Wycombe Abbey was founded in 1896 by Dame Frances Dove to create a girls’ education that was every ounce as good as boys’, through pursuit of excellence, development of talents, and an understanding of the needs of others. It has become one of the leading girls’ schools in the UK, renowned for its long-standing academic excellence and outstanding results. A formidable full-boarding school at the forefront of educating young women, it appeals to the brightest, liveliest go-getters with a passion and drive for brilliance. Wycombe Abbey educates 660 girls and has three entrance points, in Year 7, Year 9, and Year 12.
Entering in Year 7 (11 Plus):
Wycombe Abbey accepts 75-80 girls each year into Year 7.
11 Plus Entrance Process for Wycombe Abbey:
As an academically selective school Wycombe Abbey uses entrance exams to select which pupils are suitable to gain a place. They use a 2-stage process, with pupils being selected to move to the next stage based on their relative performance:
Stage 1 is an online Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4). Candidates will need to make arrangements to sit this test at their current school, a recognised test centre in the UK, or at local British Council Office, during a ten-day window in November (Year 6).
Read the Keystone Guide to the CAT4 Test
Stage 2 is an Assessment Day, which provides your daughter with a taste of life at Wycombe Abbey, whilst enabling the school to assess their academic ability and suitability for life at the school. The Assessment Day takes place at Wycombe Abbey in the November prior to the proposed year of entry (when your daughter is in Year 6). Candidates will have an individual interview with a senior member of staff and will take part in a small group activity. Your daughter will also sit entrance examinations in English (1 hour) and Mathematics (1 hour). A reference from your daughter’s current school will also be required.
Following the Assessment Day, firm offers will be made in December preceding the year of entry. Firm offers are made on the basis of performance in the entrance examinations, interview and group activity during the Assessment Day. All places must be accepted, and a deposit paid by early March.
13 Plus Entrance Process for Wycombe Abbey:
To be considered for a place at Wycombe Abbey, your daughter must be registered by 1 June in the year prior to entry (when your daughter is in Year 7). Around 20 places are available at 13 plus entry.
Stage 1: Online CAT4 – the first stage is an online Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4). Candidates will need to make arrangements to sit this test at their current school, a recognised test centre in the UK, or at local British Council Office, in early October. A reference from your daughter’s current school will also be requested prior to the CAT4 test. The CAT4 scores and school reference will be reviewed by the Headmistress, Deputy Head (Academic) and Director of Admissions. Selected applicants will be invited to go forward to the second stage of Assessment.
Stage 2: Assessment Day – selected candidates – the second stage is an Assessment Day for selected candidates, which provides your daughter with a taste of life at Wycombe Abbey, whilst enabling the school to assess her academic ability and suitability for life at the school. The Assessment Day takes place at Wycombe Abbey, in the January of the proposed year of entry (when your daughter is in Year 8). Your daughter will have an individual interview with a senior member of staff and will sit entrance examinations. All candidates will take Entrance Examinations. Candidates will choose to sit a) Wycombe Abbey papers or b) Wycombe Abbey Scholarship papers. Candidates will sit papers* in English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, and a Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese). There are also optional papers in Latin and Greek. Following the entrance examinations, firm offers and waiting list offers will be made in January. Scholarships will also be awarded at this point. Firm offers are made on the basis of performance in the entrance exams and Assessment Day. All places must be accepted, and a deposit paid by early March.
*Specimen papers are available on request from the Admissions team after candidates have been invited to stage two. Please email email@example.com.
16 plus Entrance Process for Wycombe Abbey:
Around 250 girls apply for the 20 places that are open to girls wishing to join Wycombe Abbey in the Sixth Form. To be considered for a place at Wycombe Abbey, a pupil must be registered by 1 June in the calendar year prior to entry (end of Year 10, or equivalent). At this stage there is no fee to register.
Stage 1 - Once registered, all candidates, home and international, should arrange to sit a UKiset assessment for Wycombe Abbey. The UK Independent Schools’ Entry Test is an adaptive cognitive online test taken in English and assesses a pupil’s underlying academic ability through Verbal, Non-Verbal and Numerical Tests along with a creative writing exercise and an English Placement Test. The test takes two and a half hours. A valid test should be submitted between January and July (in Year 10, or equivalent). The deadline for receipt of UKiset test results is 31 July. This is a strict deadline.
Read the Keystone Guide to the UKiset
Stage 2- The candidate’s Summer Term report and a summary of co-curricular interests must be submitted by 31 July. The UKiset scores and school report will be reviewed by the Headmistress, Deputy Head (Academic) and Director of Admissions and all applicants will be notified in September whether they are through to Stage 3. Candidates wishing to proceed will now be charged a registration fee.
