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4 top tips on preparing for entrance assessments at Dame Allan’s Schools

Assessments can be pretty daunting, especially if you're new to the whole independent school scene. But don't stress; Dame Allan’s admissions team has got you covered.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 15.11.2023

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Thinking about enrolling your child in an independent school? Don’t worry, Dame Allan’s is here to make the application process a breeze.

Now, let’s talk about those entrance assessments. We get it, they can be pretty intimidating, especially if you’re new to the whole independent school scene. But don’t stress; Dame Allan’s Schools has got you covered.

So, what exactly are entrance assessments? Well, they’re a way to make sure your child can keep up with the lessons and thrive in the best environment to help them shine and reach their full potential.

We caught up with the friendly Dame Allan’s admissions team and some savvy pupils who have shared some of their top tips to help your child conquer those pre-exam nerves.


Have questions about the admissions process at Dame Allan’s? Our admissions team is here to help and support you every step of the way, including through the entrance assessments. We’re all about making the whole process as smooth and stress-free as possible, so don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have.

We want to ensure that our school is the right fit for your child, providing the perfect environment for their success.

Exciting news! This year, we’re introducing new online assessments for our Senior School, taking a big step forward in our admissions process. This upgrade will make the experience even more convenient for prospective students. Our Junior School has already seen great success with online assessments, and we can’t wait to offer the same to our older prospective pupils.


Before your child’s assessment, you will receive some sample questions to get a sense of what the assessments are like. We’re here to offer advice on this, but it’s crucial not to go overboard with the revision.

Dame Allan’s Schools

The goal is for children to come in feeling confident and content. Too much enforced revision can add unnecessary stress for both you and your child.

Pupil Tip: ‘I would go through all of the revision parts you are struggling with or are unsure about, and test yourself with a few reasoning questions. Get enough rest and plenty of water so that you don’t stress.’

Keep in mind that the purpose of the entrance assessments is to gauge each pupil’s potential and gain a genuine understanding of their abilities. These assessments are always age-appropriate, so your child won’t encounter subject matter they aren’t already familiar with.


In terms of what to expect on the day itself, prospective pupils will spend about an hour completing an online assessment in maths, English, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.  The system is adaptive to each pupil’s ability and topics in maths and English are in line with the national curriculum. Whilst the assessment is all online, pupils will be able to use a pen and paper for their working outs.

Pupil Tip: ‘Read the question a couple of times so that you can understand it better. Take your time, you do not need to whizz through it. If you do not understand a question, leave it until the end and if you have time, come back to it.’


Here at Dame Allan’s, we’re very much about the whole child, and alongside their academic abilities, pupils are challenged to discover and develop a whole range of talents and to aspire for excellence in all that they do. To allow us to find out a little more about your child, the assessments will involve some form of interview.

This is a perfect opportunity for your child to shine and showcase their unique personality. They might be asked about their hobbies, interests, and their favourite subjects at school. A little practice in conversation beforehand can work wonders in helping with nerves when chatting with our staff making sure they have an idea of what they want to talk about in advance.


Why not plan something special for you and your child after the entrance assessment? Whether that’s stopping off for an ice cream and a chat on the way home or letting them choose what to watch on family movie night, they have taken a big step in completing an entrance assessment for a brand-new school. Regardless of the result, that is something definitely worth celebrating.



  • Girls’ School – Saturday 20th January 2024
  • Boys’ School – Saturday 27th January 2024

For more information about entrance exams and assessments at Dame Allan’s Schools, please visit their website.

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