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Eton College


School Name: Eton College
Description: Independent Boarding School for Boys
Acceptance Ages: 13+


Eton College is an independent boarding school for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. Founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor, Eton College is the 18th-oldest Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference school.

Eton College is one of the most prestigious schools in the world, has educated prime ministers, world leaders, Nobel laureates and members of the aristocracy. It is referred to as “the chief nurse of England’s statesmen”.

Boys study a wide variety of subjects, including English, Mathematics, Latin, Science, two modern languages, divinity, geography, history, music, art, drama, PE, ICT and design.

The co-curricular programme includes about fifty societies and clubs on offer which cover a range of interests and are largely run by boys. Some of them have been in existence for many years such as the African society, Alexander Cozens (Art), Amnesty, the Archeological Club, Astronomy, Banks, the Caledonian Club, the Comedy Club, the Debating Club, Design, Entrepreneurship, Henry Fielding, the Law club, Sports, the Tech Club, Theatre, and many others.

Eton College is academically selective, demanding a high level of ability from applicants, while character and attitude are also taken in consideration with the capacity to contribute to the life on campus and to the warmth of the community as a whole.

Open Events for Eton College 13 Plus (13+) Entry

The school’s seasonal programme of guided tours focuses on the historic heart of Eton College, held from April to August on Friday afternoons for 90 minutes.

The fee is £10 per person with additional booking fee. The tours are not suitable for children under 7 years old. You can pay a discounted half price if you have a RBWM yellow advantage card.

Individuals and small groups of up to six people are welcome, since the school is unable to accommodate larger groups.

Security searches will take place before tours begin and visitors with large bags won’t be admitted.

Eton College 13 Plus (13+) Admissions

The school is highly selective and operates under strict deadlines. The admissions process starts with registration, which should be completed any time up to June in Year 5.

As part of the registration, your son’s unabridged birth certificate will be requested. The process also requires a payment of a non-refundable registration fee of £400 (subject to change).

Note that the school will not process incomplete applications.

In Stage 1, in the Autumn term of Year 6, applicants will sit the ISEB Common Pre-Tests (October or November) and a report will be requested from the applicant’s current-school Head Teacher.

The test is standardised and age-appropriate, measuring applicant’s ability and attainment. It lasts two and a half hours. Following the Pre-Tests and the report, boys who perform well will go forward to Stage 2.

Stage 2 takes place in the Spring and Summer terms of Year 6, will be an interview, an online test (similar to CEM Select) and a writing task. Upon arrival, your child will be photographed, in case he is admitted.

Applicants will be asked to complete a questionnaire, which will be used by the schoolmaster during the interview. It typically contains generic questions such as:

-What is your favourite sport?
-Which sports teams do you represent?
-At what level is your current musical ability?

During the formal interview, the schoolmaster asks questions based on the questionnaire, such as:

-Why do you prefer a boarding school?
-Why do you wish to be admitted to Eton?
-Is the school your choice or your family’s?
-What are your hobbies?
-Which are your favourite subjects and why?
-Which book are you currently reading?
-What is your favourite book?
-Who is your favourite author and why?
-Are you introverted or extroverted? Why do you think so?
-Did you perform in a play at school or outside?

Successful applicants at Stage 2 will be offered a Conditional Place, confirmed by passing the King’s Scholarship, Common Entrance or Eton Entrance examinations at the age of 12/13 in Year 8.

Parents and boys with a Conditional Place will be invited for a visit to find a suitable boarding house during the first and second terms of Year 7.

There will be a required payment of acceptance fee for a Conditional Place. If you are in need of financial assistance, you should apply for a bursary upon receipt of a Conditional Place offer.

Eton College has a large budget available for scholarships and bursaries. Scholarships are merit awards and usually secure a fee reduction of 10%, regardless of the boy’s financial backgrounds.

Means-tested bursaries are awarded when determined that parents/guardians aren’t able to pay the full fees. An independent company assesses finances during a home visit and makes a recommendation to the school.

In a typical year, around 250 pupils receive a means-tested bursary with reduction in fees of 67% (avg) and around 90 students pay no fees at all.

For more information about scholarships and bursaries, please visit the school’s website.

Eton College 13 Plus (13+) Exam Format

13+ entry requires all applicants to sits exams in two stages of the examination process:

  • Stage 1: ISEB Pretest
  • Stage 2: online predictive test of academic ability and potential + a writing task and interview

The Stage 1 entry exam (ISEB Pretest) evaluates applicant’s ability in skills such as numeracy, problem solving and vocabulary, with emphasis on how they think and how they will respond to the curriculum. The test consists of modules testing Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

The Stage 2 examination, sometimes referred to as the Eton List Test, is computer-based, covering 3 broad areas:

-Mathematics, including time zone challenges etc.
-English, including an essay full of errors on each line, with the text moving up at a rapid pace. The errors need to be corrected before the lines disappear.
-Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning

Eton provide the following information about this test:

“This test was developed by cognitive testing experts at Cambridge University, and is unique to Eton. Specimens are not available for practice. It measures each individual boy’s innate reasoning ability and it is predictive (i.e. not based on current knowledge).

The test is for 60 minutes and up to 16 boys may take it at a time. Each boy uses an individual workstation, and should not be distracted by anything appearing on adjacent screens.

Applicants use a mouse to respond to questions and puzzles appearing on the screen and will be asked to type a few lines of text. Applicants are guided sympathetically into the test, and before the start they are given instructions on screen and an opportunity to practise with the mouse, simulating the responses they will be asked to make in the Test.

The paper contains a very large bank of questions, and no boy has yet answered them all. Timed sections do close down, and applicants have a constant indication of how much time remains in the current section. The aim is to get as many correct questions as possible. Applicants are not advised to dwell much on any single question and move on. Applicants can change answers as long as the question is still on screen. Answers are not recorded until he moves on to the next question or the time for that question runs out.

Writing tasks are also present in the online test. Applicants are expected to write an essay covering a specific topic, i.e. “Is the world a better place without rules?” with a given time limit that is relatively short.

Please see below our recommended packs to help prepare your child for the Eton College 13+ entrance exam.

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