Welcome to our Common entrance private school test practice prep – We hope you find Mosaic Fit’s skills article useful.

Common entrance private school entrance exam materials

Here are some sample ISEB pre-test materials for your 13+ GL-Style Practice and also some ISEB Pretest Workbooks.




Want to know which local prep schools use the ISEB Common Pretest for entry ? If so, then you can click here to search.

ISEB Pre Tests Parents Guide

Maths ISEB Revision Guide

Welcome to our

Free private school entrance guides

These include the traditional common entrance exam , the more recent ISEB pre-tests and our private school interview tips.

Private school entrance exams children around ipad

ISEB common entrance exams 

There are often stories of disappointment from people allocated inappopriate schools. Or even unacceptable for their child. There are various reasons that this may happen. Although, it’s often because parents did not:

  • Grasp the admission criteria for their chosen schools.
  • Comprehend the process of allocating schools – the Equal Preference System.

It really should not happen that children lose out on school places. Certainly, not because their school preferences were entered incorrectly on the CAF (Common Application Form). Often this happens because parents listen to a headteacher or teacher.

Our video explaining what private schools look for?

FREE 11+ pre-tests resources

Our free CEM 11+ practice papers.

Here are four pre-test familiarisation practice test links provided by the main provider, ISEB:

  • Maths ISEB free practice.
  • ISEB Verbal Reasoning free practice.
  • English ISEB Pre-Test practice.
  • ISEB Non-Verbal Reasoning familiarisation.

ISEB Common Entrance Exams

  • ISEB, or the Independent School Examination Board, provides sets of Common Pre-tests for senior school students in year 6 or 7, when the students are aged 10 to 12.
  • While candidates who are aged 6 take the 11+ Common Entrance Exam, those who are aged 8 years take the 13+ Common Entrance Exam for admittance to the senior school of their choice.
  • The ISEB tests are considered entrance tests for students by many prep or senior schools and the marks achieved therein help students to gain admittance to independent schools.
  • As these tests are age-standardised exams, students start to prepare for them at a very young age in readiness for joining their senior school.
  • ISEB tests are held online by the school administration in which the pupil currently studies. They include multiple choice questions in English, mathematics, non-verbal and verbal reasoning.
  • As it is the responsibility of the senior school students to inform the parents about the Common Pre-tests, parents do not need to register.
  • The ISEB is taken once a year for those children applying to several senior schools.

Private School Admissions

Visiting the Admissions page for the relevant schools will help you understand the procedures each private school in London uses for admission and you will be able to see:

  • which forms of assessment is used
  • whether it is a day or boarding school
  • whether it is coeducational, a boys school or a girls school

Navigating each private school in London’s website will also provide information regarding:

  • school fees
  • religious affiliation
  • assistance such as scholarships and bursaries
  • religious affiliation
  • age range at each school
  • special education

Preparing Your Child for a Selective School You Tube video

Contacting each private school

It is still highly recommended to get in contact with each of the private schools in London that made it onto your shortlist and visit them on their relevant open days. It is also important for you and your child to get a feel for the school and make sure that your child is part of this process. You might also find my blog on School Open Days very informative and helpful.

Which Common Entrance Exam?

The Common Entrance Test papers are distributed by ISEB’s Galore Park. These common entrance exams are titled the 11+ Entrance Test and the 13+ Entrance Test.

The 11+ Common Entrance Test is conducted by senior schools in the United Kingdom in order to assess the eligibility of the candidate to enter the respective senior school. The test is held in year 6, during the spring or autumn. The subjects for the 11+ entrance exam are English, mathematics and science. The exam is at one level only.

One set of parents were advised to put the comprehensive school as high as possible on the form if they wanted a chance of getting a place. The Headteacher was under the impression that if the child qualified for grammar school; the comprehensive school will automatically be ignored. She was wrong.

Private London school admissions policies

This page focuses on private independent senior schools and their Admission criteria, for your child or for yourself.

Independent/private schools are spread out over London. These schools are fee-paying. Private schools are run by governors and independent of many regulations that apply to state schools. Subsequently, the biggest of these regulations that they are independent of is the National Curriculum.

London is not only the capital of the United Kingdom but also probably seen as an educational hub for UK students and students from all over the world. Many aspire to get into some of the best universities in the world from here and find that private school education is the best way to prepare for their academic future.

