Year 9 Entry

The main entry point to Tonbridge is in Year 9 when around 145 boys join the school, of which approximately 85 are boarders and 60 are day boys. Boys entering at this stage are usually aged between 13.0 and 13.11 on 1st September of the year of entry. These age-limits are not inflexible, and slightly younger or slightly older candidates may be accepted at the Headmaster’s discretion.

Most boys entering the school at this stage will have completed an assessment during Year 6 but our arrangements are sufficiently flexible to allow consideration to those who apply later. Similarly, whilst most boys will join us from a Preparatory school, we are equally pleased to consider those applying from primary schools or from overseas schools.

The admissions process for those wishing to apply to join in 2021 or later

  • Initial Visit

Many families will be keen to visit Tonbridge before embarking upon the admissions procedure. We are always pleased to welcome them, either at one of our termly Open Mornings or via an individual visit. Visits are arranged through the Admissions Office, and include a tour of the school and his House with a senior boy, followed or preceded by half an hour with the Headmaster or Director of Admissions. Parents often come on an initial visit three or four years before their son’s date of entry.

  • Registration

Registration is the formal first stage of the admissions process, and shows that parents are interested in a place for their son at Tonbridge. Parents are advised to register their son at least three years before the date of intended entry since the majority of candidates are invited to attend an assessment afternoon when they are aged 10 or 11. To register, please complete the Tonbridge Registration Form and return it to the school. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £200. Entry via the standard entrance route described below closes on 1st May when a boy is in Year 6.

  • ISEB Pre-Test and Assessment Afternoon

Candidates who are registered with us three years prior to proposed entry are invited to sit the ISEB Common Pre-test and to visit Tonbridge for an assessment afternoon during the Autumn Term of Year 6. At this stage, a report will also be requested from the Head of the candidate's current school. The report, along with the results from the ISEB pre-test and the assessment afternoon are considered together in determining how to proceed with the application. Those registering during the course of Year 6 will be invited to complete this procedure immediately after registration and certainly by the end of the academic year.

  • Offers

Those candidates with the strongest profile will receive an UNCONDITIONAL OFFER of a place at Tonbridge in Year 9, usually dependent only upon them continuing at their current school through to the end of Year 8 (where that school continues to Year 8) and a satisfactory final report from their school. Other candidates who present a sufficiently strong profile will receive a PROVISIONAL OFFER of a place, inviting them to take part in a further competitive assessment which they will complete at Tonbridge during the Summer Term of Year 7. Such candidates will therefore have the opportunity to win a confirmed, unconditional place during the Summer Term of Year 7, when they will be invited to complete a 1 hour mathematics paper and a 1 hour writing paper at Tonbridge, as well as carrying out a short interview. Specimen papers and a syllabus for the mathematics paper of the Year 7 Entrance Exam for those holding provisional offers can be viewed on our exam papers page.

  • Acceptance of Unconditional and Provisional Places and Opening of House Lists

Parents accept the offer of an unconditional place by returning the Final Entry Form and paying an admission fee of £2,000. Families accepting an unconditional place, who have made a firm decision as to whether their son will be a boarder of a day boy, also have the opportunity to express a preference for a particular boarding or day House when returning the Final Entry Form. Where no preference is expressed, boys are allocated to Houses by the Headmaster in consultation with the Director of Admissions. Further details of the house allocation process can be found here.

Parents accepting a provisional offer do so by returning an acceptance form which is issued with the provisional offer. No payment is required in order to accept a provisional offer.

  • 13+ Academic Scholarship and Common Entrance

Any candidate who is in receipt of an unconditional offer may choose to sit our academic scholarship which takes place in late April/early May of Year 8. Additionally, those who are at UK prep schools which prepare boys for CE and who have not sat the academic scholarship will be expected to sit the Common Entrance exams in June of Year 8. Those taking CE should aim for an average of over 70% in the core subjects, but this is not a condition of entry.

The admissions process for those wishing to apply to join in 2020

  • Initial Visit

Candidates registering after May of Year 6 are invited to apply for entry through the Headmaster's list for Late Applicants.  An initial visit to Tonbridge is encouraged, either at one of our termly Open Mornings or via an individual visit. Visits are arranged through the Admissions Office, and include a tour of the school and his House with a senior boy, followed, or preceded, by a meeting with the Headmaster or the Director of Admissions.

