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Common Entrance (CE)

Our well-known and highly-respected CE assessments are designed to give pupils transitioning from prep and junior schools to senior schools the chance to demonstrate what they know, understand and can achieve when they arrive at their new school.

In use since 1903, our robust, research-based CE assessments are set by highly-experienced teachers from some of the UK’s leading schools. They aim to equip pupils not only for the next stage of their education but for life-long learning based on a secure foundation of subject knowledge, concepts and skills.

CE AT 11+

Pupils sit the CE assessment at 11+ when they are in Year 6, mainly for entrance to senior independent girls’ schools. There are two examination sessions each year, in November and January, however most pupils sit the examination in January. The assessment consists of three papers; for English, mathematics and science.

CE AT 13+

Our well-trusted CE assessment at 13+ is strongly supported by many of the top prep and independent senior schools in the UK and beyond. Covering a wide set of subjects, our rigorous specifications provide a clear academic focus for pupils in Years 7 and 8, and great preparation for GCSEs. Pupils sit the CE assessment at 13+ when they are in Year 8, and there are three examination sessions each year; in November, January and May/June. 

All pupils sit three compulsory papers; English, mathematics and science, and they may be required to sit additional papers in a wide range of subjects including geography, history, classics, modern foreign languages, and theology, philosophy and religion.


We offer a series of CASE assessments in English, mathematics, science, history, geography, theology, philosophy and religion, French and Latin. They give independent senior schools a way to stretch and challenge pupils considering applying for a scholarship, through specially-written questions based on our CE at 13+ specifications. 

Pupils sitting CASE assessments are entered by the senior schools they have applied to, who choose which papers pupils will sit and also mark the papers. Pupils will usually sit the exam at the senior school. 



Access a range of information for families with children taking our CE exams at 11+ and 13+.



Our online shop is now the only place you can order past papers for Common Entrance (CE) and Common Academic Scholarship (CASE) exams. Parents and guardians, individual teachers, agents and tutors can order printed Exam Packs through the public online shop. Schools can order school-only exam papers in print and digital formats, and place Advance Orders, through the school online shop, accessible through a verified ISEB School account. Visit the online shop to find out more.

"It is great to have a common specification for feeder schools, and the increasing opportunity in exam questions for students to think and apply their knowledge is really helpful in determining which students will flourish in our science courses."

Head of Science, St Swithun's School

"We have been impressed by the rigour of the CASE papers and by how they challenge even the most able of candidates. They have added an important dimension to our 13+ scholarship process."

Headmistress, St Swithun's School

"The sophistication required for students to both access and interpret the texts offered on the English paper allows us to see not simply what they have been taught or even what they think but, much more interestingly, how they think. Often it was the girls struggling to articulate multi-faceted ideas in their writing who demonstrated that they were appreciating the full complexities of what was being asked of them."

Head of English, St Swithun's School


Visit our dedicated support hubs for information, guidance and advice on our examinations and assessments, tailored to schools, teachers and families.


ISEB and third-party copyright

From the Autumn 2018 examination series onwards, acknowledgements of all third-party copyright material will be published in a separate booklet, rather than in examination papers. All papers which include third-party copyright material will be listed in the booklet, arranged alphabetically by subject.

ISEB makes every reasonable effort to obtain clearance to reproduce all third-party content that it uses in its assessment material. In the event that it has inadvertently used material without permission, or if it has failed to acknowledge the copyright owner correctly, ISEB will be pleased to make appropriate amendments at the earliest possible opportunity.

The ISEB Copyright Team can be contacted by email at

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