We know that the application process for senior school varies quite widely, and that navigating this can be daunting. The main steps of our Admissions process are outlined below, but we are very happy for you to get in touch at any time if you have any questions.
Entry is by an assessment process which takes place in the October of the UK National Curriculum Year 7. Late applications may be considered subject to availability of places. We welcome applications for both day and boarding places, with approximately 90 places available in the Third Year for external candidates. Students mainly join us from UK-based prep schools and from overseas.
Offers made in Year 7 are not conditional on passing another set of exams, but rather will be subject to students maintaining the level of academic progress and extra-curricular profile in Years 7 and 8.
|2024 Entry||2025 Entry||2026 Entry|
|Register||by 1 May 2022||by 1 May 2023||by 1 May 2024|
|Bursary application deadline||30 September 2022||29 September 2023||27 September 2024|
|UK Entrance Assessments||15 October 2022||14 October 2023||19 October 2024|
|Overseas Entrance Assessments||8 – 16 October 2022||7 – 15 October 2023||12 – 20 October 2024|
|Interviews||w/c 7 November 2022||w/c 6 November 2023||w/c 11 November 2024|
|Results letters sent out||Late November 2022||Late November 2023||Late November 2024|
|Acceptance to be received||31 December 2022||31 December 2023||31 December 2024|
Visit opportunities are available throughout the year – book here.
Late assessments may be possible subject to availability of places. Please contact us to discuss.
Scholarship assessments take place in February of Year 8.
Book a visit
We would be delighted to welcome you to Abingdon School and offer a number of visit opportunities throughout the year. Visits can take place at any stage of the Admissions process, and you can book a visit to our school here.
Parents interested in applying for assistance with fees (a bursary) can indicate this on the registration form.
Who can apply?
We welcome applications for this entry point from students of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities, with the majority of candidates coming from UK-based prep schools and overseas. Both day and boarding places are available. We are happy to advise on whether an Abingdon education may be a good fit for your son, and a recent school report would be a helpful guide for us.
Students will be aged 13 on 1 September of their year of entry. If your son’s age falls outside this, please contact the Admissions team for advice.
Registrations should be received by May in the academic year in which they are 11 (Year 6 in the UK National Curriculum). Late applications may be considered, subject to availability of places. Please contact the Admissions team for advice.
Entrance assessments are taken in the October of Year 7. These take place at Abingdon School on a Saturday for those candidates who are based in the UK. Overseas students may take their assessments at one of our preferred invigilation centres.
Candidates sit assessments in English, Mathematics and reasoning. Details are sent to parents of all registered candidates in the May of Year 6. The papers are a combination of computer based and handwritten questions. It is not expected that candidates have any typing skills. Please contact us to discuss specific access requirements which may be required for your son.
We will also request a confidential reference from the candidate’s Headteacher covering their character, academic strengths and interests.
Late applicants will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and will sit age-appropriate entrance assessments.
Details of papers
Our English papers assess both reading and writing skills. Reading covers comprehension as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar. This is multiple choice using a computer. The writing paper asks for a piece of descriptive writing based on a choice of pictures used as a stimulus. This paper is hand written (unless a candidate has access arrangements requiring the use of a computer).
The Maths paper covers topics aligned to the UK National Curriculum, as well as some more complex problem solving puzzles which require candidates to apply skills they will have been taught in the classroom. These are multiple choice using a computer.
Reasoning contains both verbal and non-verbal questions, and again, is computer-based. Overseas candidates may also be required to take an extra English Grammar paper.
Results of the assessments are reviewed, along with the school reference, before deciding which students are invited for an interview. We see the interview as a very important element of the process and almost all candidates will be interviewed. However, it is also likely that a small number of candidates will not be offered an interview at this stage. These would usually be candidates whose academic performance in the assessments indicates that they would be very unlikely to thrive in Abingdon’s fast-paced, selective atmosphere. Bringing those candidates back for an interview would, in our view, set up an unnecessary false hope about their chances of gaining an offer.
The interview is a friendly affair, providing the School with an opportunity to assess a candidate’s interests outside the classroom and explore what they enjoy about learning. The majority of interviews are conducted in person at Abingdon School, though we will conduct some interviews using video conferencing platforms (such as Zoom), particularly for overseas candidates. Candidates may like to bring something with them, such as an object of interest or an example of their work to provide talking points, but this is entirely optional.
Following the interview, all information from the assessments, interview and confidential reference is carefully considered, and parents will receive one of the following outcomes:
- an offer of a place for their son at the school
- an offer to put their son’s name on a waiting list
- a decision that their son’s application will not be taken forward
Parents who receive an offer of a place for their son will be asked to give a firm acceptance of the place, and to pay an acceptance fee.
Candidates on the waiting list will have their application reviewed when they enter Year 8. Up to date references and reports are requested, to ensure we have the latest information for your son.
Scholarships and Financial Assistance
At Abingdon, we offer a range of scholarships which supports our ethos of encouraging the very best academic achievement, as well recognising contribution at an exceptional level across our Other Half programme.
There is no separate scholarship route into Abingdon School. Candidates holding a firm offer from Abingdon School may apply to sit a Scholarship assessment in Year 8. Applicants are advised to discuss the suitability of their application with their prep school in the first instance.
If you are interested in assistance with fees (a bursary), an application must be made by our deadline in September of Year 7. Please visit our bursary page for more information.