UKiset – what is it and what does the test include?

UKiset tips and advice

What is the UKiset Test and How Do You Prepare for It??

The UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset) is a set of assessments that many British independent (private) schools use to test overseas students and compare them to students of the same age in the British independent school system. The test evaluates a child’s underlying learning skills – through tests in verbal, non-verbal and mathematical reasoning; as well as testing their level of English – in reading, listening and writing.

The UKiset Test


Many independent schools in the UK use the UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset) test for international candidates. According to UKiset, more than 270 independent schools in the UK use the UKiset test, so it is very popular, as there are only around 700 independent schools in the UK.


Students who are looking to study at a British school can sit the test in their home country or elsewhere in the world before coming to the UK to commence their schooling. The purpose of the test is to assess whether or not an international student will be able to succeed in an English-speaking school. All candidates will set the same Exam, which will test a variety of functional skills, including maths, problem solving/logic and language.

The purpose of this guide is to provide potential candidates with advice in preparing for the Exam, with a particular focus on the third and final component, the English essay. 

What is the UKiset?

What does the UKiset test include?​

Section 1: Reasoning Test

The first part of the UKiset test is designed to find out the way in which the candidate thinks. Through a selection of Verbal, Non-Verbal and Mathematical Reasoning questions, the candidate will be assessed on their ability to solve different problems, understand logical questions and understand concepts. 


Section 2: Cambridge English Placement Test

This section is designed to test candidates’ language skills – both reading and listening – through a series of multiple-choice questions. Candidates will set the test online. 


Section 3: English Essay

The third and final section is comprised of a handwritten essay. 

  1. Students will be given the subject matter for the essay on the day of the Exam. 
  2. Students will write an essay by hand. 
  3. Students will have 30 minutes to write their essay. 

11 Plus Summer Revision: How To Revise Now That Exams Have Been Postponed ​

So the news is out: the 11 Plus exams (grammar school selection tests, that is!) have been postponed in most cases to either October or November. Thank goodness our hardworking children get some extra time to revise and learn, reducing the stress for everyone involved! If you are tempted to ditch your child’s 11 Plus summer revision plans, keep reading!

But be careful: It may be tempting to down your tools, your papers and other 11 Plus summer revision, since most grammar school exams have been pushed back to October or November (depending on the country or school’s preference), but I don’t think that is the best move to make!Continue reading “11 Plus Summer Revision: How To Revise Now That Exams Have Been Postponed ​”

Do You Think the 11 Plus Exams Should Be Cancelled or Postponed this Year Because of the Lockdown?

Should the 11 Plus exams be cancelled this year? Well, the SATs, GCSE and A level exams were, so why should the 11 Plus exams be any different?

It’s a debate that has been bandied around online, and I’ve even seen some newspaper reports of MPs calling for their cancellation this year.

Continue reading “Do You Think the 11 Plus Exams Should Be Cancelled or Postponed this Year Because of the Lockdown?”

The Geek School Six-Week 11+ Revision Guide

Preparing for the 11 Plus exams, be it grammar school selection tests like the Kent or Bexley tests, or for independent schools can be a stressful process for children and parents alike. Some parents are often (wrongly) under the impression that children work well under pressure. However, research tells us that strategies that induce stress of this kind rarely have the desired effect.

In fact, children often experience a reduction inability for their essential skills (spellings, vocabulary and mental maths) when they are put under too much pressure or stress. As a result, I have never been a fan of putting children under undue stress when it comes to preparing for any exams, especially exams that are as competitive as the 11 Plus exams. I urge all parents to resist the urge to push your child to revise at every spare moment – it doesn’t work.

Continue reading “The Geek School Six-Week 11+ Revision Guide”

Why your child does not finish 11 Plus papers in time

Passing the 11 Plus exams for grammar and independent schools requires children to show academic ability at the highest level. It is a tall order for even the brightest child, especially when some exam papers are developed in such a way that children are expected to run out of time!Continue reading “Why your child does not finish 11 Plus papers in time”