The best way to search for school options is to have a look at the schools in the area and work from there. You can then find the Website and Admissions pages for these schools on this page and the link below.

Private Secondary School Websites (London)

As each private school manages its own admission procedures, these vary greatly. Most private schools are however academically selective and even those that aren’t, require an interview to see whether your child would fit into their particular school environment.

For academically selective schools various forms of assessment can be used either at 11+ or 13+. These may include Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-verbal Reasoning and exams on various other subjects.

The only solution for the parent was to go on to the waiting lists for both grammar schools. To hope that a place would become available at one of the. Or to fight an over-subscription appeal for both schools. Luckily, on this occasion, a place came up at the local, catchment grammar school in the second round of allocations.

As the example above shows, even experienced professionals can give incorrect advice, despite their best intentions.

In many areas of the country, the CAF allows you to express up to six preferences. This is generally sufficient for most parents. However, in certain areas, there are only three spaces on the CAF, and completing the form presents considerable challenges.

The golden rule for completing the CAF is that you should always put the schools in your real order of preference.


Remember when completing the CAF:

  1. If your child is taking the 11+, list all your preferred grammar schools above any other type of schools.
  2. Be realistic. If a certain grammar school is 15 miles away then don’t list it as a preference. Although if you live only 8-9 miles away, take a chance.
  3. Your last preference school should be your ultimate fallback if all else fails. Therefore, make sure it is still a school that will be acceptable. Plus, one that your child is certain to get a place.
  4. Keep a copy of your CAF (print the online version or make a copy of the form signed and dated version). You will be very glad if you decide to appeal. Then need to prove what you filled in.
  5. Get proof that your application form has been sent. Take a screenshot or send it by recorded mail. You can even phone the local authority a few days later to confirm.
  6. If you have any questions – ASK. You only have one opportunity to apply for secondary school places. So make sure you do it right.
  7. If your child does not get a place at any of your listed preferences, your home local authority will allocate your child a place. Check carefully with your local Admissions Department. Or with the School Choice Advisers.


11 Plus English Test Type 1

Practice examples of four different types of verbal reasoning tests are provided below. The first type consists of a single sentence containing a word in brackets. Replace this word with the most viable alternative. Select the multiple-choice option closest in meaning to the word in italics.

1) My brother’s complacency has always irritated his friends, neighbours and colleagues.

  1. A) nosiness
  2. B) ostentation
  3. C) neglect
  4. D) cockiness
  5. E) smugness

2)  The ascetic hermit dwelled in a hut on the mountain top.

  1. A) austere
  2. B) religious
  3. C) penitent
  4. D) reclusive
  5. E) indigent

3)   The foreign tourists found the locals to be extremely amiable.

  1. A) gracious
  2. B) friendly
  3. C) curious
  4. D) suspicious
  5. E) polite

4)      Parents of pupils complained because they felt that the teacher was too lenient.

  1. A) demanding
  2. B) strict
  3. C) tolerant
  4. D) negligent
  5. E) informal

5)   The King filled his Court with sycophants and fops.

  1. A) courtiers
  2. B) flatterers
  3. C) loyalists
  4. D) advisers
  5. E) dandies

6) On the flight to New York, he sat next to a very garrulous woman.

  1. A) sullen
  2. B) attractive
  3. C) convivial
  4. D) loud
  5. E) talkative

7)  The Tutor praised his students’ perspicacious comments.

  1. A) intelligent
  2. B) insightful
  3. C) critical
  4. D) scholarly
  5. E) technical

8)    At the school assembly, the Headmaster sternly declared “Honesty is a tenet of this institution”.

  1. A) rule
  2. B) principle
  3. C) tradition
  4. D) anathema
  5. E) virtue

9)   The initiates participated in esoteric rituals at the midnight ceremony.

  1. A) ancient
  2. B) religious
  3. C) traditional
  4. D) secret
  5. E) solemn

10)   Investing in the nuclear power industry proved to be the entrepreneur’s most astute decision.

  1. A) calculated
  2. B) risky
  3. C) controversial
  4. D) lucrative
  5. E) shrewd

11+ English Test Type 2

Verbal reasoning tests may also take the form of analogies. Here the respondent’s vocabulary and knowledge of simple verbal relationships are being tested. Some examples of this type of verbal reasoning test practice are given below. Therefore, interpret the meaning that connects the word shown in large type on the left-hand side.

