The Academic Scholarship Examinations of top private schools are tough and competitive, as each school is trying to whittle down the very best candidates of its applicant pool.
They can take place at 11+ or 13+ ages, and can be means-tested Bursary Scholarships (up to a 100% discount) or ordinary Academic Scholarships (where discounts usually vary from 10-50%, according to the ranking of the student in the exams). Some schools differentiate their Academic Scholarships by referring to the top awards as ‘Scholarships’ and then having ‘Academic Exhibitions‘ below them.
Those who fail to be awarded a scholarship upon entry may have opportunities to gain ‘Honorary Academic Scholarships‘ by achieving a certain score in their GCSEs. These financial awards tend to be less significant.
Many 11+ and 13+ Scholarship examinations will require knowledge of Key Stage 3 concepts and, in the case of 13+ exams, may even touch on limited areas of the GCSE syllabus in some subjects.
Preparation for these examinations is key; whether they are 11+ or 13+ examinations, an accelerated 12-18 months of learning in advance of the examinations is recommended, in order to give the best possible chance of success.
Some schools utilise standard Academic Scholarship papers, such as the ISEB Common Academic Scholarship, whereas other schools produce their own, in-house, scholarship papers. Having a tutor who knows the examination format of the schools for which your child is applying is very important in ensuring preparation is targeted and efficient.
Please find a sample of our past papers by following this link.
For some schools, Academic Scholars have certain commitments expected of them, such as the attendance of some academic societies. It is worth investigating the ‘scholarly duties’ that come with the acquisition of a scholarship, in advance of deciding to pursue this route.
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