Which London Schools should you apply for?

Tutor House Common Entrance information for Parents

The Entrance Exam Process

Common Entrance exams and the preparation for those exams, can be a minefield. Parents should check the open days for the schools that they wish to apply to and endeavour to visit the schools and listen to the Head teachers talk.

This will enable them to get a good overview and a feel for the school, and help them decide if this place would suit their childs’ personality and academic ability. (We offer an individualised service for parents who would like the expert advice of one of our experienced tutors).

Most schools have a selection procedure that can be very competitive. Many of the North London Public Schools work within remit of the North London Consortium. The schools have been conveniently divided into TWO groups.

Your child only needs to sit ONE exam for each group of schools. The results are then passed onto all the schools that you have applied for within that group.

Group 1:

Francis Holland (Clarence Gate), Francis Holland (Graham Terrace), Heathfield School, Notting Hill & Ealing High School, Queen’s College, St Albans High School, St Helen’s School, South Hampstead High School.

Common Entrance Examinations for Group 1 Schools :

Group 2:

Channing School, City of London School for Girls, More House, North London Collegiate School, Northwood College, Queen’s Gate School, St James’ Senior Girls’ School, The Godolphin and Latymer School.

Common Entrance Examinations for Group 2 Schools:

Parents should register with the school within each Group at which they would like their child to sit the exam.

Schools not listed above have their own entrance exams and dates. Please ask your chosen school for details. Tutor House will of course provide full coaching and mentoring for all selective schools. Most schools test to National Curriculum Level 5+ including:

St Pauls, Haberdashers Aske’s school for Boys and Haberdashers Aske’s School for Girls. Tutors will ensure that they are up to date and fully familiarised with the entrance examination expectations of your chosen school.

What your child will be tested on:

Entrance exams for all of the Group 1 and Group 2 schools usually consist of:

• An English Paper
• A Maths Paper
• A Non- Verbal Reasoning Paper

Your child’s achievement will be ranked and children will be invited for interview accordingly.

Tutor House tutors are all very familiar with the assessment processes. We aim to ensure that all the core contents for Maths and English are well covered to National Curriculum Level 5+


Our tutors will ensure that pupils are able to work independently and can rise to new challenges that will stretch them academically. We aim to build on and further develop skills that allow your child to:

• Read and show understanding of selected pieces of text, either fiction or non fiction.
• Demonstrate that they can analyse the text
• Express themselves clearly, precisely and eloquently on paper
• Write creatively
• Respond to open questions in a thoughtful manner
• Display a good grasp of grammar, spelling, punctuation and appropriate style suited to varying tasks.

In the entrance exam test pupils will be given a passage to read and comprehension based questions. Our tutors will aim to give pupils opportunities to develop their skills in this area in order to write creatively and expand their vocabulary.


The common entrance will test pupils secure knowledge and understanding of mathematics concepts. Our tutors will prepare pupils for Level 5+.

It is important that pupils are given opportunities to work under exam conditions and Tutor House will provide ample opportunities for your child to demonstrate their newly acquired skills and potential under test conditions.

Since most pupils will opt to be taught in larger groups as opposed to 1:1, they will benefit from competition with peers who are also prepared for the entrance exam.
The following concepts will be taught:

  • Number Place Value
  • Properties of numbers
  • Positive and Negative Integers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals and Percentages
  • Calculations Pencil and Paper proceduresEstimations/Approximations
  • Checking
  • Solving Problems Using appropriate operations to solve problems
  • Shape and Size
  • Shapes, Lines and Angles
  • Perimeter and area

Non-Verbal reasoning tests

Non Verbal reasoning tests require recognition of similarities, analogies, patterns in unfamiliar designs- which can include series completion, codes and analogies. These tests indicate a pupil’s ability to understand and assimilate new information independently of their language skills.

They indicate the potential ability of a child and are used widely by selective schools, as they tend to be highly reliable in indicating the future academic results that your child is likely to achieve.

There is of course no set syllabus for NVR tests however our experiences show that the more a child is exposed to the wide range of these tests the better their score in entrance exams.

Tutor House will use a range of NVR material to familiarise your child and to remove their fear.
Tutors will go through the questions ad provide detailed reasoning so that the child gradually moves away from dependant learning to mastering the techniques. Weekly testing will help rank your child within the group so that they understand how they are doing in comparison to their peers and what more they need to do to improve.

Verbal reasoning

There are a few schools that will also test your child’s verbal reasoning ability. The larger your child’s vocabulary the better they will do in these tests. Tutor House will support your child in developing their verbal reasoning skills as for NVR tests (see above) should the school of your choice have be using this form of testing.

Common Entrance Exams

Many schools use CE exams set by the Independent Schools Examination Board. Your chosen school will tell you if they use these exams. If this is the case you may access all the information about the syllabuses for each subject on thee ISEB website: www.iseb.co.uk

Tutor House tutors are well placed and highly experienced to provide tuition for your child to excel in these exams.


Once your child has been successful in the exam they will be invited for an interview, schools may interview:

• Individually
• In Groups or in pairs
• With parents, or without parents.

Tutor House offers a ‘preparation for interview’ session and further information will be provided on request.

Support for Parents

Tutor House recognise and are fully aware that making applications for selective schools can be a very traumatising period for parents. We aim to simplify this process for you as much as possible.

All parents will have a one to one meeting with one of our highly experienced directors. During this meeting we will be able to build up a good picture of your specific needs and give you the support you need.

We will also have an open morning for parents and offer opportunities for you to mingle with other parents should you wish.

We recognise that some parents want to be in a position to support their child in the assignments we set for homework but often they don’t know how to.

A technique in the teaching of maths, English and science (for Common Entrance Exams) has most probably moved on since you were last involved in education.

We offer 1:1 support for parents to help you to keep up to date with what your child is learning, both for the entrance examinations and in school- up to GCSE level.

Our classes will include access to online assessment material, showing parents how to mark homework and monitor progress.

It is important of course that parents help their child to manage this stressful period so that they do not let nerves get the better of them on examination day. We offer your support in dealing with this.
Please ask the Directors for further details

Your Childs’ Success is our Success and we strongly believe that parents are an integral part of this process. Tutor House will provide additional support and information to all parents, we’re friendly, just get in contact with us.