curiosity, enjoyment of learning and problem solving
perseverance and completion of challenging tasks
understanding of all concepts taught at primary school
enjoyment of a wide range of literature and/or non-fiction text
creativity in sustained writing
ability to make connections between various areas of knowledge
imagination and original ideas
ability to work at pace and assimilate information quickly
appreciation of numerical conventions
ability to apply mathematical concepts
be familiar with reading and responding to texts with a reading age greater than 11
understand the rudiments of spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Essex Grammar Schools (CSSE) Entrance Exam Pass marks
There are two papers, English and Maths. The intent is that each has an equal weighting and that no student is disadvantaged because of their age in the school years. Two standardisations are applied to students’ raw score to achieve this.
The first is designed to make sure that the two tests have the same weighting even though students might have found one test on average easier than the other test. In general, this means that the English test tends to be given greater weight in the final result than would have been the case from the raw scores.
The test scores are further age-standardised to ensure that older pupils do not have an unfair advantage. Typically, there is a greater age adjustment made for English results than for Maths results.
There are different pass marks by school. Those pass marks vary each year but there is a rough guide.
55-60% for the Southend grammar schools’ priority area and other Southend schools
65% for out of area places at most of the Southend grammar schools
65-70% for Colchester County High School
70% for CRGS and for KEGS priority area
75% for KEGS out of priority area
Essex Grammar Schools (CSSE) Entrance Exam English Exam
The English paper tests comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, as well as creative writing, verbal reasoning and literacy.
The Essex consortium have a guide for the long form continuous writing question
Ideas: clear and original writing – may include abstract forms, philosophical ideas, metaphors securely focussed on task (in content and style): ideas explored in depth
Vocabulary: ambitious vocabulary used appropriately to enhance communication spelling accurate for all basic vocabulary
Grammar: secure tenses throughout
Structure: securely structured in response to task with a clear sense of direction and originality throughout connectives used appropriately paragraphs used accurately varied and effective sentence structure
Punctuation: punctuation varied and used creatively
Examples of past topics for the Essex Grammar School test include –
In six or seven sentences, write about a time, real or imaginary, when you were looking forward to a special day out, but in the end somebody fell ill and it did not happen
In six or seven sentences, describe the person or animal you think of as your best friend.
Write five or six sentences describing your classroom to your friend who has never seen it
Write down in five or six sentences, instructions for a younger brother, sister or friend on how to clean their teeth.
We also have the following past and familiarisation papers available for you to download in pdf format: