The Entrance Exam

To gain a place in the Grammar Stream, pupils must pass an 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 to ensure they do not take time out from their education.  

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 spend an hour being tested online.  Pupils will be tested on:

  • Verbal Reasoning Test: thinking with words 
  • Quantitative Reasoning Test: thinking with numbers 
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning Test: thinking with shapes and space

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. CAT's are not testing childrens' knowledge and understanding as a maths or English exam might, so they can not 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.

The date of the Entrance Exam is Saturday 30th April 2022; the timings (subject to confirmation) are below.

  • 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.

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.  Children will only be invited to sit the exam if their parents have accepted a place at Swindon Academy and registered their interest in the Grammar Stream on our website.  The invite to sit the entrance exam will be emailed to parents approximately one weeks prior to the exam. 


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

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