Our private schools’ admissions guide for parents

Welcome to our feature on Private school Admissions guide – beyond Testing requirements.


Our private schools’ admissions guide 2023

Want to know which local prep schools use the  ISEB Common Pretest for entry ? If so, then you can click here to search. YOu may also find these guides useful:

 ISEB Pre Tests Parents Guide; and Maths ISEB Revision Guide.

Public School test practice guides


Top Private school Admissions tips

If you’re applying to private school, you might be wondering if you have all the important information and know all the steps that you need to take. Well, this admissions guide offers some important tips and reminders to help you apply to private school.
However, it’s important to note that even this guide isn’t a guarantee for admission to the school to your choice; there are no tricks or secrets to getting your child into a private school. Just a lot of steps and the art of finding the school that meets your needs and where your child will succeed most.

Our sample ISEB pre-tests

Here’s some sample ISEB pre-test materials for your 13+ GL-Style Practice and also some ISEB Pretest Workbooks.


Supportive Parents

Parents can actually have an impact on their child’s candidacy at a private school. Many schools will interview the parents, as they want to get to know them.


Start Your Search Early 

So if your goal is to get admittance at some of the best private schools in the country, you need to make sure that you are ready and have a strong background.

Plan Your Private School Search

From the moment you ask yourself how you get your child into private school until the much-awaited acceptance letter arrives, there is a lot that you need to do. Plan your work and work your plan. excel is a great tool here.

Once you have your spreadsheet ready to use and you begin the process, you can use this timeline to stay on track with dates and deadlines.
Keep in mind though, that every school’s deadlines may vary slightly, so make sure you’re aware of all the different deadlines.

Co-Ed or single sex?

There are a few points to consider if you’re looking at a co-ed or single-gender private school. 

Parents may also choose a single-gender school because research indicates some children learn better in that type of environment.

If a child fits well in a lot of places, it doesn’t matter if it’s single sex or co-ed.

So, can an educational consultant help with my private school application?

Yes, certainly an experienced, specialist educational consultant can help. In particular to understand which schools might fit your child best. Or applicants can schedule a school tour to get a better sense of whether it is right for them.

Do you have a child with a specific need?

And is there a lack of support at their current school?

Sometimes families thinking about whether to go with a public or private school have a child with a specific need and feel they can’t get the level of support they need within the public school system.

Our private schools’ admissions guide


Which private school types suit your child best?

To narrow down the options, weed out what doesn’t suit a child

Sometimes families thinking about whether to go with a public or private school have a child with a specific need and feel they can’t get the level of support they need within the public school system.”

He encourages families to write down their priorities such as location, cost, school environment, religion, teaching style or specific academic or athletic program, and then rate them to avoid swaying from what’s important.

To narrow down the options, weed out what doesn’t suit.


Writing your Parent Statement 

There are some private schools out there that judges a student from their parents. In some cases, it is not the right thing to do. Better for prospective parents to be given the chance to write their own application expressing their thoughts and aspirations regarding their child’s future.

Parent Statement for Applying to Private Schools

  1. Firstly, every parent should write vividly about their child highlighting their strengths and areas where they find interest. If the application lacks details, then one can also mention the learning curve of their child and what are all the challenges that their child has overcome or faced in the past.
  2. Secondly, while writing the application the information that is being provided by the parents should be in all honesty. The easiest way to do this is to provide your understanding of your child and that will only bring out the right information.
  3. Thirdly, a parent should also be sighting some important examples of how the child learns. For example, if a child is a slow learner, then there is nothing to be ashamed of. Rather, special attention will be provided to make sure that the child does better in the classes and also succeeds like the rest of the students and does not feel left out.

Top tips for Writing your Parent Statement 

The letter or application should provide information about the person getting admission and the entity writing the letter. In this case, there should be details defining the background of the child and also the background of the parents.

The letter should be descriptive in nature and should talk about the values that the child has been taught at home. Sometimes, a well-written application is all that is required to create the first impression.

How to use prompts

While writing the letter, certain prompts can be used for making the application more appealing. School fonts are available on the internet and parents can use them as per their requirements. The fonts usually contain questions like;

  • What do the parents hope for the child to gain in this school?
  • Has the child ever had a behavioral evaluation by a child psychologist?
  • Or emotional counselling from a School therapist?
  • Ever faced any adversity in the past…
  • And how has their life been affected by the same?

