The Entrance Exam

Pupils who would like to join the Grammar Stream in Year 7 must have been offered – and accepted – their place at Swindon Academy Secondary Phase, before they are invited to take part in the Grammar Stream Entrance Exam.

The Entrance Exam enables us to accurately determine your son/daughter’s academic potential. Pupils sit the Entrance Exam on a Saturday morning (usually in April), at Swindon Academy*. We choose the weekend to ensure pupils do not take time out from their education. 

The Entrance Exam is an automated online assessment called a cognitive ability test. It is designed to measure, as far as possible, ability and aptitude for learning rather than achievement. We strongly advise against practising before the assessment, and we do not provide nor recommend any practice materials. No extra work or tutoring is required.

Each section of the assessment will include introductory information with examples that allow students to familiarise with the style and format of questions, so they should take their time on these. The examples are not timed, and repeats are permitted. Questions will cover:

  • Vocabulary test
  • Maths test
  • Proof-reading – exercises on spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Perceptual Speed & Accuracy – comparing strings of letters, numbers and symbols
  • Non-verbal reasoning – exercises looking at cross-sections, block counting and pictures

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. 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.

The timings (subject to confirmation) are:

  • 10.00am    Registration
  • 11.20am    Exam ends
  • 11.25am    Parents collect child(ren)

We suggest that your child brings a cold drink with them in a plain bottle, in case they get thirsty during the exam, and a book to read in case they finish the exam early.  If this happens they will need to read quietly until the exam is formally concluded for all candidates.

Please remember, legally your child is not allowed to sit the exam unless you have accepted a place at Swindon Academy, which you are only able to do once you have been offered Swindon Academy as your child's secondary school.  The invite to sit the entrance exam will be emailed to parents approximately one week prior to the exam. 

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


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