Entrance Examinations and Assessments - Ratcliffe College

Entrance Examinations and Assessments

Entrance examination and assessment procedures

Entrance examinations and assessments normally take place in the January or February, before the September your child is due to start with us. Please note, you must have already made an application for your child first, in order to sit our Entrance Examinations and Assessments.

Entrance Examinations Dates for entry in September 2024

11+ Examinations (includes assessment for Academic Scholarships) Friday 12th or Saturday 13th January
12+ & 13+ Examinations Saturday 13th January 
7+, 8+, 9+ & 10+ Assessment TBC
6+ Assessment TBC

Preparatory school

Nursery (3-5 year olds)

Children spend a morning in the Nursery and are informally assessed during this time.

There is a separate Admissions Policy for the Nursery, available upon request, owing to the complexity of Nursery provision and the educational needs of individual children.  Under normal circumstances, Nursery children transfer to the Preparatory School.  Where such transfer is deemed inappropriate (for example, where it is felt that that child will not thrive given the curriculum provided), the Head of Nursery, in conjunction with the Headmaster, will notify the parents with at least six months’ notice.

Preparatory School (5-11 year olds)

Children spend half a day in School and, during this time, have Assessments in English and Mathematics.  Entry in the Preparatory School is normally in Years 3 and 5. A small number of places may be available for entry to other year groups, please contact our Admissions Department to enquire.

Overseas families, wishing their child to enter at Preparatory School age must visit the School, in person, and their child be interviewed on a face to face basis.  The Assessment can then, also, be carried out under our supervision.

Senior School (11-18 year olds)

Entry is normally at age 11+ and 13+ (when an additional form of entry is admitted) and to the Sixth Form, but a small number of places may be available for entry to other years if there are vacancies.  Please contact our Admissions Department for details.

Papers are set in English and Mathematics, and Science. Students also have an informal meeting with a member of the Leadership Team.

Sixth Form

All applicants are interviewed and entry is also based on successful performance in GCSE (or equivalent) examinations.

Applicants should obtain at least 6 good passes at GCSE including English and Mathematics.  For any subject to be studied in the Sixth Form, applicants should have at least GCSE grade 6 in that subject or a related subject.  GCSE grade 7 or higher is normally required to study the following subjects in the Sixth Form: Mathematics, Sciences, Languages and English Literature.

Students with specific learning difficulties

Extra time is allowed in the entrance examinations for students with a  learning difficulty who have evidence within a professional assessor report that they work at a rate which is below average for their peer group. Acceptable evidence will be in the form of an educational psychologist, specialist assessor or SENCO report which clearly indicates 2 below average standardised scores of 84 or less, or one below average standardised score of 84 or less and one low average standardised score between 85 and 89 in speed of working. In either scenario, the 2 standardised scores must relate to 2 different areas of speed of working as below:

  • speed of reading and speed of writing; or
  • speed of reading and cognitive processing; or
  • speed of writing and cognitive processing; or
  • two different areas of cognitive processing which have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on speed of working.

Such reports will need to be current: i.e. they will have been completed within two years of the date of the entrance examinations, not the application.

Medical reports will also be considered, where relevant. 

Other access arrangements such as a reader, scribe, or the use of word processor  may be considered where there is evidence of this being the student’s normal way of working. The evidence for this will be assessed on a case by case basis and the College’s decision will be final.

Non-native speakers of English from overseas

It is strongly recommended that overseas applicants should provide an IELTS or Cambridge Assessment English examination certificate to confirm their ability in English language.

However, applicants do have the option of sitting our own English examinations, but will have to provide an IELTS or Cambridge Assessment English examination at the end of their first academic year in order to progress through the School.

Students may also be tested in subjects such as Mathematics and Science.

Overseas applicants are also interviewed via Zoom, if a personal visit, to the School, cannot be arranged.

For further information about entry to all Year groups and for information regarding Scholarship examinations and bursaries, please contact the Admissions Manager.

Admissions Department: +44 (0) 1509 817031 / 817072   admissions@ratcliffecollege.com