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FAQs: School Entrance Assessments – what students can expect on the day

30 Nov 2023
2427 St Georges069 124

Do all schools have entrance assessments?

Yes, usually they do. It is a crucial part of our admissions process in order to find out as much as possible about an individual student.

Which year groups have entrance assessments?

Primary 1 applicants are invited to a play session where they are assessed. Primary 2-3 are assessed during their school taster visit day. Formal assessments apply for older applicants from Primary 4 to Sixth Form. 

What is the length and format of assessments per year group?

Maths exams generally last 1 hour. English exams last 30 minutes. Verbal and non-verbal reasoning exams last 1 hour. Times may vary between levels.

What can students expect on the assessment day?

Here at St George’s, P4 - S6 candidates are invited in for an arranged assessment morning. Candidates sit the assessments in a quiet space where they are comfortable. P6 and P7 students, in addition,  join their peer group for lunch and afternoon lessons.

For P1 and S1 entries, there are group assessment dates in January each year. P1 students enjoy different activities within the P1 classrooms which are assessed by P1 teachers. S1 girls are invited in to sit their formal assessment papers. They also have an interview with a senior member of the staff and spend time with their peer group. For S1 entry the girls sit papers in Maths, English writing, and reasoning (non-verbal & verbal).

Is it just Maths, English and Reasoning (non-verbal/verbal) that are assessed?

These are the assessment papers we ask pupils to sit but we also find out much more about other academic areas from other sources of information like school reports and a school reference. The written assessments help us establish which sets an individual would be best placed in as well as establish what level of support is required for any additional learning needs. 

What criteria determine admission offers?

No one factor exclusively decides offers. The Head takes a balanced, holistic view spanning: test results, references, reports, individual needs, interview impressions, entry point, past experience, and school fit. This qualitative judgement draws on many years of experience and good knowledge of young people. Please see our Admissions Policy.

How do we put children at ease?

We explain the assessment format, offer reassurance and encourage applicants to perform at their highest level.

Does each child have an individual interview?

Aplicants for S1 upwards have an individual interview with a member of staff either during their assessment morning or at another personal visit to the school.

What about applications looking for financial assistance?

Applications for financial assistance are limited and available from S1. These need to be submitted in early January in year of entry. An application for a place must be submitted in advance of a bursary application. Bursary information is available on the website.

Is the school only looking for children with a high IQ?

Not necessarily, though we would expect at least average ability so that the child concerned would benefit from the broad curriculum we offer. We are obviously looking to bring out the best in each individual. 

When will parents be informed if their child will be offered a place?

For P1 and S1 entry, specific dates in February are issued in Edinburgh; however, for other year groups this is flexible and we can offer a place once all stages of our admissions process are complete (visit, assessments, receiving school reports and reference).

What should parents do now if they would like their daughter to sit an entrance assessment at St Georges School?

Contact the Admissions team T: 0131 311 8008, E: so we can provide parents with all the necessary information and to answer any other questions.

St George's S1 Entrance Assessments

Entrance Assessments S1 for entry 2024

Play the video to hear the girls talk about their experiences on S1 assessment day

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