01793 426 900

The Entrance Exam

To gain a place in the Grammar Stream, pupils must pass an Entrance Exam.  The Entrance Exam, set in conjunction with Marlborough College, enables us to accurately determine your son/daughter’s academic potential.  


Pupils sit the Entrance Exam on a Saturday morning to ensure they do not take time out from their education.  Pupils sit three tests, with breaks in-between, to demonstrate three key predictors of their ability. 


The Entrance Exam is made up of Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) to examine general intelligence. The tests are designed to assess a pupil’s ability in three key areas.  On the day of the Entrance Exam, pupils will take three CAT tests, with a 15 minute break in-between each test. The tests are taken online at a PC in one of our IT suites. The tests are as follows:


  • Verbal Reasoning Test: thinking with words (45 minutes)
  • Quantitative Reasoning Test: thinking with numbers (45 minutes)
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning Test: thinking with shapes and space. (45 minutes)


The Entrance Exams will take place at Swindon Academy’s Beech Avenue site (address below*) on Saturday 1st April 2017 from 9.45 - 12.45.  Children will need to be registered at 09:45am and will be ready for collection at 12.45pm.  The morning will be organised as follows:


  • 09.45 – 09.55     Registration
  • 10:00 – 10:45     Verbal Reasoning Test
  • 10:45 – 11:00     Break and refreshments
  • 11:00 – 11:45     Quantitative Reasoning Test
  • 11:45 – 12:00     Break and refreshments
  • 12:00 – 12:45     Non-Verbal Reasoning Test


We understand that parents will be keen to help their child to prepare for the tests.  The tests are designed to be taken without any revision or preparation so they can assess a child’s potential in his or her ability to reason.  CATs are not testing children's knowledge and understanding as a maths or English exam might, so they can't ‘learn’ how to answer the questions.  The best advice we can give parents is that their child should read good quality fiction and non-fiction books regularly, and that they should work hard to master their times tables and mental arithmetic skills. 


Please remember, legally your child is not allowed to sit the exam unless you have accepted a place at Swindon Academy.  If you have already confirmed Swindon Academy as your first preference, registered for the exam and completed the early application form, then you need do no more. Final details of the exam will be sent to you.


If Swindon Academy is not currently your first preference, you have until Monday 13th March 2017 to change your preference by contacting Swindon Borough Council’s admissions department.


If you have not yet registered your child to sit the entrance exam you can do so here


* Swindon Academy, Beech Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1JR


Swindon Academy, Beech Avenue, SN2 1JR

Tel:            01793 426900        Fax:   01793 426901

Email:      admin@swindon-academy.org  

Reception Opening Times

8am - 7:45pm Term Time

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