ISEB launched the Common Pre-Tests in 2012. The tests, commissioned from GL Assessment, are designed to provide a universal and standardised assessment measure for Year 6 and Year 7 candidates in the independent sector. The tests, in Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Mathematics, are online and adaptive. They are in a multiple-choice format and take about two-and-a-half hours to complete; the tests can be taken together or at separate times either in the candidate's own school or at the senior school for which he or she is entered. Full technical support will be given.


For the academic year 2013-14, the fee is £15 per candidate. Whoever registers a candidate will be invoiced.


No special preparation is required for the tests, which are designed to identify potential. Practice tests are not available. Examples and practice questions are provided during the testing period so that candidates understand what they have to do.

Candidates who would like some idea of what the test will look like online, can go to the GL Assessment CAT 4 Digital Demo site. It demonstrates tests which are set out in a similar way to the ISEB Common Pre-Tests and contains examples of verbal and non-verbal reasoning questions. 11+ Practice Papers commonly available in book shops contain similar examples.

To see the GL digital demonstration, click here.


Common Pre-Tests can be taken between 1 October and 30 June. Candidates will be registered by senior schools, using the ISEB registration website. Schools will then be sent their account login details to begin the administration process. Senior schools can easily forward individual candidate login details to wherever the candidate will be taking the tests. It is hoped that as many candidates as possible will take the tests in their own schools. When the tests have been taken, senior schools can access the results, using the login details supplied. It is possible for more than one school to register the same candidate for the pre-tests but the candidate will take the tests only once, and that one set of results will be shared with all schools registering that candidate. In the unlikely event of a candidate taking the tests more than once (e.g. in an attempt to improve the test score, or if the candidate is registered under two different names), the first set of results will stand. In no other circumstances will schools have access to results from candidates other than those they have registered.

Senior schools wishing to use the tests should register candidates at least five working days before they want the tests to be taken. If they wish to register candidates in June, registrations should be completed by 16 June. They should also ensure that prospective pupils, their parents and their prep schools are informed that they need to take the Common Pre-Tests.


Quick Guide Quick Guide
Administration Guide Administration Guide
Request for Candidate Results Form Request for Candidate Results Form Request for Candidate Results Form


Marking and the publication of results are electronic. Each candidate has a Standard Age Score (SAS) which is based on the number of questions answered correctly. The score is adjusted for age and placed on a scale which makes a comparison with a standardisation sample taken from the independent schools sector. The average is 100. In addition, reports give individual stanine, percentile rank and group rank scores, together with mean SASs. From 2014, there will be additional reports indicating future GCSE and A-Level results.

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