  • Registration

Registration is the formal first stage of the admissions process, and shows that parents are interested in a place for their son at Tonbridge. To register, please complete the Tonbridge Registration Form and return it to the school. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £200.

  • Initial Assessment

UK candidates will be invited to complete the ISEB Common Pre-test; candidates studying overseas will be invited to complete a UKiset Assessment. At this stage, a report will also be sought from the candidate’s current school. Those candidates with a sufficiently strong profile will be invited to sit our late applicants’ examination in November of Year 8 (some 10 months prior to proposed arrival at Tonbridge).

  • Late Applicants’ Exams and Interviews

Exams for late applicants will be set by Tonbridge in Mathematics and English only, to be taken on the first Saturday in November; it should be noted that these exams are highly competitive with only the strongest candidates receiving offers of places. Specimen papers can be viewed on our exam papers page. Papers can be taken either at Tonbridge or at a British Council office around the world or at another approved international location. Candidates living or studying in the UK will be interviewed at Tonbridge on the day of the exams; candidates living overseas, who are able to attend interviews in Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore, will be invited to do so in advance of the exams; other international candidates will be interviewed via Skype.

  • Offers of unconditional places
Unconditional offers will be issued to the best performing late applicants on 1 December (nine months prior to arrival at Tonbridge). Parents accept the offer of an unconditional place by returning the Final Entry Form and paying an acceptance fee of £2,000. Applicants living overseas will also be required to pay the first term’s fees in advance.

The admissions process for UK prep school candidates wishing to join in 2019

13+ entry via the Year 6 Pre-test route is now closed. However late applicants may still apply for entry via the Headmaster's list, for those of truly exceptional merit or circumstance.  Please contact the Admissions Office for further details.

The admissions process for international and UK non-prep school candidates wishing to join in 2019

  • Registration

Those attending overseas schools or UK schools that do not prepare them for the Common Entrance exam may apply for entry via our November entry exams in Maths and English. Registration is the formal first stage of this admissions process. To register, please complete the Tonbridge Registration Form and return it to the school. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £200. All applications must be submitted with a copy of the candidate’s latest school report.

The closing date for receipt of registration forms (accompanied by a school report) for UK non-prep school based candidates is 30th September. After this deadline, late applicants may be considered at the school’s discretion if there are still places available.

The closing date for receipt of registration forms for overseas candidates (accompanied by a school report) is 31st August. Overseas candidates should also arrange to sit UKiset assessment tests, naming Tonbridge as a school to which they would like the results to be sent. The test can be sat at centres across the world; details can be found on their website : www.ukiset.com.      

  • Entry Exams and Interviews

The Director of Admissions will review all applications once they are complete, with shortlisted applicants being invited to examination and interview. Examinations will be set by Tonbridge in Mathematics and English only, to be taken on the first Saturday in November; it should be noted that these exams are highly competitive with only the strongest candidates receiving offers of places. Specimen papers can be viewed on our exam papers page. Papers can be taken either at Tonbridge or at a British Council office around the world or at another approved international location. Candidates living or studying in the UK will be interviewed at Tonbridge on the day of the exams; candidates living overseas, who are able to attend interviews in Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore, will be invited to do so in advance of the exams; other international candidates will be interviewed via Skype.    

  • Offers of unconditional places

Unconditional offers will be issued to the best performing applicants on 1st December (nine months prior to arrival at Tonbridge). Parents accept the offer of an unconditional place by returning the Final Entry Form and paying an acceptance fee of £2,000. Applicants living overseas will also be required to pay the first term’s fees in advance.

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KEY DATES
31st August 2018 Closing date for international applications for 2019 Entry
30th September 2018 Closing date for UK non-prep school applications for 2019 entry
3rd November 2018 November Entrance Exam for international and UK non-prep school 2019 entry applicants
1st January 2019 Final date to accept unconditional offers for 2019 entry
1st May 2019 Closing date for standard entry Year 9 applications for 2021
8th May 2019 Year 7 Entrance Exam for those holding Provisional Offers for 2020 entry
17th May 2019 Results of the 8th May Entrance Exam examination will be posted out
1st June 2019 Unconditional Offers issued after 8th May Entrance Exam must be accepted, so that further places may be offered according to availability of space