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RGS Guildford: 11 plus entry guide

By Atom | Apr 24, 2023, 9:52 AM

Royal Grammar School, Guildford (Surrey)

Are you considering RGS Guildford for your son's education? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7, including key dates and what's covered on the entrance exam.

About RGS Guildford

The Royal Grammar School, more commonly known as RGS Guildford, is a private day school for boys aged 11–18. It was founded in 1509 when Robert Beckingham, a Freeman of the City of London, left a bequest in his will to establish a free school in the historic town of Guildford. It initially educated 30 bright local boys from low-income families and now has a student population of over 900.

Boys at RGS Guildford study a broad curriculum that allows them to play to their individual strengths and passions. In addition to traditional subjects, there are five languages on offer (French, Spanish, German, Greek and Latin), as well as contemporary subjects such as digital learning and computational thinking. The school is consistently one of the top boys’ schools in the country at both A level and GCSE; in 2022, 95.1% of A level grades were A*–B and 80% of GCSEs were awarded the highest grades at 9 or 8 (A* equivalent). In the last 10 years, nearly 300 RGS leavers have secured places at Oxbridge.

RGS Guildford is focused on partnerships – both local and national – to share resources and expertise and bring together pupils from a wide range of backgrounds. The school is an active member of the Guildford Education Partnership, working closely with local multi-academy trusts on a range of outreach initiatives with local state and independent schools. RGS has also opened global partner schools in Qatar, China and Dubai since 2015.

Private schools in Surrey

  • Headteacher: Dr Jon Cox

  • Address: Royal Grammar School, High Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3BB

  • County: Surrey

  • Age range and gender: 11–18, boys only

  • Number of pupils: 900+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 30

  • A level results: 95.1% A*–B

  • GCSE results: 92% 9–7

Key info for Year 7 admissions

  • Admissions contact: Mrs Kathryn Sweet – [email protected], 01483 880 600

  • Open day: 6th and 7th October 2023. See the school website for details

  • Overview of selection procedure: ISEB Common Pre-Test, creative writing task, interviews and school reference

  • Registration deadline: 19th October 2023

  • Assessment date: November 2023

  • Offer date: February 2024

RGS Guildford term dates

The term dates at RGS Guildford for 2023–24 are:

  • Autumn term (Michaelmas): 7th September – 12th December 2023

  • Half term: 23rd October – 3rd November 2023

  • Spring term (Lent): 3rd January – 22nd March 2024

  • Half term: 12th–16th February 2024

  • Summer term (Trinity): 16th April – 5th July 2024

  • Half term: 27th–31st May 2024

Fees at RGS Guildford

The fees at RGS Guildford for 2023–2024 are £7,524 per term. Lunch is compulsory for pupils in Years 7 and 8 and costs £329 per term.

RGS Guildford is able to provide means-tested financial assistance, known as bursaries, to bright boys whose families would not otherwise be able to afford the school fees. Around one-third of boys attending RGS Guildford come from state primary schools and over 70 pupils receive means-tested financial assistance.

The current support ranges between 5% and 100% of the school fees, while families on very low incomes may also receive support with additional costs such as school lunch, travel to and from school, and curricular trips.

RGS Guildford admissions process

If you are interested in RGS Guildford for your son’s secondary education, the school offers an online experience, which includes a series of videos about daily life at the school and an interactive map. It's also a good idea to visit the school, either during a small group tour or as part of a wider open day, to make sure it's a good fit for your child.

1. Register for Year 7

Prospective pupils must be registered with the school to begin the admissions process. Registration for entry in 2024 is open on the school website.

To register your child, complete the online form before Thursday 19th October 2023. You will also need to pay a £100 registration fee.

2. ISEB Common Pre-Test

All registered candidates will take the ISEB Common Pre-Test during the autumn term in Year 6. If your child attends a prep school, he will likely take this at his own school, while primary school pupils will usually take the test at RGS Guildford.

Find out more about the ISEB Common Pre-Test below.

3. First interview and creative writing

Children will be invited to RGS Guildford during the autumn term for an interview with a member of staff. This is a relaxed experience designed to identify your son's interests and how he thinks and reacts to unseen questions. The school will be looking for boys who engage in the learning process and can show flexibility in their thinking process, who will challenge and question, and who are able to develop their answers.

Your son will also sit a short composition/English creative writing task as part of this step in the assessment process.

Learn more about:

4. Second interviews

Some boys may be invited back to the school in January for a second interview, which is an opportunity to give all boys the benefit of doubt. This second interview may provide an opportunity to reflect on inconsistency in performance and will allow the school to identify the children who are likely to thrive at RGS, but who have not performed consistently in the assessment.

5. Offers

You will receive a letter with the outcome of your child’s application towards the middle of February 2024. If your son has been successful in securing a place at RGS Guildford and you would like to accept, you will need to send a formal acceptance by early March.

The ISEB Common Pre-Test

All children applying for Year 7 entry to RGS Guildford take the ISEB Common Pre-Test. This is an online test that is completely adaptive, meaning the questions become easier or more challenging depending on how your child is performing. Children will answer questions in four subjects:

  • English: covering comprehension and spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • Maths: questions cover Key Stage 2 national curriculum taught up to the end of Year 5. The main topics are number, measurement, data, algebra and geometry

  • Verbal reasoning: tests logic and problem-solving with written information

  • Non-verbal reasoning: tests your child’s ability to understand and analyse visual information

How is the ISEB Common Pre-Test marked?

Each child will be given a Standardised Age Score (SAS), which is calculated based on the number of correct and incorrect answers, the level of difficulty in each question and their date of birth in years and months (to prevent younger children from being disadvantaged). Your child's ISEB Common Pre-Test score will be sent directly to JAGS.

As a guide, competitive selective schools like James Allen’s Girls’ School will generally require candidates to reach an ISEB Common Pre-Test score of 120 or more.

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Guide to the ISEB Test

Read our comprehensive guide to the ISEB Common Pre-Test and get tips and hints to help your child prepare.

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ISEB mock test on Atom Nucleus

How to prepare for entry to RGS Guildford

Here are some top tips on how to best prepare your child for Year 7 entry to RGS Guildford.

Preparation is key: familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential. Access to quality, unlimited practice material for the ISEB Common Pre-Test ensures confidence when tackling the exam.

Achieve mastery quickly: the ISEB Common Pre-Test assesses a huge amount of content. Atom's adaptive algorithm creates your child's personalised learning journey specific to your target schools, with over 90,000 expert, teacher-created resources to support your child to fully master each topic.

Access to instant support: learners need clarification to address any misconceptions and become truly secure in their understanding of a topic. Access to videos, help sheets and engaging examples for each question builds confidence and competence in all areas covered in the exam.

Engage with their progress: celebrate their improvements in their areas of challenge together! An accurate, ongoing assessment of your child’s strengths and development areas is instrumental for preparing efficiently. Atom's Parent Portal gives you data-driven insights into your child’s areas of strength and development.

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ISEB practice tests

With Atom Nucleus you'll unlock online mock tests tailored to the ISEB Common Pre-Test, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect.

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86% of RGS Guildford applicants using Atom receive an offer.

Will your son be one of them? Begin your child's journey to RGS Guildford today.

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Personalised support for you

We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about the ISEB Common Pre-Test or applying to independent schools.

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