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Common Pre-Tests (CPT)

Our popular Common Pre-Tests (CPT) are online and adaptive, and are designed to give senior schools information about prospective pupils’ attainment and potential, to support the application process. They are usually taken when a pupil is in Year 6 or Year 7, and include four tests; mathematics, English (reading comprehension and grammar), verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. The Common Pre-Tests are in a multiple-choice format and take about 2 hours 30 mins to complete. The test can be taken together or at separate times, either in the pupils’ own school or at the senior school they are applying to.

The ISEB Common Pre-Tests provide a set of four online entrance assessments that a wide range of senior schools accept, allowing pupils to sit the tests once and have their results shared with all of the senior schools they have applied to. Senior schools are able to compare results from all of their applicants, no matter where or when they sat the tests, as they are ‘common’ to all pupils. The results are standardised against a sample of pupils applying for independent school admission, giving consistency across each cohort of pupils.



Our Common Pre-Tests are designed to give senior schools information about prospective pupils’ attainment and potential, prior to further assessment in Year 8. Find out more about the features of the tests and how they are administered.


Families with pupils applying to senior schools may be required to take our Common Pre-Tests as part of their admissions. Find out more about what parents and guardians need to know about supporting children with the tests.

"We have found the ISEB Pre-Tests to be a really child-friendly and effective way of pre testing pupils. We have great links with the senior schools who buy the Pre-Tests and they are easy to organise in our ICT suites. They are demanding yet do not totally faze the children. It also means no stressful trips to senior schools. If only every school used them..."

Adrian Downie

Director of Studies, Ashfold School

"At Headington we have been impressed with the accuracy and level of fine detail that the Pre-Tests provides us with. We have been particularly delighted with the flexibility and ease of arrangements of taking the tests and Prep schools have been increasingly keen to work with us on a time frame that is mutually convenient to both schools."

Caroline Jordan

Headmistress, Headington School


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

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