Winchester Entrance is designed to give all candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their academic potential, irrespective of their previous educational setting. 

The majority of candidates will undertake the Winchester Entrance exam in the April/May of Year 8, either at their own school or at an approved centre.

We recognise that candidates from the maintained sector will have followed KS3 of the National Curriculum, rather than the Common Entrance syllabus, and we very much welcome their applications. 


What to Expect in the Entrance Exam

All candidates sitting Winchester Entrance and Election take a common English paper and Maths paper (Paper 1 in Election). These common papers are at the Entrance level. Election candidates will have an opportunity to show what they can do in Maths Paper 2. Find out more about Election.

Candidates from prep schools must also sit papers in Science, Geography and History.  Where a candidate has studied Latin and/or French in prep school they must also undertake that exam.  If a candidate has studied Spanish or German in place of French then they may choose to sit an alternative paper in that language. Candidates may also choose to sit the Greek paper.

Candidates from maintained schools in the UK may take the full range of papers should they wish but the prime requirements are Maths and English.

 We have reformed the Entrance exam to be more accessible to pupils from different academic backgrounds. However the exam remains challenging, with some of the questions designed to be particularly stretching. The following specimen papers have been designed as examples of what a typical exam might look like.

The syllabuses below set out what could be covered in each subject. These should be cross-referenced with the KS3 and Common Entrance syllabuses.

Subjects Syllabuses  

Preparing for the Exam

Whilst the exams have changed this year, past papers remain a helpful way of preparing. They still give a good indication of the level and difficulty of typical questions. Therefore they will help candidates know what to expect. A full range of past papers is provided via the links below.  

Parents and teachers preparing candidates for Winchester Entrance who need guidance and support can email the Registrar’s office who may direct their queries to the appropriate Head of Department if needed.    

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