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Registration for applicants who will take the ISEB Pre-Tests in the current 2023-24 academic year is open.

Registration is completed by parents and guardians via the Guardian Admin Portal and is open now for tests being taken in the 2023-24 academic year.

Registration for tests due to be taken in the current 2023-24 academic year must be completed through the Guardian Portal by Friday, 10 May.

All ISEB Pre-Tests for the current 2023-24 academic year must be completed by Friday, 24 May.

Registration for the 2024-25 academic year will open via the Guardian portal on Monday, 10 June.

We recommend all schools encourage their parent and guardian networks to sign up to our mailing list.

This ensures that parents and guardians will recieve all the information, support and guidance they need from ISEB directly. They can sign up via our dedicated landing page for parents and guardians.

The ISEB Pre-Tests

Key features

–  Online and adaptive admissions tests in a multiple-choice format.

–  Include four tests: English, mathematics, verbal reasoning (VR) and non-verbal reasoning (NVR).

–  Are flexible and can be taken on the same day or across multiple days.

–  Can be taken at the pupils’ current junior/prep school, the senior school they are applying for or an approved independent invigilation centre anywhere in the world.

–  Results are available to senior schools immediately through their admin portal and can be shared with multiple schools which means the pupil only needs to sit the tests once.

–  May be taken at any time during the ISEB Pre-Tests session, which runs from the autumn term to the spring term in each academic year.

–  ISEB provides full technical and administrative support to all schools using the Pre-Tests.

–  Are unique to ISEB and comprehensively standardised for the independent sector.

–  ISEB provides a range of free and premium preparation material to support parents, guardians and pupils prepare for their Pre-Tests in a healthy and holistic way.


The ISEB Test Walkthrough

This walkthrough will help you to become familiar with the ISEB Pre-tests.

You will be able to:

– Find out more about the test on the instructions page.
– Explore the best setup for your page with the accessibility features.
– See the style of questions that might be asked.
– Familiarise yourself with how to select the correct answer.


The ISEB Pre-Tests are administered through three easy to use admin portals, click to visit the portals and access your senior school, invigilation centre or guardian account.



    Parents/guardians can register their child for the ISEB Pre-Tests between 7 August 2023 and 10 May 2024.

    The ISEB Pre-Tests can be taken any time between 2 October 2023 and 24 May 2024.

    Parents/guardians should register their child on the Guardian Portal to create an ‘Applicant Profile’ and unique shareable ‘Applicant ID’.

    We recommend that pupils take the tests in their current junior/prep school to reduce anxiety and save applicants from having to take days out of school.

    Pupils can only sit the ISEB Pre-Tests once in any academic year, i.e. between 2 October 2023 and 24 May 2024.


    There are three ISEB Pre-Tests Admin Portals.

    Guardian Portal: For parents and guardians to register their child to take the ISEB Pre-Tests. Parent registration means each child is only registered once.

    Senior School Portal: For senior schools to be able to view the pupil records and results of the ISEB Pre-Tests.

    Invigilation Centre Portal: For invigilation centres, including junior/prep schools and senior schools in the UK and internationally and independent non-school venue invigilation centres. Invigilation centres can use their portal to view pupil records and schedule tests (including downloading the access codes).


    The ISEB Pre-Tests comprise four online, adaptive and multiple-choice tests covering English, mathematics, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. 

    As an adaptive test, questions presented to pupils during their tests are unique, and it is highly unlikely that two pupils will see the same series of questions.

    The test system will assess the pupil’s ability after each response and select the next question to have the most appropriate level of difficulty.

    This means that a pupil will not spend time answering questions that are too hard or too easy for them, and the whole test can be shorter while still providing an accurate score.

    In an adaptive test, pupils may be presented with differing numbers of questions, and the system does not allow them to go back and change previous answers, e.g. if they think they have made a mistake.

    The length of the test has been designed to provide an accurate score for every pupil and allows for any errors uncharacteristic of the general level of ability shown in a pupil’s responses.

    Textbooks, calculators, mobile devices, and other materials which might assist an applicant must not be accessible during the ISEB Pre-Tests.

    Applicants should have access to a pen/pencil and paper for their rough work during the tests. It is the responsibility of the invigilation centre to provide a pen/pencil and paper.

    The ISEB Test Walkthrough demonstrates the look and feel of the tests. Schools can share the link to it with applicants’ parents/guardians.

    Access the ISEB Test Walkthrough

    For more details about the structure and content of the test, download the ISEB Pre-Test Framework.


    The ISEB Pre-Tests are designed to identify attainment and potential. 

    Attainment: The English and mathematics tests are designed in line with topics and knowledge that pupils will be taught in class. They, therefore, assess a child’s ability to recall what they have been taught and apply this knowledge to solve problems in core areas of the curriculum.

    Potential: The verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests enable pupils to demonstrate their academic potential through a range of question types that may be unfamiliar to them. It is the pupil’s ability to analyse, think critically, find patterns, and problem-solve that is assessed. These abilities are important indicators of potential as they indicate a pupil’s ability to acquire new information and apply this to situations they have not previously come across.

