First Year Admissions

We know that the application process for senior school varies quite widely and we welcome you contacting us at any time in your son’s primary school career to ask questions about Abingdon’s procedures. However, in order to assist, we have listed below the chief aspects of the First Year entry procedure as well as the key dates for First Year entry.​​

View the current first year boys discussing the entrance procedure.

First Year boys are usually aged 11 on 1 September of their year of entry. First Year entry is intended for boys who would normally transfer from their primary school (or equivalent) on completion of Year 6 (UK national curriculum). For this entry point, we recommend that prospective pupils are registered before October in the academic year prior to joining.

The offer of a place in the First Year is made on the basis of a candidate's performance in the entrance test, a confidential report from his current school and an interview. Details of the arrangements for the entry test are sent to the parents of all registered candidates in the previous October (or on registration for those registering later than this). The School does not send out copies of past examination papers, but does send sample questions.

Candidates sit an entrance test in early January with papers in English, Mathematics and Reasoning. These papers are designed to be appropriate for candidates from primary schools as well as independents. There are two English papers. The first paper (45 mins) tests boys’ reading skills by asking them to respond to two prose passages via multiple choice questions. Also in this paper are some questions  testing grammar and spelling as well as facility with manipulating words. The second paper (30 mins) asks for a composition, and assesses boys’ writing skills. Boys will have the option to write descriptive, narrative or discursive writing according to where they feel they are strongest. The mathematics paper (50 mins) contains questions on such topics as fractions, decimals, averages, percentages, coordinates, sequences, perimeters, areas, nets, currency and ratios. Metric units will be used throughout and calculators are not allowed. The reasoning paper (3 sections, 45mins in total) tests verbal, numerical and pattern skills, and each test section is preceded by a set of 6 practice questions. The reasoning test is conducted on computers; the English and Maths exams are on paper. Candidates are not required to wear school uniform. Lunch and snacks are provided.

Candidates are selected for interview at the School following the written papers. The interview is a friendly affair, providing the School with an opportunity to assess a candidate’s personality and interests outside the classroom. On such an occasion it is quite in order for candidates to bring something with them, such as an object of interest or an example of their work, to provide talking points. Under certain circumstances some candidates may be asked to attend a second interview.

A number of academically related awards together with music exhibitions are offered at this entry point.

Bursaries are available and can be up to 100% of the fees. All bursaries are means-tested.

Offers of places are usually sent out about three weeks after the written examination. Parents will be asked to give a firm acceptance of the place and to pay an acceptance fee which will be credited to the parents’ final account when their son leaves the School.

Successful candidates are invited to the School for two induction days, one in June and the second in September.

We welcome visits at any time during the admissions procedure. Should you wish to discuss the entry procedures further before visiting us, please contact the Admission's office at or telephone +44 1235 849041.

Key dates for First Year entry to Abingdon in September 2018

30 September 2017 Open Day at Abingdon
By October 2017 Register
October/November 2017 Receive details of entrance examinations, return confirmation, ask school for report
4 November 2017 First Year 2018 Taster Morning 
11 November 2017 First Year 2018 Taster Morning
22 November 2017 Discover Abingdon - booking form
29 November 2017 Discover Abingdon - booking form
13 January 2018 Entrance Examinations at Abingdon – 9.15am – 3.00pm approximately
w/c 22 January 2018 Interviews
Early February 2018 Results letters sent out
2 February 2018 Discover Abingdon - booking form
5 March 2018 Acceptances to be received with acceptance fee
28 June 2018 Induction Day