What Is the 13 Plus Common Entrance Exam?

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The 13+ Common Entrance exam is a set of rigorous tests set by independent (private) secondary schools, usually focusing on content taught at KS3, leading up to GCSE exams. The 13+ tests are part of the standard ISEB assessment, although individual schools can devise their own Common Entrance (CE) papers. Pass marks fluctuate from year to year and can vary widely between schools.

When do children sit the 13 Plus exams?

The 13+ exam is usually sat in Spring or Summer of Year 8 when your child is 12 or 13 years old, and there are 3 opportunities for them to take the tests: November, January, and May/June.

What does the 13 Plus exam consist of?

The 13+ exam consists of papers in English, maths, science, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, humanities subjects (religious studies, history, geography etc.) and language subjects. The papers are designed to test your child’s understanding of subjects taught under the National Curriculum and encourage them to consolidate their knowledge. Expert tutors like Geek School Tutoring can help prepare students for the exams.

What are the different versions of the 13 Plus exam?

The Independent Schools Examinations Board (ISEB) exams follow the outline of the National Curriculum and are split into three levels. The Common Academic Scholarship Exam (CASE) is taken instead of the regular 13+ exam at the highest level for those seeking a scholarship.

How much does the 13+ exam cost?

The cost for the 13+ exam in the UK costs around £125, and £25 for students taking the exam for one subject. The fees are the same for the CASE tests.

How can I support my child during the 13+ exams?

Preparing for the 13+ exams is important, and many parents seek help outside of the school system. Tutors can provide expert guidance and support, including regular testing for verbal reasoning skills and past paper practice.

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