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Inspired, Intellectual, Independent, Individual and Inclusive. Wellington College, founded in 1853, seeks to impart their five values upon every student who walks their 400-acre grounds. Located in Berkshire, a convenient hour from London, Wellington College is a co-educational school with 1080 pupils aged 13-18. Wellington is known for its ‘whole child’ philosophy, giving Wellingtonians the opportunity to flourish academically, as well as in sport, music, art, drama and a range of co-curricular endeavours.

For entrance to Wellington College at 13+, the most common age for entrance, the process is similar to Eton and Harrow. In line with the overall learning philosophy, students are expected to show promise in a range of subjects and co-curriculars, with the application process designed around an ‘Assessment Day’.

Registration: Stage 1

The first deadline is registration is usually the end of June when a child is in Year 5, however, students can be registered for 13+ entrance at any point beforehand. It is important to note that most children who are given a place to study at 13+ have been involved with Wellington for at least three years, so the earlier a family registers, the better.

A professional tutor or mentor can offer considerable advantage to the student at any point during the application process. With a network of elite tutors and mentors, including Old Wellingtonians, Think Tutors can help support students at any level with all aspects of Wellington entrance – from the ISEB Common Pre-Test to the Assessment Day.

Pre-Test: Stage 2

After registering, students are expected to take the ISEB Common Pre-Test in November or October of Year 5, a standardised form of assessment for entrance into Independent Schools across the UK, references are requested to gauge a student’s academic level.

The Pre-Test is designed to establish a student’s academic level before admission by testing Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics and English. Usually taken at the current school of the applicant, results can be accessed by all schools they are applying for, so it is important to perform well. Wellington also asks for references from current schools to gauge a student’s academic level.  

After this stage, candidates may be long-listed, moving one-step closer to entrance which is determined by Assessment Day performance, and successful completion of schooling until Year 8.

Assessment Day: Stage 3

In accordance to Wellington's ‘whole child’ approach, students are expected to take part in one of six in January or February of Year 6 so Wellington can assess their character. The format is subject to changing, particularly in light of COVID-19, however, recent years were structured around mock lessons, in which a senior teacher assesses a student’s performance in a classroom context.

Throughout the day, students are scheduled interviews with both teachers and house masters, in addition to being asked to undertake problem solving and group based tasks. Pupils who are applying for scholarships (sport, music, drama or art) also have the opportunity to showcase their skills throughout the day.

Offers and House Selection: Stage 4

In March or April of Year 6, conditional offers are granted to successful students and the process for selecting a house begins. Offer holders can visit houses, attend another open day and are encouraged to speak to current students and house masters to help them decide. In Michaelmas Term of Year 7, offer holders accept their place and confirm their choice of houses.