Which Academic and Intellectual Interests to include?

For admission to the older grades (middle school and high school), private school admissions committees will look at the applicant’s grades. They also consider other elements of academic success and academic potential. Application sections including:

  • teacher recommendations,
  • the student’s own essay, and
  • ISEE or SSAT scores

In the interview, they may ask the child about what he reads or what he likes to study in school. The answer is not as important as the genuine interest the child shows in learning—inside and outside of school.


Older Students

Applicants to the older grades in high school or in the postgraduate year should show that they have taken advanced coursework in an area of interest, if available to them, and that they are committed to taking this kind of classwork at their new school.

Being able to articulate where a learning environment is lacking is helpful to admission committees. If the child is in this position, the parent might consider asking to reclassify the child, meaning repeat a grade.

If reclassification isn’t right, a parent might also inquire about academic support programs, where students work closely with a qualified educator who can help them learn how to capitalize on strengths and develop coping mechanisms and strategies for areas where they aren’t as strong.


Extracurricular Interests outside the classroom

Applicants to older grades should show interest in an activity outside of the classroom, whether it’s sports, music, drama, or writing stories.

This does not mean that parents should run out and sign their child up for numerous activities. In fact, some private schools are wary of candidates who are overinvolved and overscheduled.
The school Committee members are likely to ask: Will they be able to handle the rigors of private school? Will they be constantly late for school, leave early, or take excessive time off because of other commitments?

Character and Maturity

Schools are looking for students who are going to be positive members of the private school community. Admission committees want students who are openminded, curious, and caring. Private schools often pride themselves on having supportive, inclusive communities, and they want students who will contribute.

Boarding schools are particularly looking for a high level of independence or desire to become more independent, as students are expected to be responsible for themselves at school.

This is important for admission committees to see. If the child doesn’t want to be at the school, committee members typically don’t want the child, either.

These components combined help the admission committee determine what the academic strengths of a student are, and where the student may need some extra assistance, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


So, how long is the private school admissions process ?

The private school admissions process can be quite long and taxing. Applicants and their parents must tour schools, go on interviews, take admissions tests, and fill out applications. During the entire process, applicants and their parents often wonder what admissions committees are actually looking for. Though each school is different, there are some major criteria that admissions committees want to see in successful applicants. Some private schools will also look at teacher comments. This is to to ensure that the applicant is the type of student who works well with classmates and teachers.

Fit With the School Ethos

For example, if the school is a single-sex school. Then the admissions committee is looking for students who are knowledgeable about single-sex schools.

Private school Admissions Testing.


Want to know which local prep schools use the  ISEB Common Pretest for entry ? If so, then you can click here to search.

ISEB Pre Tests Parents Guide

Maths ISEB Revision Guide

Maths Skills Guides (15 tests per pack)

5+ Maths    6+ Maths     7+ Maths     8+ Maths     9+ Maths     10+ Maths     11+ Maths     12+ Math


English Skill Guides (20 tests per pack)

5+ Spelling       6+ Spelling       7+ Spelling       8+ Spelling       9+ Spelling       10+ Spelling


Punctuation     6+ Punctuation     7+ Punctuation     8+ Punctuation     9+ Punctuation     10+ Punctuation     11+ Punctuation 


6+ Vocab / Grammar    7+ Vocab / Grammar     8+ Vocab / Grammar     9+ Vocab / Grammar      10+ Vocab / Grammar


7plusRewrite & Improve     8+ Rewrite & Improve     9+ Rewrite & Improve     10+ Rewrite & Improve     11+ Rewrite & Improve


Reading Comprehension     8+ Reading Comprehension     9+ Reading Comprehension      10+ Reading Comprehension


7+ Writing     8+ Writing     9+ Writing Prompts     10+ Writing Prompts 


12+ Spelling              12+ Vocabulary and Grammar        12+ Punctuation


11+ Skill Guides

11+ Cloze (Words)           11+ Cloze (Sentences)          11+ Sentence Completion


Spelling Pack 1 (core vocab)     Spelling Pack 2 (advanced vocab)     11+ Spelling Pack 3 (multiple-choice)