16 Plus (16+) Schools Entrance, Academic Consultancy & Boarding School Entrance
We provide a comprehensive service for seven plus (16+) schools placement and entrance exam preparation including tailored services in Maths, English (Comprehension), Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning subsets. We can also assist with the application procedure as well as school open days and interview advice. An important part of the procedure is not only matching the child to a school where they will thrive academically but moreover to place them where the pupil will be happy and flourish.
What does the 16+ mean?
Otherwise known as the ‘Sixth Form Entry Exams’, the 16 Plus / 16+ exams are part of an application process that students in Year 11 participate in when enrolling for a Sixth Form place. The final two years of secondary school, Sixth Form provides college level education, creating a pathway to gaining the qualifications for a successful University application. Engaging your child with the 16+ exams can be a big step to enrolling them in a new school, providing them with opportunities for further study and self-growth. Sixth Form is a place for students to study for advanced school-level qualifications, including the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or A Levels. Sixth Form follows the GCSEs that are taken in Year 11 and is commonly referred to as Years 12 and 13. Examinations are sat at the end of Year 13, similarly to college students who take the majority of their exams during their second year. The 16 Plus / 16+ entry involves a collection of data and reports to determine whether your child is the right fit for the Sixth Form they have applied for. Close to every UK Independent school holds their own 16+ entrance examinations, but the exams in isolation do not make the application as a whole. Predicted GCSE grades, a personal statement, a school reference and previous school reports will be requested upon application. Conditional offers are commonly made upon the expectation that students minimum GCSE grades are met according to subject specific criteria. It is useful to note that as is common with other school applications academic performance in entrance exams will be prioritised during the decision-making process, with consideration of your child’s reports and personal strengths also playing a part in influencing the ultimate decision.
Why change schools for Sixth Form?
Changing schools for Sixth Form opens up many opportunities for learners that may otherwise be missed by staying with the same school. Personal development is a major outcome from moving schools, enabling your child to make new friends, create new professional relationships and become accustomed to a change in environment. These factors can all enable/ ease the transition to University study, as your child will be familiar with stepping outside of their comfort zone, embracing change. Students from single-sex schools may choose to attend a co-ed Sixth Form to help establish a better sense of the community that they will participate in after their schooling education, encouraging greater socialisation and communication skills. Moving to a larger school can enable a wider-range of academic subjects, influencing their Higher Education pathways and possible career-routes. A larger school may also have a wider diversity of extra-curricular clubs, again encouraging personal development of skills and interests.
Useful application dates and time management:
It is important to be aware of specific academic calendar dates for your child’s 16+ application. Effectively planning out a schedule for your child’s Year 11 school year can help to ensure that your child is balancing preparations for their GCSEs as well as their 16+ application and accompanying exams. Your child will also need to prepare a strong personal statement, detailing why they have chosen their intended school, why they have chosen to pursue their chosen subjects and what their strengths as an individual are. They will also need to consider the interview process (more on this below).
Registration: Applications for 16+ must be made in September of Year 11, with overseas students often required to apply sooner.
Exams and Interview: The 16+ exams and accompanying interviews usually take place in October and November of Year 11.
Results: Learners receive results concerning their application in December of Year 11, meaning the process takes on average four months in total.
What content is in the 16+ exams?
The content of your child’s 16+ exams will be dependent on their chosen progression subject areas. The requirements will be dependent on the individual schools, but it is standard that prospective students will either be asked to sit exam papers from their intended progression Sixth Form subjects, sit English and Maths papers alongside one or two other subjects or sit a CAT4 test. The exams will normally consist of papers written by your child’s selected school and will usually adhere to the GCSE Syllabus. Specific requirements will be listed by the appropriate school.
What is a CAT4 test?
CAT (Cognitive Ability Test) is used in schools to establish a students Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Spatial Ability. It is used by some independent schools to assess candidate’s academic ability, alongside their academic potential and was made by GL Assessment.
What is the pass mark?
It is important to remember that Sixth Forms often have limited spaces available and greater numbers of applicants than they can take on. Pass marks vary from year to year, dependent on the specific school, but conditional offers are dependent on your child securing the GCSE grades that they are predicted to attain, making it invaluable for your child to focus on both their 16+ exams and their GCSE exams to secure a place.
How do I prepare my child for the 16+ exams?
When prepping for the 16+ exams it is important to plan ahead. This means in the early months of Year 10 (February/ March) your child should know what subject areas they would like to pursue and what school they intend to aim apply to. Reading information about your chosen subject (A Level/ IB) and researching information such as module titles, past papers and term outlines can enable you to make an informed decision and create a revision scheme around this. Revising independently, in a study group and with a personal tutor can enable you to effectively learn the content that you will need for your 16+ exams, without overloading your mind and negating your preparations for your GCSEs; finding a balance is key here. Begin practice paperwork in the months before you begin Year 11. This will enable your child to use their time off efficiently, familiarising themselves with the style of questions that they will need to answer and working to the relevant time restraints; remember, the past papers you revise should be in keeping with your chosen A Level/ IB subjects.
What should my child include in their personal statement?
Select schools will task candidates with writing a personal statement, covering the reasons that they have chosen their respective school. The school may also require the student to record how they believe they would make a good fit with the school, describing what they have to offer the school (personal strengths, skills, knowledge). The personal statement is a useful outlet to communicate why your child has chosen their intended subject areas, providing an opportunity for them to communicate their personal interests and passions. The school want to know what about your child, not just as a prospective student, but as another person that will be joining their community. Long-term aspirations including University, careers and apprenticeships are useful to detail; this can help the school establish whether they are the right fit for your child. A typical personal statement can range from 250 to 500 words (approximately) and will be written in a formal tone (using correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, tone of voice).
How do I prepare my child for their interview?
Alongside securing the necessary grades in their 16+ exams and their predicted GCSEs, students will be expected to offer two years of school reports, a confidential reference from their current school, a personal statement detailing why they want to attend their desired school and participate in an interview (most commonly with the head of their intended school). Schools will be interested in getting to know your child, asking them questions about their intended progression route, their interests in their selected subjects and why they have chosen their relevant school. Schools are looking for students who demonstrate an ability to communicate their thoughts confidently and with a passion for learning. Showing a genuine interest in furthering their education will show your child’s selected school that they are passionate about engaging with learning, presenting an exciting and valuable candidate. Having some words to say about what you hope to achieve during your time at the school also demonstrates ambition and the ability to think ahead. The school may ask your child some abstract questions surrounding their experiences in life so far and their perspectives on world issues, so maintaining knowledge on current affairs (such as politics, environmental issues and societal inequalities) will demonstrate to the school that they are looking to participate not just within the school, but in society as a whole. If your child has any particular musical, sporting or creative strengths then this is the perfect time to share them. A question such as “What can you tell us about yourself?” is a prime time to explore your talents and skills; tell the interviewer what you can offer the school.
Sixteen Plus KS5 tutoring
Mayfair Consultants offers at-home, one-on-one private tuition in a wide variety of subjects at 16 Plus KS5 as a whole to clients living across the London area and online, preparing students for secondary school. We will help with understanding content outlined in syllabi, gaining specific skills required to effectively tackle the questions and how to score on the examinations. Our fully-qualified 16 Plus tutors are experienced and skilled specialists, with many holding postgraduate degrees (Master’s and PhD) in specific subjects you want to focus on. They offer clear, concise explanations and stimulating approaches, helping to support the needs of every student.
If you would like to arrange KS5 / 16+ tutoring, schools entrance consultancy or enquire about our schools placement service in England as well as independent schools entrance tests please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.