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Registration for applicants who will take the ISEB Pre-Tests in the 2023-24 academic year is currently 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 (October 2023 to June 2024).

Registration for the 2024-25 academic year will open in August 2024.

We recommend all schools encourage their parent and guardian networks to sign up to our mailing list. This ensures that parents and guardians will get all the information they need from ISEB directly. They can sign up via our dedicated landing page for parents and guardians.

Our online and adaptive ISEB Pre-Tests are taken when a pupil is in Years 6 or 7 and include four tests in a multiple-choice format; English, Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

Our ISEB Pre-Tests:

– Are online and adaptive, and in a multiple-choice format.

– Include four tests: English, Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning (VR) and Non-Verbal Reasoning (NVR).

– May be taken together at the same time, or at separate times.

– May be taken in the pupils’ own school, at the senior school they are applying for, or at an independent invigilation centre.

– Provide a pupils’ results to all senior schools that they have applied to, 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 October – June in each academic year).

– Offer full technical support to schools which use them.

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

– Provide the ISEB Test Walkthrough so pupils are able to experience the look and feel of the tests.


Visit our ISEB Pre-Tests Admin Portals to access your senior school, invigilation centre or guardian account.


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.


Join our expert staff and guests from CENTURY Tech and VICTVS to explore the ISEB Pre-Tests, including preparation and practice resources, and registration and invigilation processes.


  • FEES

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


    Parents/guardians can register their child for the ISEB Pre-Tests between from 7 August 2023 until mid-June 2024. The ISEB Pre-Tests can be taken any time between 2 October 2023 and 28 June 2024.

    Parents should register their child on the ISEB Guardian Portal.

    We recommend that applicants take the tests in their own school, to reduce anxiety and save applicants from having to take days out of school.

    Applicants can only sit the ISEB Pre-Tests once in any academic session (i.e 2 October 2023 and 28 June 2024).


    There are three ISEB Pre-Tests Admin Portals.

    Guardian Portal: For parents and guardians to register their child for 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 (which include prep schools in the UK) to be able to view the pupil records and schedule the tests (including downloading the access codes).


    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 below.

    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.

    Bond Online Premium Plus is the only test practice platform endorsed by ISEB as it most accurately focuses on topics and content assessed in the tests.

    What do the tests 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.

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

    How do the tests work?

    The four tests are all online, adaptive, multiple-choice tests. An adaptive test is one where the questions are chosen to be the most suitable for each pupil. The system assesses the pupil’s ability after each response and selects the next question to have the most appropriate level of difficulty. This means that a test-taker does not need to 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, eg if they think they have made a mistake. We ensure that the length of the test is optimised 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 pen/pencil and paper for their rough work during the tests. It is the responsibility of the invigilation centre to provide 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


    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 the parents/guardians as part of their registration in the ISEB 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). Some schools require proof that the applicant’s reading speed or cognitive processing is less than average  a standardised score below 89). 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. This process will be detailed in the ISEB Guidance for Applicants with SEND. 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 to suit visually-impaired applicants.  
    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.

    Applicants with English as Additional Language (EAL)

    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.


ISEB Pre-Tests Test Framework

PDF 212.68 KB

ISEB Pre-Tests SEND Guidance

PDF 1.08 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 contact us with any queries you might have by submitting a ticket.



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

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