Welcoem to School Entrance Tests’ introduction to ISEB Common.
Introduction to ISEB COMMON APPLICATION FORM
There are often stories of disappointment from people allocated inappropriate schools. Or even unacceptable for their child. There are various reasons that this may happen. Although, it’s often because parents did not:
- Grasp the admission criteria for their chosen schools.
- Comprehend the process of allocating schools – the Equal Preference System.
It really should not happen that children lose out on school places. Certainly, not because their school preferences were entered incorrectly on the CAF (Common Application Form). Often this happens because parents listen to a headteacher or teacher.
Even Headteachers and teachers are not always aware of the best procedure. Or able to advise on the correct way to complete the CAF. Often, parents have entered the following order of preferences on the CAF on the advice of their child’s Headteacher.
- Preferred grammar school, not a catchment school.
- Local Comprehensive school, heavily over-subscribed.
- Local, catchment grammar school.
What happens to my ISEB results?
The scores for the ISEB tests are shared with all the senior schools that the candidate is registered with.
Hence, the parents need to inform the administration of each senior school about the test their child took before admission.
How long is the ISEB common entrance test?
The total time:
- Given to complete the test is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- This is allotted as follows:
- 25 minutes for the English section.
- , 50 minutes for the Maths section.
- 32 minutes for the Non-verbal reasoning section.
- And the remaining 36 minutes for the verbal reasoning section.
Students can take the tests together or separately. However, each section needs to be completed within the given time allotted to the respective section.
Overseas candidates can take the exam at the testing centres accepted by the senior schools.
What sort of questions are in each section of the ISEB Common Entrance Exam?
- The questions under the English category comprise reading comprehension, sentence forming, punctuation and spelling.
- In the Maths section, the ISEB Maths questions align with the National Curriculum. Hence, students need to address the topics taught on the National Curriculum up to 5 years of age.
- For the verbal reasoning part, questions are asked based on common words, word combinations, antonyms, number codes and letter transfer.
- Lastly, in the non-verbal reasoning section, questions focus on geometry, horizontal codes and classes.
Based on the syllabus for the Common Pre-test, it is suggested that students do not need any special preparation as the test is designed to identify the potential and attainment of candidates. A brief syllabus of the ISEB test can be downloaded from its official website.
If a student is interested in undertaking special preparation, parents can visit the online ISEB website and download the previous year’s question papers and several textbooks endorsed by ISEB.
Common Entrance Exam 2021
The Common Entrance Test is offered by Galore Park, which is the selected distributor of the Independent School Examination Board (ISEB) exam papers. The common entrance exams are titled the 11+ Entrance Test and the 13+ Entrance Test.
The 11+ Common Entrance Test is conducted by senior schools in the United Kingdom in order to assess the eligibility of the candidate to enter the respective senior school. The test is held in year 6, during the spring or autumn. The subjects for the 11+ entrance exam are English, mathematics and science. The exam is at one level only.
COMMON APPLICATION FORM 2021 Part II
One set of parents were advised to put the comprehensive school as high as possible on the form if they wanted a chance of getting a place. The Headteacher was under the impression that if the child qualified for grammar school; the comprehensive school will automatically be ignored. She was wrong.
Unfortunately, the Admissions Department could not allocate the child a place in the grammar school. Even though the child did qualify for a one. Although he/she qualified for grammar school allocation, the first preference school was oversubscribed. Therefore the Admissions Department automatically moved to the next preference school. The Admissions Department had to believe that that was what the parents intended. To therefore award the child a place at the comprehensive school.
The only solution for the parent was to go on to the waiting lists for both grammar schools. To hope that a place would become available at one of the. Or to fight an over-subscription appeal for both schools. Luckily, on this occasion, a place came up at the local, catchment grammar school in the second round of allocations.
As the example above shows, even experienced professionals can give incorrect advice, despite their best intentions.
In many areas of the country, the CAF allows you to express up to six preferences. This is generally sufficient for most parents. However, in certain areas, there are only three spaces on the CAF, and completing the form presents considerable challenges.
The golden rule for completing the CAF is that you should always put the schools in your real order of preference.
COMMON APPLICATION FORM 2021 Part III
Remember when completing the CAF:
- If your child is taking the 11+, list all your preferred grammar schools above any other type of schools.
- Be realistic. If a certain grammar school is 15 miles away then don’t list it as a preference. Although if you live only 8-9 miles away, take a chance.
- Your last preference school should be your ultimate fallback if all else fails. Therefore, make sure it is still a school that will be acceptable. Plus, one that your child is certain to get a place.
- Keep a copy of your CAF (print the online version or make a copy of the form signed and dated version). You will be very glad if you decide to appeal. Then need to prove what you filled in.
- Get proof that your application form has been sent. Take a screenshot or send it by recorded mail. You can even phone the local authority a few days later to confirm.
- If you have any questions – ASK. You only have one opportunity to apply for secondary school places. So make sure you do it right.
- If your child does not get a place at any of your listed preferences, your home local authority will allocate your child a place. Check carefully with your local Admissions Department. Or with the School Choice Advisers.