ISEB Pre-Test

What is the ISEB Pre-Test?

  • The Common Pre-Tests by ISEB (Independent Schools Examinations Board) is an age-standardised measure of children’s ability, attainment and potential
  • For children in Year 6 or Year 7, prior to entry to senior schools
  • Candidates are registered by the senior school for which they have applied to (not by own registration)
  • A further assessment in Year 8 may be required after being offered a place in senior school (Common Entrance Exam or Scholarship exams)
  • Common Pre-Test by ISEB is not the only pre-test available, but is one of the most popular
  • The Pre-Test can be taken at Ampla Education [click for more registration details]

ISEB Pre-Test Format

  • Online and adaptive assessment with multiple-choice questions
  • Comprised of four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Mathematics
  • Duration: around 2.5 hours
  • Usually taken at candidate’s own school/ the senior school for which he or she is entered/ at an independent testing centre
  • Taken between 1 October and 13 June each year

Verbal Reasoning
(36 minutes)

Common words, antonyms, word combinations, letter transfer, number codes

Non-Verbal Reasoning (32 minutes)

Shape analogies, classes, horizontal codes

(25 minutes)

Reading comprehension, sentence completion, spelling and punctuation

(50 minutes)

Assessed on National Curriculum topics taught up to the end of Year 5 in the UK

● The four elements can be taken together or at separate times
● Use of pencil and paper not permitted except for the Maths part
● For each question candidates must select an answer from five choices and press ‘next’ to submit
● Candidates cannot go back to previous questions once he/ she has submitted their response by pressing the ‘next’ button.


  • Available to all senior schools for which the candidate has registered (thus no need for repeated testing)
  • Only one test is taken per academic year
  • If multiple tests are taken in the same year, only the first test result will stand
  • If pre-test is passed, schools may offer a place to the candidate on the condition that they pass the Common Entrance at 13+ / at the end of Year 8
  • Some schools may invite students with high performance in pre-test to enter their next stage of application
  • Competitive senior schools may use the result to de-select candidates

Ampla’s ISEB Pre-Test Prep Courses

Following our initial assessment, students will receive a customised plan based on the following curriculum which is designed to imitate UK school assessments.

Verbal Reasoning

  • Synonyms and antonyms
  • Word combinations
  • Letter transfer
  • Number codes
  • Vocabulary booster
  • Regular quizzes

Non-Verbal Reasoning

  • Shape analogies
  • Pattern sequences
  • Similar classes
  • Horizontal codes


  • Reading comprehension
  • Sentence completion
  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation


  • Key terms
  • Important concepts
  • Required formulae

ISEB Pre-Test Course Highlights

Strategic Plan

A week-by-week study plan specifically designed for you by our UK consultants.

Targeted Approach

Review each topic with a focus on weaker areas, with condensed notes and study materials provided.

Practical Skills

Cover test-taking strategies including time management, making informed guesses and how to handle stress.

Exam Drill

Familiarise with different exam styles/ techniques/ mark schemes through practice papers.

UK Schools Admissions

Ampla's UK Boarding School Admissions Services range from consultation, school selection, applications essays guidance to exam preparation, interview coaching and extra support.

Consulting Services

Admissions Success

Our consultants have helped students gain admission to Badminton, Benenden, Cheltenham Ladies’, Eton, Harrow, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Wellington, Westminster​, Winchester, Wycombe Abbey and more.

UK Boarding School Applications

Entrance Exams

Designed and delivered by Ampla's Oxbridge tutors, our customised courses provide excellent preparation for students taking ISEB pre-test, Common Entrance 11+/ 13+/ 16+ and UKiset.

Exam Prep

Complimentary Consultation

Contact us now to schedule a mock test and arrange a complimentary meeting with our dedicated UK boarding school specialists.