Stage 3 - Girls who have met their required standard will be invited to take their Sixth Form Entrance examinations at Wycombe Abbey in the November prior to entry (Year 11, or equivalent). A confidential reference and a request for predicted GCSE/IGCSE/GCE grades from the candidate’s current school will also be requested at this stage. During the day, applicants will also have an interview with a senior member of staff, lasting 20 minutes. Girls will sit papers in the four subjects they are proposing to study at A level and the examinations are based on the GCSE syllabuses. Specimen papers are not available. Conditional offers are made on the basis of performance in the Entrance examinations in early December. Acceptance forms and the deposit are due by the second week in December.
Entering Wycombe Abbey via Academic Scholarship
Academic scholarships are available at both 11 plus and 13 plus entry.
Scholarship Examinations 11 plus
No application is required for a Scholarship or Exhibition Award. Following the 11 plus Assessment Day, a small selection of candidates will be invited to take the Wycombe Abbey Scholarship papers. They will sit examination papers in English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities, as well as a Language Aptitude test. The Scholarship examinations are sat at Wycombe Abbey in late January/early February prior to entry, while your child is in Year 6. Specimen papers are not available.
Scholarship Examinations 13 plus
If you would like your daughter to be considered for an Academic Scholarship, she will need to choose the 13 plus Scholarship Examination papers instead of Wycombe Abbey Standard papers during the 13 plus entry assessments in January. Candidates will sit papers in English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies and a Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese (simplified or traditional)). There are also optional papers in Latin and Greek.
Specimen papers are available on request from the Admissions team. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a 16 plus scholarship?
Music scholarships and exhibitions are available for 16 plus candidates.
Does Wycombe Abbey offer any other scholarships?
Music scholarships are available at 11 plus, 13 plus and 16 plus.
More information is available on the Wycombe Abbey website.
What questions does Wycombe Abbey ask at interview?
Like many school interviews the Wycombe Abbey interview seeks to explore the following about each student:
- Family (e.g. What do you like to do on the weekend as a family?)
- School (e.g. What do you most enjoy about your current school?)
- Academic Learning (e.g. What is your favourite subject and why?)
- Reading (e.g. Do you enjoy reading?)
- Extracurricular (e.g. What activities do you get involved in at school outside of the classroom?)
- Hobbies (e.g. What do you do in your spare time at outside of school?)
- Wycombe Abbey (e.g. Why would you like to come to Wycombe Abbey?)
What is the Wycombe Abbey acceptance rate?
Around 300 apply for 80 places at 11 plus (27%), about 160 for 20 places at 13 plus (12.5%) and 190 for 20 places at 16 plus (11%).
Why is Wycombe Abbey so popular?
Wycombe Abbey is highly regarded for their academic results and achievements. In 2021, results were awarded through Teacher Assessed Grades with 94% A*/A at A level. Similarly, at GCSE 99% achieved Grade 9-7. Girls go onto popular universities such as UCL, Imperial College, Kings College London, Edinburgh and they sent 16 girls to Oxbridge is 2021. An increasing number attend premier US universities including University of Chicago, Columbia, Georgetown and Stanford. Consequently, it attracts parents and students with high academic expectations. In our experience, prospective applicants with the following qualities have been competitive candidates in the school’s admissions process:
- an excellent academic record to date
- an enquiring mind and genuine passion for learning
- an ability to think critically about their learning
- an academic confidence and ability to work independently.
Is Wycombe Abbey hard to get into?
Owing to its academic reputation and success Wycombe Abbey attracts a lot of applications and a such the entrance process at 11 plus, 13 plus and 16 plus are very competitive. Consequently, the school can afford to be highly selective, and we have known of instances where strong applicants do not win places. It is important to go into the entrance process with an open and realistic frame of mind.
Psychoanalyst Joan Riviere
Former judge Baroness Butler-Sloss
Lawyer Elsie Bowerman.
Tutors for Wycombe Abbey School Entrance
Keystone has over a decade of experience providing tuition to families who wish to send their children to some of the leading UK independent schools including Wycombe Abbey.
The tutors we work with are experienced in the intricacies of the 13 plus common entrance, the CAT4 and 16 plus entrance to Wycombe Abbey.
For more details on how Keystone can help with preparation for entry to Wycombe Abbey, please call the office for a chat with one of our client managers, or contact us via our request a tutor form.