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Tests and Exams

It’s easy to get confuse by the different exams and tests taking place throughout your child’s time at school, there are so many of them! Here is a list of the various types of tests alongside the ages at which your child will sit them:

SATs Key Stage 1 (ages 6/7) Children in Key Stage 1 take the SATs test in Maths and English in Year 2. This test is usually taken in the Summer Term. Children have to answer specially set test papers, as well as through teacher assessment. Your child’s school will mark them internally and will give you the results at the end of the Summer Term.

11 Plus Exam (ages 10/11) The 11 plus exam is an examination taken by pupils in Year 6 (age 10 /11) who wish to apply for a grammar school of their choice.

Four different subjects are used for the tests – Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal reasoning, Maths & English. However, there isn’t a standard test paper and the combination of disciplines differs from county to county.

Competition for a grammar school place is fierce. It is estimated that every child has a 1 in 6 chance of securing a place at their chosen grammar school although this varies by county, e.g. Kingston and Sutton have a pass rate of only 3% whereas Buckinghamshire has a pass rate of around 30%

164 Grammar schools remain in England.

SATs Key Stage 2 (ages 10/11) Year 6 children take the SATs test in English, Maths and Science during the month of May. The tests are taken at the same time by Year 6 children all over the country. Papers are marked externally and are passed to a child’s new Secondary school.

The Common Entrance Exam This is the exam taken by children who are applying for a private school at age 11 or 13 in the UK.

SATs Key Stage 3 (ages 14/15) Year 9 children are tested in May. Subjects covered are English, Maths and Science.

GCSE’s (ages 14/15) GCSE exams stand for the General Certificate of Education and are usually taken in Year 11. Most GCSE courses last for two years and include a mixture of both practical and examination work.

NQ’s (ages 14/15) NQs are Scotland's qualifications for students in secondary schools and colleges of further education

A S Levels (ages 16/17) Students take these exams at the end of Year 12. They count towards the final A-level grade. It is customary for pupils to take 4 A S levels before dropping one or two of the for the final year of the A Level course.

Highers Highers are the Scottish qualifications normally needed for entry into university or college to study for degrees and Higher National courses (HNCs and HNDs)

A Levels (ages 17/18) These are the final exams that pupils take in Secondary Schools (or at Sixth Form colleges). Most students will take 3 subject based A Levels as well as the General Studies A Level. Universities use A Levels and grades to determine which students are accepted for courses.

Advanced Highers Advanced Highers are usually taken in sixth year at school or at college in Scotland.