Entrance tests

Registration for entrance tests

The Sixth Form Entrance Tests are taken in October in the year before entry. For students applying to join the Sixth Form in 2020, we are this year holding entrance tests in:

  • Sevenoaks on Saturday 12 October
  • Mumbai, Sunday 6 October
  • Hong Kong, Saturday 26 October
  • Singapore, Sunday 20 October

We strongly encourage students to take the tests on one of these days if they can, as they give candidates a more enjoyable group experience and an opportunity to meet some of our teaching staff as well as other applicants. We are also able to conduct group interviews on these days, which we find a valuable part of the application process.

However, we are proud that we attract applicants from all around the world, who make an important contribution to the diversity and vibrancy of the Sixth Form, and we fully understand that not all applicants will be able to attend one of these test days. Such candidates may sit the tests in their home country, either at their school or the British Council. It is the candidate’s responsibility to arrange a suitable venue and invigilator beforehand. Please write the invigilator's email address accurately on the application form: otherwise we will not be able to send the tests. We also require that all invigilators use an official school or institution email address rather than a personal one.

Please note that we expect students based in the UK to come to Sevenoaks School to sit their tests and that a charge will apply for students taking the exams in Mumbai, Hong Kong or Singapore to cover our additional costs.


The Tests

All candidates will be required to take four hour-long exams:

English Literature (HL or SL depending on the candidate's IB subject choices)

Maths (with an additional 30 minutes for HL candidates)

Science This new paper assesses candidates’ scientific aptitude through questions on Biology, Physics and Chemistry. There is no expectation that students are currently studying all three sciences.

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

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. Past papers are not available, but a document giving more detailed guidance and suggestions for preparation will be sent to all candidates ahead of the tests.

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.

All tests are one hour long. 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.