Our online and adaptive Common 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 Common Pre-Tests (2021-22):
Information for the Common Pre-Tests 2022-23 session
See which senior schools use our Common Pre-Tests.
Assessment fee per pupil (non-refundable) £24
Each senior school which registers candidates will be invoiced.
Senior schools can register pupils for the Common Pre-Tests between 1 September and 16 June. The Common Pre-Tests can be taken any time between 1 October and 30 June.
Candidates should be registered by senior schools through the ISEB registration website. Schools registering more than 30 candidates at the same time can request an Excel template to complete and email back to ISEB for processing. Senior schools are provided with candidate login details, and can forward these on to the school or testing centre at which the candidate will take the exam.
We recommend that pupils take the tests in their own school, to reduce anxiety and save pupils from having to take days out of school.
It is possible for more than one school to register the same candidate for the Common Pre-Tests, but the candidate will only take the tests once in each academic year. The results for each candidate will be shared with all schools who have registered them.
Senior schools should register candidates at least five working days before they would like the tests to be taken. If they wish to register candidates for tests taking place in June, registrations should be completed by 16 June 2022. Senior schools should also ensure that prospective pupils, their parents/guardians and their prep schools are informed that they will need to take the Common Pre-Tests as part of the pupils’ application and check that prospective pupils have not already taken the Common Pre-Tests in the current academic year.
Our Common Pre-Tests are designed to identify potential as well as attainment, and no special preparation is required for the tests. We do not provide practice tests, however examples and practice questions, where relevant, are provided during the tests so that candidates understand what they have to do.
What do the tests include?
How do the tests work?
The Common Pre-Tests are online, and are taken at a computer. Questions are in a multiple-choice format; they are completed by choosing an answer from a selection shown on the screen. Each question must be answered, and candidates cannot go back to previous questions. Candidates are able to track their progress through the test by viewing how many questions they have answered in relation to the overall number of questions.
Textbooks, calculators, mobile devices, and other materials which might assist a candidate must not be accessible during the Common Pre-Tests.
The use of pen/pencil and paper is not permitted in the non-verbal reasoning or English tests. However, candidates should have access to pen/pencil and paper for their rough work during the verbal reasoning and mathematics tests. It is the responsibility of the invigilation centre to provide pen/pencil and paper.
A familiarisation test is available which demonstrates the look and feel of the tests. Schools can share the link to the familiarisation test with candidates’ parents/guardians.
Where appropriate, and in agreement with senior schools, candidates can be given additional time to complete each test element. Candidates requiring extra time should take the untimed/manually timed version of each test. This version does not have an on-screen countdown timer. The invigilator is responsible for timing the test and ending the test at the appropriate time.
All senior schools which register candidates for the tests should be informed of any adjustments made for SEND/EAL candidates.
Senior schools should indicate SEND/EAL candidates during registration, and take into account the potential impact of any specific needs in their overall assessment of a candidate’s application.
The Common Pre-Tests are accessible to candidates with a range of special educational needs or disabilities. Reasonable adjustments may be applied, the nature of which will depend on the candidate’s specific needs. In individual cases, schools may decide that not all test elements are a suitable form of assessment for a particular candidate.
Parents/guardians and/or prep schools should always inform senior schools about a candidate’s specific needs, provide a report from a suitably-qualified professional, where relevant, and discuss with the senior school what provision or adjustments will be made when assessing the candidate for entry.
For visually-impaired candidates, a degree of on-screen text enlargement is available via standard web browser zoom. It is also possible to purchase text-enlargers which clip onto the screens.
SEND report 2021-2022
The Common Pre-Tests are accessible to candidates for whom English is an additional language. Reasonable adjustments may be applied, the nature of which will depend on the candidate’s specific needs. For EAL candidates, 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 a candidate whose first language is not English.
Parents/guardians and/or prep schools should always inform senior schools about a candidate’s specific needs, and discuss with the senior school what provision or adjustments will be made when assessing the candidate for entry.
Once the Common Pre-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 Common Pre-Tests, but the candidate will only take the tests once in each academic year. The results for each candidate will be shared with all schools who have registered them. In the very unlikely event of a candidate taking the tests more than once within a single academic year, 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.
Each candidates’ results will include:
Percentile rank (PR) and stanine are based on the standardised age score. The only variance is that they use different numeric ranges.
Common Pre-Tests update 2021-2022
Senior school guide 2021-2022
Invigilation centre guide 2021-2022
Centre declaration form 2021-2022
Request for candidate results 2021-2022
ISEB welcomes feedback from schools at any time of the year; comments should be sent to email@example.com.
Over the last 18 months, ISEB has been reviewing and developing the Common Pre-Tests, in consultation with senior and prep schools. From Autumn 2022, you will see some changes come into effect that will improve the administration processes as well as the test experience for children.
From this time, parents/guardians will be required to register their children with ISEB for the new Common Pre-Tests. Registration will open in Autumn 2022, and further information about this will be available on the ISEB website from May 2022.
Schools can share the following webpage with parents/guardians if they wish: Information for parents/guardians