What is the UKiset test?
The UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test (UKiset) is an adaptive 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 and can be used to identify a candidates's strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences.
Most schools use the UKiset to assess a student’s level of English and academic potential and is an efficient way to test a student's ability to thrive in an English-speaking school, before asking you to sit their own entry papers. Some schools however offer places based solely on UKiset results and school reports.
Format of the UKiset test
The test measures four fundamental skills: vocabulary, Mathematics, non-verbal reasoning and further English skills.
Section 1. Reasoning (45 minutes)
The reasoning section of the exam is a computerised multiple-choice test. The questions are adaptive; questions are age appropriate, then they will get harder if the candidate gets the answer correct, and easier if they get it wrong.
This reasoning section takes 30- 45 minutes and is split up into three parts:
- Verbal Reasoning: The ability to work with words and language.
- Non-Verbal Reasoning: Solving problems with shapes, pictures, patterns, logic.
- Mathematical Reasoning: Working with numbers, value, sequences.
The candidate receives a standardised score for each section and then an average score.
Section 2. Cambridge English Test/Cambridge Linguaskill English Assessment (60-90 minutes)
The reading and listening section of the UKiset, which is based on the Cambridge English Test, and is an online multiple-choice test. Students will be provided with scores for both the reading and listening sections and an average score. The results of this section determine the student’s English CEFR (Common European Framework for Reference for Languages) level, from A1 to C2 – an internationally recognised language level of academic English. The CEFR score is also aligned with the IELTS score.
Section 3. English essay writing (30 minutes)
Students are required to write a short, hand-written essay for the final section of the UKiset. An essay question is provided to the student on the day of the exam – there are no options to choose from. The topic is age appropriate, and aims to assess the student’s English proficiency, and their ability to express thoughts and language skills in written English. Usually, these topics are open ended and allow for discussion – they are looking for a well-reasoned response using opinion backed up with evidence. Students may be asked to describe an experience, a feeling or a person. They may be required to present an argument where they compare or contrast, and discuss. Based on what the question is asking, students must present their thoughts and ideas clearly.
Read our article on recommended vocabularly list for the UKiset
Sample essay titles:
- Describe your ideal weekend.
- Describe your favourite place, why is it your favourite place.
- Do you think mobile phones were a good invention?
- Schools shouldn’t set homework. Do you think this is a fair statement?
- If you were the Head Teacher at your school, what would you change and why?
- “My worst day” – write about your worst day.
- If you suddenly had £1million, what would you do with it and why?
- Children should be allowed to choose their own bedtime. Do you agree?
More information on the UKiset may be found on the official UKiset website. We have listed the most frequently asked questions below
How do I register for the UKiset?
You need to register directly via the UKiset website. You will be asked for your child’s personal details and a photograph. You need to pay a one-off fee of £295 to successfully register, which includes registration, test date arrangement, invigilation, and sending of results.
Do I have to select schools during the UKiset registration?
No. You can leave the school selection empty and add up to 5 schools at a later date once the test has been taken. If you are unsure of which schools you are applying for, do leave it blank – if you list schools the test results are automatically sent to them. Schools can be chosen before or after the test. Results are valid for one year and the test can be retaken after 4 months.
What is the average UKiset score?
The average score is 100 and the average score for students in UK independent schools is 111. Different schools will expect different scores.
Where are the UKiset test centres?
There are many authorised test centres and when you register you can express an interest in a specific test centre, or you will be allocated one based on your location. Some schools will specify where the test should be taken so do check with them – this is often a British Council and as such, selecting a local British Council is often a good default choice.
When and how will we receive the UKiset results?
The results are usually sent within 2-3 working days. A parent report is sent to the email address that was provided during registration. The report outlines the average scores and gives an overview of the performance. Schools receive a more detailed analysis of the results and there is more information here.
Can you re-take the UKiset?
Students can take the UKiset once every 4 months. Make sure you know when the results are required by the schools and plan well in advance.
Keystone Tutors have a number of highly experienced Ukiset tutors who can help with UKiset preparation, wherever you are in the world.
For more details on how Keystone can help prepare your child for the UKiset and UK schools entrance exams, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.