Exam Preparation

Exam preparation covered at YES


  • Infant (or pre-prep) / Key Stage 1: School Years—Nursery; Reception; 1; 2
  • Junior (or preparation) / Key Stage 2: School Years 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • 4/7/8+ School Entry Exams and Assessments

Most preparatory schools in London require students (age 6 or 7) to come to the school to take a written exam usually in January prior to the desired entry year.  At YES we appreciate that these children are very young. Care and attention is given to the fact that the children need to feel confident and at ease with the process, as well as mastering the required levels of English and Maths (including verbal and non-verbal reasoning). A supportive and nurturing approach to teaching is most essential at this phase.

11+ Exams

Grammar schools use this exam to select children for admission in Year 7, the first year of secondary school. Most independent day schools (with an age 11 intake or starting point) set their own form of the 11+ usually in January prior to the desired entry year.   Most school entry exams at age 11 involve Maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.  It is always recommended that parents contact the school to understand the format of the exam for that year, as they can change from year to year.

What are the differences between GL assessment and CEM? 
The 11+ tests used by secondary schools to help decide which pupils to select are often written by either Granada Learning (GL) or CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring). This blog provides an insight into the differences between these exam boards and outline how best to prepare for each 11+ test. It is also important to recognise that the exam boards can alter the question types each year and these examinations are about testing your child’s academic skills, rather than teaching to test.

Follow the link to learn more about the differences between the CEM and GL 11+ exam boards:


Common Entrance Exams

Common Entrance exams for senior independent schools can be set for admission at age 11 or 13.  These papers are set centrally by the Independent Schools Examinations Board.  At age 11 Common Entrance is usually limited to Maths, English, & Science.  The 13+ papers cover the full range of subjects.

Scholarship Exams

The scholarship exam is a more challenging version of the Common Entrance exam and designed to identify the most able students.  Those who pass the scholarship exam receive a fee reduction known as a scholarship.

SATS Exams

Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) take place at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2.  For Key Stage 1 (Year 2) they take place around Easter time and for the end of Key Stage 2  (Years 6) they are usually in May.  They cover the main core subjects of English and Maths.