• Penny

How do Scholarship Entrance Exams differ?

Scholarship entrance exams for 13+ are generally taken earlier in the year than Common Entrance. Popular times for Scholarship exams are either in the Spring term of Year 8 (end of January, beginning of February) or in the first week of May. Common Entrance would be in the first week after the summer half term, ordinarily the first week of June.

If a child succeeds with the Scholarship entrance exams and achieves an award, they will not need to sit Common Entrance. If they are less lucky, usually they can still sit the Common Entrance Exams for a place at the same school. In some schools, children who sit Scholarship entrance exams and do well but do not gain an award, in fact, will not need to sit Common Entrance. This is at the discretion of the Senior School and should not be assumed.

A growing number of Senior Schools use the ISEB Common Academic Scholarship Exam to assess their Scholarship candidates. Alternatively, Senior Schools will create their own bespoke Scholarship Papers. These are developed in house by the different subject departments’ heads. Generally, schools will produce new scholarship papers each academic year and release past papers for practice. These are released to Prep Schools and often also on request to families. Past papers can be purchased from Eton College directly and generally come in packs with all subjects catered for. Prep School Tutors have access to a substantial number of past papers for Scholarship, including Eton College, Winchester and King’s College Wimbledon to name but a few. Our private tutors use these relevant resources to prepare their students in a targeted manner.

There’s no doubt that taking on a Scholarship entrance exam is no easy feat and certainly not for the faint hearted. It is definitely worth seeking advice on whether this kind of gruelling exam is appropriate for your child. Are they motivated enough to put in the extra hours? The standard does vary depending on the school but the aim is to challenge the brightest of the bright so the bar is set high. The incredible thing is that Year 8 boys and girls really can reach these lofty heights if the academic side and emotional side is managed carefully: the pressure is huge.

Here are a few example questions:


‘Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice.’ Write a speech beginning with this statement making clear the audience to whom your sentiments are addressed.


Charlie got some sweets for his birthday. He gives 2/3 of his sweets to John. John then gives 4/5 of these sweets to Harry. If John was left with 4 then how many did Charlie have left and how many was John given?

Using standard British coins (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p), it is possible to pay a total of 10p in many ways; for example ten 1p coins. In how many different ways can one pay 10p?


Ce matin, quand je me suis réveillé à sept heures comme d’habitude, j’ai ouvert les rideaux de ma chambre. Quand j’ai regardé dehors, j’ai compris que ma vie allait changer pour toujours. Expliquez pourquoi.

‘Il ne faut plus prendre l’avion’. Discutez.


Most living organisms cannot regulate their internal temperature, which means it will vary with the external temperature. In cold environments, such organisms may lose too much heat and in hot environments they may gain too much heat, either of which may be lethal. The size and shape of organisms allow them to adapt to such situations.

The humpback whale lives in the cold waters of the northern Pacific off the Alaskan coast, where its food lives in abundance. Each year, however, the whales migrate south to the warmer waters of the Gulf of California where food is much scarcer. The females give birth and then the whales slowly return north. The young can then be nourished by the rich, fatty milk of their mothers.

Explain this migratory habit in terms of surface area: volume ratios and heat loss.


How able a king was Richard III?

Is History capable of finding the truth about the past?


Describe and explain the global distribution of places that experience very low levels of precipitation.

With reference to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that you have studied, compare and contrast the methods used to reduce the human impact of these two types of hazards.

Religious Studies

‘The Buddha can be anyone’. Discuss the use of images in Buddism.

Prep School Tutor has a range of specialists across the subject spectrum, all qualified and experienced in guiding your children to reach the lofty heights of Scholarship. Do not hesitate to contact us and find out more.

9 views0 comments