose?

4) If not, does anyone have suggestions for other materials and where to purchase them?

5) Are the Eton and Westminster tests pencil/paper exams or computerized?

That's what I have for now. Thank you!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Hi MDD

Re Eton - have had a look at the website http://www.etoncollege.com/registration.aspx

The boys are assessed initially at age 11 (year 6 here - I think your 5th grade) - they do tests and are interviewed and offered a conditional place. They then have to take CE in year 8 .. (your 7th grade) for entry aged 13.

They have to be registered for the test by the age of 10 years 6months

ETA: Westminster similarly interview / test in year 6 or early 7 - have to register with them by 2013

http://www.westminster.org.uk/admissions/policy.html

this is the common entrance website : http://www.iseb.co.uk/


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:42 am 
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Thank you HM--I should have clarified that we have already registered our son at both schools, so the process has been initiated. We are anticipating that he could be testing as early as November of next year.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:32 am 
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Hi MDD - here is one thread:

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=18807&hilit=eton+test

might be worth PMing WFG for more info as her son has done the test


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:10 am 
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DS sat Westminster pre-test in Y6. Its an odd arrangement because they test and then interview, and make offers in batches, most schools just sit one pre-test, hold interviews and then have one offer day.
According to DS the Westminster tests were very hard. Reasoning test was much harder than anything he had seen, maths and English were also very hard. Interviews were very standard. Quite a few boys who got offers from St Pauls didn't get offers from Westminster, it is very competitive.
DS got in, but decided not to go because of limited sporting facilities and because he heard about the latin play.
Boys from his prep have sat Eton, and from what I've heard from the mothers its just a series of computer tests. Personally I would be worried that 50% of marks are allocated to question 1, Did your father come to Eton? but thats me being chippy.
It is worth bearing in mind that only Westminster, St Pauls and Eton still use common entrance to weed out unsuitable applicants. Prep school heads are ever alert to making sure that DCs are heading for an appropriate school, but these schools will refuse you entry if you do not obtain the minimum pass mark in every paper, even RS. For this reason many people view offers from these schools more as a challenge than as a genuine offer. Its not a route for the faint-hearted.
I hope you have registered at other schools as well, if not you should think about it, you've still got time.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:17 am 
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My eldest sat and got into both and my youngest has just sat for Eton.

2012 Pre-test: Eton - computerised (no tutoring) and interview. Westminister - Maths, English and NVR papers, all boys called back for an interview. It is possible to tutor for Westminster but we did not and our son got in one year early.

2015 Entrance test: Both schools - May scholarship or June Common Entrance exam.

I wouldn't know where to start tutoring for the entrance tests as my son's school prepare them. If your kids are in the US then once they have been offered a place I would seriously consider putting them into a UK boarding prep school so the school can prepare them.

FWIW, if I were in the US I'd send DC's to Phillips Exeter which is superior in every way to Eton and Westminster. Unfortunately my son does not want to go overseas.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:22 am 
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And the school report is very important. I think my youngest is bright enough and I know the interview went fantastically well for him but his report will probably mean he will not be offered a place. We were also told last week that the school has had a further increase in applicants for this year - closer to 1000 than 800 for the 250 places. :(

Offers will come in three forms:

A list - guaranteed conditional place
B list - waiting list of around 80 boys of whom 40% are likely to be moved into the A list.
C list - no offer given although there is the possibility that a C list boy could come in on a music or academic scholarship but this is highly unlikely.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:20 pm 
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Hi Mama, Im new to this forum so I hope I dont say anything I shouldnt but our DS just did the Eton pretest. He's 10.5 years old. Im not sure if you want advice on preparation for the pre test or for CE. But here's our experience so far. DS goes to small English boarding prep school. Just before the pre test invitation we had a letter asking us not to ask our existing schools to prep our DS in anyway for the test as you cant tutor for it. Existing headmaster did a mock interview with our DS but otherwise no special prep was done for the computerised test. DS told us during tea after the test/interview etc that there was nothing he could have done that would have prepared him for the test. He was glad he had a mock interview as that helped him think about answers to questions about favourite lessons and what recently learned, favourite musical instrument played and why, favourite sport and why. He said the interview was very laid back and friendly. He said the interviewer knew what he was interested in and they had lots of common ground - apparently they fill in a questionnaire about themselves before the interview and of course they have had access to the existing school reports. The test he found very challenging in part. Feedback seemed to be that it got harder the more questions that were answered. I think I read somewhere that it was an adaptive test and DS' experience bears this out. If you want advice for preparation for CE then I can only reiterate what WFG said - get him into a prep school with a record of getting boys into Eton et al and certainly for the last two years. If this is not possible I know another post gave a link to the ISEB website which has the various syllabus for CE subjects and Galore Park do the best CE text books that I have come across so far.
Good luck Mama and WFG for your DC's - just our luck to hit a big year for applications!

Next pre test for us is December. Dont know about you but I will be glad when its all decided.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:33 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. When you all say that Westminster can be prepped for, would you suggest using the standard 11+ materials sold on this site and/or the Galore Park materials? Is their test in line with what those materials cover?

On another note, I had inquired at Eton whether our son could test early, in November of next year, rather than in the following spring, so that he could take both of the tests close together. The reply was:

However, we do not recommend that a boy comes early for the assessment - it is best that they come with others in their immediate age group

I didn't get a response back about a clarification, but does this mean that DS would be marked and compared with the slightly older boys who would be testing in November rather than with kids in his own age grouping?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Eton don't test in the Spring, they test in the summer. He will be sitting the test with boys whose Birthdays fall from Sept-Jan, and the summer test is Feb-Aug birthdays. Although the computer test is IQ based and age is taken into account he may come across more immature in the interview if the interviewers are used to seeing older boys in November. They will not be able to tell if he is immature compared to the older group or immature compared to the group to come. If his English is not good then this may not help at the interview so being in his correct age would be better. As it is, you will have to come back in the spring for a Westminster interview.

I didn't prep for Westminster so I do not know which papers are best to use.


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