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11 Plus Entry

Getting ready for 11 plus interviews is a difficult but very worthwhile area of preparation for any student hoping to secure a place at the school of their choice. In the article below, Keystone’s tutors have provided a range of good advice and guidance for anyone looking to show their full potential in these challenging interviews.

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Eton is one of the United Kingdom’s best known and most prestigious independent schools, founded in 1440 AD by King Henry VI, and famous for having educated many British politicians, scientists, and creative talents. As such, the process of securing a place is highly competitive. Keystone have collated the answers to many commonly asked questions about applying to Eton in the article below, including some first hand insights from Josh Pull, a Keystone Director and former Old Etonian.

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Harrow School was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and has a global reputation as an outstanding school. Distinguished writers, politicians from around the world, and Nobel laureates have all studied at Harrow. Securing a place at this highly selective school is a tough challenge, and you will find a number of key topics to do with the admissions process covered below.

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As a parent looking for information about how best to prepare your child for the 11 Plus exams, you may have encountered the terms CEM and GL and wondered what on earth they refer to! When it comes to the 11 Plus, these terms refer to the main two assessment manufacturers who develop and provide the 11 Plus tests.

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If your child is planning to take the 11 plus exam, and is looking for ways to prepare for the English section effectively, the article below is for you! Keystone’s expert tutors have helped students excel at taking this paper, and the guidance below aims to distil their best practice into a simple, practical set of top tips.

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It’s important to plan your preparation for the Maths section of the 11 plus thoroughly – and the guide below will help your child do just that. Keystone’s tutors have enormous breadth and depth of experience in tutoring children for the 11 plus Maths paper, and their best advice is summarized into the brief, practical tips that follow.

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Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning are often amongst the hardest papers to prepare for when tackling the 11 plus exams. Below are some brief tips that will help your child deal with what may be unfamiliar and challenging questions, based on advice from Keystone’s experienced tutors.

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There's a lot of anxiety surrounding ISEB Common Pre-Tests.   Parents I speak with are often concerned about the lack of example questions provided from ISEB themselves – a familiar tool for preparing for many other important tests. This lack of predictability is precisely the point of the Pre-Test. It's a test which can't be beaten simply by doing mindless, repetitive preparation.

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The way the ISEB Pre-Test is scored, and the way the results are used by different schools, can be confusing for parents. The key questions parents have about these tests are answered below.

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There are three types of reasoning tested within the UKiset: Verbal Reasoning: language questions and problem solving with words  Non-Verbal Reasoning: solving problems using shapes, pictures and logic  Mathematical Reasoning: looking at number, value, quantity and sequence concepts.

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What counts as a good UKiset score depends greatly on the school a candidate is applying to attend, and also varies according to the three sections of the test. The following points can act as a rough guide.

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It is difficult to recommend one vocabulary list for the UKiset, as it can be taken by students at any age between 9-and-a-half to 18 years old. As a profiling assessment, it measures a student’s level of academic English which is then judged against peers of the same age.

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Past papers are a fantastic way to prepare for any kind of exam - but UKiset do not publish them, sadly!   Fortunately there are a number of ways to prepare for the different sections of the test, and any candidate taking the UKiset would be well advised to practice using the resources and tips below.

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In recent years, many independent senior schools that have put pre-tests in place have purposefully designed them with as little transparency as possible. It is for this reason that the tests are often computer generated and no past papers are issued. As such, no tutor can claim to have in depth knowledge or experience of the tests themselves, in their current form.

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Keystone's Founder and Director, Will Orr-Ewing, are joined by our Director of Education, Ed Richardson, and Harriet Blomefield, Keystone’s Head of Consultancy to discuss the 11+.

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The ISEB Common Pre-Tests are very commonly used by senior independent schools as a part of their admissions process.

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What is the UKiset test? The UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset) is a computerised assessment designed for overseas students aged between 9 and 18 years old. Many UK independent schools require overseas students to take this test as part of their admissions process, as it serves as a pre-test to help schools identify the most suitable candidates.

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Whilst Keystone does not encourage piling too much pressure on to yourself or your child, it is important to recognise the importance of the 11+ exams. For most children, it is their first ‘proper’ exam and can have a significant impact on at least the next seven years of their lives. It is therefore important to ensure the process is as stress free and as positive an experience as possible.

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This article, by Keystone Founder, Will Orr-Ewing, was originally published in Absolutely Education magazine.

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Keystone's founder, Will Orr-Ewing, and Director of Education, Ed Richardson, share their insights on tackling entrance interviews for independent schools.

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If I were to ask whether all of you have been interviewed before, some of you might say that you haven’t and that you are finding the prospect of having an interview at a senior school rather alarming.

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The wide variety of different schools can often be overwhelming and one of the toughest decisions is whether to opt for day or boarding. Listed below are five reasons why parents choose day schools instead of boarding schools.

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Boarding schools are exceptionally expensive, but if you are in the lucky position where it is an option, is it the right choice for your child? Each child is different and whilst some children thrive at boarding school, others loathe being away from home. Either outcome could have a lasting effect so sending your child away from home is something to consider carefully.

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The internet has been abuzz with a Maths problem that has everyone stumped. It was set by the Singapore and Asian School Math Olympiads. The question (and solution) are below.

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Parents often ask us whether we can help them prepare their children for UK boarding school pre-tests.

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The march of Verbal Reasoning (VR) and Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR) is relentless. More and more schools, it seems, are choosing to screen students using reasoning examinations, believing them to test for innate, as opposed to coached, ability. At Keystone, we are often asked what parents can do to help their children prepare for such examinations.

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In the press

Knight Frank
Ed Richardson
Times Educational Supplement
The West Journal