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Eastbourne College England


Commissioned by the Independent School Examination Board, and designed by GL assessment. The Pre-Test has been created as an age standardised test of ability and is currently the most widely accepted Pre-Test used by independent schools.

The test is part of the entry process into Britain’s top senior schools. It can only be taken once, and if taken again, the first result will still stand.

The test is 2.5 hours in total and takes place either at the student’s current school or the school they are applying to. It is an adaptive multiple-choice examination, meaning the questions the student answers will change depending on how difficult they are finding the test. The more they get right, the harder the questions will become, and vice versa. As a result, no two students will sit the same test.

The Pre-Test is made up of 4 individual parts:

  • Non-Verbal Reasoning (solving problems using pictures, diagrams and patterns)

  •  Verbal Reasoning (the ability to work with words and language)

  •  Mathematics (working with numbers, value, and sequences)

  •  English skills (sentence completion, vocabulary, reading comprehension and spelling).


The tests can be taken together or separately, but once a section has been started, it must be completed.

  • English - 25 minutes

  • Maths – 50 minutes

  • Verbal reasoning - 36 minutes

  • Non-verbal reasoning – 32 minutes

Students take the exam when they are either in year 6 (the year they turn 11) or occasionally in year 7 (the year they turn 12).


Senior schools which use the Common Pre-Tests

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