Mastering the ISEB Pre-Test

The ISEB Pre-Test is designed to test students in Year 6 and Year 7 on their Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English and Maths levels before they take school-specific entrance tests: the gatekeeper for independent school admissions. Routinely referred to as the Common Entrance Pre-Test or ISEB Common Entrance, the ISEB Pre-Test is designed by GL (Granada Learning) to be taken online at either the child’s current school, or prospective school. The tests are comprehensive, highly challenging by nature, and intended to identify the top students. This insight will shed light on how the most successful students prepare, the importance of private tuition, before considering how best to measure success in the ISEB Pre-Test. If you have any questions about how private tuition can be designed to ensure your child masters the ISEB Pre-Test, please contact our team today.

How do top students prepare?

Before tacking practice papers, diving into the wealth of online resources or even enlisting the help of a private tutor or mentor, the best way to start preparation is to develop an understanding of each component. To help with this, our Education Advisory team have produced this useful guide for parents.


With a solid knowledge of each element of the ISEB Pre-Test, practice should begin. Top students start up to twelve months before the exam, and begin to work with a private tutor to master the foundational techniques required to thrive.


Outside of tuition sessions, students are encouraged to work through past papers and exercises on Atom Learning or Pretest Plus to familiarise themselves with the often unfamiliar question styles. Whilst Maths and English are closely aligned with the National Curriculum, most students are challenged by the Non-Verbal and Verbal Reasoning problems, however, the top students are already accustomed to the questions, and have an armoury of techniques ready to solve them. Practice really does make perfect.


During the sessions, Think Tutors’ elite tutors and professional mentors are adept at identifying your child’s learning style and preparing a scheme of learning which is tailored to them. With over five years of tuition experience, our tutors and mentors are all practiced at laying the foundations for future success to ensure your child performs on the day. They will work with your child to set realistic goals, improve confidence, and ultimately, prioritise your child’s enjoyment of the process.

What is a good score?

Measuring success is, naturally, subjective. Whilst all our professional tutors have a 100% track record of grade improvement, all children are different, and the ISEB Pre-Test is often their first experience of a formal exam. Furthermore, schools have varied entry requirements, and commonly value ISEB Pre-Test results differently.


That being said, this insight is about nurturing the highest possible levels of success in the Common Entrance Pre-Test. When it comes to results, the scores are standardised, meaning that the average mark will always be 100. The very top students score 120 or more, and school entrance requirements typically range from 110 upwards.

Contact Think Tutors

If you have any further questions about how your child can master the ISEB Pre-Test, or would like some more information on entry requirements for schools you would like to send your child to, please get in touch. We also help with all aspects of Independent School Placements, including 7/8 plus tuition and 13 plus tuition.

Get in touch

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+44 (0) 207 117 2835

Berkeley Square House,
35 Berkeley Square,
Mayfair, London, W1J 5BF

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+44 (0) 207 117 2835

Berkeley Square House,

35 Berkeley Square Mayfair,

London, W1J 5BF