How to prepare for common entrance exams

Written by jeffery keilholtz
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How to prepare for common entrance exams
Common Entrance Exams prepare preteens for private school. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Established in 1904 in England, Common Entrance Examinations are required tests for students between the ages of 11 and 13 interested in entering a private preparatory school or academy. Common Entrance Exams test students on basic knowledge, functions and skills. The exam is mandatory for eight out of every ten prep schools in England. Passing the Common Entrance Exam is also necessary for attending the secondary school of your choice.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Application
  • Fee
  • Books
  • Study materials

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  1. 1

    Prepare the application. Submit the application and fee on time. Submissions for various Common Entrance Exam tests must be submitted prior to October 1st, December 1st or March 1st -- depending on the time of year when the student will take the test. Whether taking the exam modified for an 11 or 13 year old, the fee for taking the entire test is £104. The fee for undergoing an exam in only one academic area is £15.

  2. 2

    Study foreign languages. Concentrate on Latin and Greek. Review grammatical rules, structure and vocabulary. Memorise verbs, nouns and adjectives and prepare to translate basic Latin or Greek sentences into English. Latin and Greek are standard foreign languages on the Common Entrance Exam in which student's test their comprehension.

  3. 3

    Examine religious doctrines and history. Grasp Biblical knowledge. Prepare to answer questions related to Christianity and other religions associated with historical or modern day England. Become competent in religious ethical codes, philosophies and practices. Anticipate writing short form responses to questions regarding religious practices and their role in British society.

  4. 4

    Learn basic concepts in fundamental subjects. Study rules and facts related to history, English, mathematics, geography and science. Visit the Independent Schools Examinations Board website. Purchase study aids and materials through the Independent Schools Examinations Board for up to date learning tools related to current versions of the test. Knowledge on the arts and music are not tested on the Common Entrance Exam.

Tips and warnings

  • As of February, 2011, according to The Independent, Common Entrance Exams may soon be eliminated due to their narrow focus on testing basic knowledge and not assessing a student's specific talents or creativity. Check with school administrators to verify if the Common Entrance Exam is used in your school or school district.

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