11)     SPIDER          web


  1. water
  2. egg
  3. feathers
  4. burrow
  5. barn

12)      BOOK             library


  1. gallery
  2. frame
  3. easel
  4. canvas
  5. shop

13)    PAPER             ream


  1. tin
  2. brush
  3. tray
  4. litre
  5. acrylic

14)   BOAT                water


  1. petrol
  2. road
  3. convertible
  4. engine
  5. tyres

15)   ANIMALS              hybrid


  1. mixture
  2. alloy
  3. compound
  4. blend
  5. element

16)   ENTER                lathe


  1. forge
  2. metal
  3. iron
  4. anvil
  5. plinth

17)   FATHOMLESS              deep


  1. short
  2. large
  3. small
  4. long
  5. narrow

18)   LETTER                envelope


  1. hilt
  2. sheath
  3. weapon
  4. blade
  5. dagger

19)   DECLINE                ascent


  1. liberate
  2. acquit
  3. innocent
  4. prisoner
  5. release

20)   WORDS                sentence


  1. paragraph
  2. chapter
  3. phrases
  4. letters
  5. book

21)   INTRODUCTION             conclusion


  1. preface
  2. monologue
  3. epilogue
  4. eulogy
  5. finale

22)   DROUGHT                rain


  1. draw
  2. progress
  3. hindrance
  4. cessation
  5. inequality

23)   WORD                abbreviate


  1. edit
  2. abridge
  3. shorten
  4. amend
  5. compress

24)   PROXY                vote


  1. punishment
  2. blame
  3. trouble
  4. criticism
  5. censure

25)   PEANUT                shell


  1. skin
  2. husk
  3. rind
  4. pith
  5. pod

26)   BICYCLE                tandem


  1. speech
  2. monologue
  3. dialogue
  4. duet
  5. sequel

27)   WAX                wane


  1. diminish
  2. improve
  3. provoke
  4. exacerbate
  5. irritate

28)   CHESS                board


  1. arena
  2. kit
  3. pitch
  4. grass
  5. sport

29)   BIBLIOPHILE                book


  1. coins
  2. wine
  3. stamps
  4. dolls
  5. art

30)   FLAX                linen


  1. grain
  2. cereal
  3. flour
  4. bread
  5. sheaf

11+ English Test Type 3

Verbal tests may also take the form of antonyms. Some examples of this type of verbal reasoning test practice are given below. Select the multiple-choice option that is the opposite in meaning to the word shown in bold print.

31) mean:                   A                     B                    C                    D                     E

generous       average              miser              median            good

32) sincere:                A                     B                    C                     D                     E

faithful          hypocritical        genuine         suspicious         unkind

33) evergreen:           A                    B                     C                     D                     E

myrtle              flower            deciduous          fern                yellow

34) irresponsible:      A                    B                     C                     D                     E

mischievous     independent      diplomatic      dependablemanager

35) nationalisation:   A                    B                     C                     D                     E

democracy         oligopoly          coalition         trains            privatisation

36) inauspicious:      A                     B                     C                     D                     E

lucky               auspices         bachelor         mutinous      inarticulate

37) pessimism:          A                     B                     C                     D                     E

pesticide         optimism           prototype         positive          socialism

38) innocuous:          A                      B                     C                     D                     E

vaccinate         amicable            harmful          ostensible       effusive

39) benevolent:          A                     B                      C                     D                    E

kind             empirical         demagogue     uncharitable      eminent

40) altruistic:              A                      B                      C                     D                   E

bird                 helpful            unhelpful          altitude           selfish


Our 11 plus English test practice.

11+ English Test Type 4

Verbal tests may also take the form of selecting the odd word out from a group of words. Some examples of this type of verbal reasoning test practice are given below. Identify the common connection between four of the five words. Choose the multiple-choice option corresponding to the odd word out.

41)                 magenta          cyan                cerise              turpentine      turquoise

42)                 sole                  haddock          salmon           trout               frog

43)                 damp                wet                  water             moist              saturated

44)                 staff                  personnel        employees     workforce      managers

45)                 jester                comedian        comedy          clown            comedian

46)                 fax                    computer         letter              memo            email

47)                 hexagon           polygon            pentagon      octagon          square

48)                 squid                cockle               mussel         crab                winkle

49)                 trophy               medal               prize             gift                  reward

50)                 cask                  beer                  bottle           can                 barrel

Reasoning test practice

Common entrance private school entrance exam materials