Candidates who register early for 13+ entry are invited to sit the Independent Schools’ Examination Board (ISEB) Common Pre-Test at their current school. The pre-test can be taken when a candidate is either in Year 6 or 7 (and currently anytime between November and March of those academic years).

The Common Pre-Test is a computer-based test in English, Mathematics, and Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning and is designed to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without excessive preparation. The test is age-standardised so candidates are not disadvantaged by when they sit the test. It can however only be sat once.

Candidates attending a school that is not able to administer the ISEB Common Pre-Test will be invited to sit the test here at Bedford School.

References and reports from the candidate’s current school are also requested; these are a key component of the assessments.

Candidates who have sat the pre-test are then invited during the summer term to attend an interview and a lunch in the Great Hall at Bedford School with both parents and staff.

If a candidate has performed well in the pre-test and interview and has a strong reference(s) from their current school, then we may choose to make a conditional offer at this stage.

In the process of making conditional offers, Bedford School will also consider the candidate’s extra-curricular interests (and hence their potential to enjoy, to the full, the opportunities that Bedford School has to offer). Following the receipt of a conditional offer, we will invite parents to reserve a place for their child with a non-refundable deposit (£500 for a day place or £1,000 for a boarding place).

Candidates who receive a conditional offer are required to sit the 13+ entrance assessments in the January of Year 8 to ensure that they continue to meet the academic criteria for entry to the school. Their school will also be invited to submit an updated reference. It is expected that an offer would become unconditional at this stage.