Entrance tests

Dates and Venues

The Sixth Form entrance tests are held in the October before entry. All applicants are expected to take the tests in Sevenoaks or at one of our overseas test days.

For 2021 entry, the Sevenoaks entrance exams will be held on Saturday 17 October. Testing days will also be held in Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai and, subject to numbers of applicants, Lagos, New York and Dubai.  Dates to be confirmed.

If a candidate is unable to attend any of the assessment days listed above, please contact the Sixth Form Admissions office (regist6@sevenoaksschool.org).

Please note that there will be a charge for students taking the exams at one of our overseas assessment days to cover our additional costs.


The Tests

All candidates take four examinations, each lasting one hour:

English Literature: This is taken at Higher Level or Standard Level depending on the candidate's intended IB subject choices

Thinking Skills: Candidates answer on one of the following subjects: history, geography, philosophy, economics, psychology, languages (modern & classical), theatre or art history. This paper assesses candidates’ reasoning skills and ability to make a coherent written argument.

Science: Applicants answer questions on two sciences, from a choice of Biology, Physics and Chemistry.


All the above tests last one hour and the results are weighted according to the candidate’s intended choice of subjects.

All applicants wishing to study Mathematics at Higher Level take an additional 30-minute test. This result is used only to assess suitability for the HL course and for setting purposes on entry to the school. Applicants must sit this test even if they are only considering HL Maths; offer holders will not be allowed to opt for HL Maths before joining the school, if they have not sat the exam at the of application.

Sevenoaks School welcomes students from all educational backgrounds. As a consequence, our tests are broad and designed to identify aptitude and potential, rather than factual understanding, although some knowledge and familiarity with appropriate academic methods is assumed. We do not supply past papers, but a document giving more detailed guidance and suggestions for preparation will be sent to all candidates.

English Language: Applicants should be competent in English, at Upper Intermediate level or above, equivalent to at least B2 (CEFR); ALTE level 2/3; or IELTS levels 4.5-6.

Sevenoaks School welcomes students from all educational backgrounds. As a consequence, our tests are broad and where possible do not require knowledge of specific topics (eg History, English, Languages etc). For Maths and the Sciences we ask a range of questions, most of which should be accessible to all candidates. There is a list of recommended textbooks in some subjects for those who wish to prepare for our tests. They may also be of help to those who have been taught in a language other than English.

Every candidate receives a document giving advice for the individual entrance tests. This information is necessarily brief but is intended to help the candidates prepare.

We regret that the Admissions office is unable to give further information regarding the content of the tests.



Offers of places are sent by postal mail and email at the beginning of December. Around 80 students per year can be accepted: in recent years we have received many more applications and have therefore been obliged to turn down good candidates.

We hope to keep a small number of candidates in reserve, in case a place is not accepted or arises for other reasons. Unfortunately it is impossible to predict the chances of a place arising in the future. We are aware of the difficulties this may present to parents considering other offers, but we feel that keeping a candidate's details on file is preferable to a straight rejection. We encourage you to contact us if you are facing a deadline from another school. We consider our reserve candidates as a pool, not a list: there is no ranking order or priority. When a place becomes available, we offer to the most suitable candidate given the vacancy.

Please note that we are unable to give feedback on our entrance tests as they are designed only for our internal use and do not correspond to any external criteria. Please refer to the candidate's current school for detailed study advice.

For more information, please contact us.