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The Grammar Schools Entrance Test

Registration to sit our Grammar School entrance test must be with us by the end of June, with the test itself usually taken in September. All relevant dates are advertised in local press, radio and on school websites nearer the time. Actual dates and registration details are usually made public in February and can be found on our website as well as the five grammar school websites.

Around 5,000 children sit our entrance test every year for our five free Grammar Schools, which means that unfortunately there are considerably more disappointments than successes, and we really do advise parents to be certain of their child’s ability before they register for the test. Children should not be entered because tests are free, neither should they enter if they have little chance of success.

General information about our Grammar School entrance test

The reading comprehension section is similar to work children will encounter in school. The section consists of a single piece of text followed by a series of multiple-choice questions. It covers a range of reading skills such as direct retrieval of facts, inference and vocabulary.

The verbal ability and literacy skills sections test a range of skills. These include knowledge of vocabulary, contextual understanding of words and sentence construction.  The level of vocabulary used is designed to stretch and challenge children; however varied reading and a wide vocabulary will assist children in accessing the test.

The non-verbal ability sections involve using skills such as identifying similarities and differences between shapes and patterns; solving problems using visual reasoning and looking at sequences and relationships between objects.

The mathematics section is based on topics covered up to and including the Year 5 curriculum. The test is centred on standard classroom practice and can include questions focusing on the four attainment targets in mathematics: Using and applying mathematics, Number, Shape, Space and Measures and Handling data. Children will be required to read word problems in a given context and then apply their mathematical knowledge to a range of situations rather than just answer a series of computations.

The test is multiple-choice and children will need to record their answers on a separate answer sheet.