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, before they are invited to take part in the Grammar Stream Entrance Exam. 

You will receive an invitation for your child to attend the exam after the Easter Holidays which you need to reply to. 

The Entrance Exam enables us to accurately determine your son/daughter’s academic potential. Pupils will sit the Entrance Exam at Swindon Academy* on Saturday 13 May 2023. We choose a weekend to ensure pupils do not take time out from their education. The timings of the day (subject to confirmation) are:

  • 10.00am    Arrival and registration
  • 11.20am    Exam ends
  • 11.30am    Parents collect child(ren)

We suggest that your child brings a cold drink with them in a plain bottle and a book 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.

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. 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.

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