    ISEB recommends pupils use the ISEB Test Walkthrough to familiarise themselves with the test platform, explore the accessibility features and see the styles of questions that might be asked during the test.

    For further information about the content of the tests, you can download the ISEB Pre-Tests Framework.

    Premium practice platforms

    As a direct result of feedback from families and schools, we have worked with our partners, CENTURY and Bond (Oxford University Press), to develop and introduce the only ISEB-endorsed test practice platform, Bond Online Premium Plus.

    Bond Online Premium Plus contains thousands of questions provided by ISEB, all of which are in line with the topics for the current testing session. 

    Practice questions include:

    • English: questions on reading comprehension and grammar (including spelling)
    • Mathematics: questions are based on the National Curriculum for Mathematics until the end of Year 5.
    • Verbal reasoning: questions assess a range of English language skills, including word meaning, comprehension, reasoning and logic.
    • Non-verbal reasoning: questions assess non-verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning.

    Bond Online Premium Plus is the only AI-powered practice platform that adapts to the pace of each learner to keep them challenged, engaged and motivated.

    ISEB cannot guarantee the accuracy of third-party Common Pre-Tests practice resources that are not endorsed by ISEB. They may not accurately reflect the presentation, difficulty, test content and scoring of the live ISEB Pre-Tests.


    Applicants with SEND

    Where appropriate and in agreement with senior schools, applicants with SEND can be given additional time of 25% to complete each test element. Applicants requiring extra time should have extra time requested for them by their parent/guardian when completing registration through the Guardian Portal. 

    Evidence of SEND status

    Parents/guardians should check with the senior school what documentation is needed as evidence for this request before registering. It is usually an Educational Psychologist’s report (or other suitably qualified professional).

    As different senior schools have different SEND policies, ISEB recommends speaking with the SEND departments of the relevant senior schools. The parent/guardian will need to upload this evidence as part of the registration process in order to request extra time. A senior school will be able to view the applicant’s record and evidence. If the information does not meet their requirements for extra time, they will appeal the request for extra time.

    Senior schools should take into account the potential impact of any specific needs in their overall assessment of an applicant’s application.

    Parents/guardians can still register without this information as they will create an account meaning their child’s record can be amended.

    During registration on the Guardian Portal, parents/guardians can include any other adjustments for access arrangements. The ISEB Pre-Tests have been designed to be accessible to applicants with a range of special educational needs or disabilities. Reasonable adjustments may be applied, the nature of which will depend on the applicant’s specific needs. In individual cases, schools may decide that not all test elements are a suitable form of assessment for a particular applicant.

    Test features

    There are three features built into the online testing platform, specifically to support applicants with SEND.

    1. Applicants will be able to select a coloured overlay to help improve the visibility of the questions, particularly for applicants who face visual discomfort and disturbance when reading.  
    2. The font size can be adjusted, making it easier to read on screen.  
    3. The timer for the test will be visible to all applicants (even those with 25% extra time), and it can be hidden from view if the countdown makes a pupil anxious.

    Further information

    To support applicants with SEND, the ISEB SEND Guidance has been created for parents/guardians, senior schools and invigilation centres. This document explains in detail how the tests are constructed and how the questions have been designed to reduce the load on working memory to be more inclusive for applicants with SEND. It also contains further guidance on the registration process and where to go for support.


    The ISEB Pre-Tests are accessible to applicants for whom English is an additional language. Reasonable adjustments may be applied, the nature of which will depend on the applicant’s specific needs. For applicants with EAL, this may include the use of a standard bilingual paper dictionary. In individual cases, schools may decide that not all test elements are a suitable form of assessment for an applicant whose first language is not English.

    Parents/guardians should include what reasonable adjustments are required for their child when they register for the tests. There is no extra time element for applicants with EAL. A senior school will be able to view the applicants record and evidence. If they have any issues with the reasonable adjustments they will contact the parents/guardians and/or the current school directly.


    Once the ISEB Pre-Tests have been taken, senior schools can access the results in their Senior School Portal. The applicant can only take the tests once in each academic year. Each applicants’ results will include:

    • A Standardised Age Score (SAS) which is based on the accuracy of the pupils’ answers and their consistency. 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)

    • Individual stanine, percentile rank and group rank scores, together with mean SAS.

    Percentile rank (PR) and stanin are based on the SAS. The only variance is that they use different numeric ranges.

    Senior schools can view the results in the Senior School Portal and can download these at any time to a .csv file.

  • FEES

    Fees are paid by the senior school, per applicant. For information about fees, please contact ISEB at


ISEB Pre-Tests Test Framework

PDF 185.96 KB

ISEB Pre-Tests SEND Guidance

PDF 1.02 MB

ISEB Pre-Tests Admin Portals and Processes

PDF 789.89 KB
Support and guidance

The Knowledge Base

To access a range of support articles, videos and FAQs about using the Admin Portals and administering the tests, visit our Common Pre-Tests Knowledge Base. You can also the Qualifications & Delivery team with any questions you may have by submitting an enquiry.



ISEB welcomes feedback from schools at any time of the year; comments should be sent to

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    Contact ISEB for more information about the Common Pre-Tests