The Wandsworth Test

Experienced in tutoring children for school admissions, we are here to help you navigate the Wandsworth Year 6 Test.

The Wandsworth Test

Sat by all Year 6 children living in the borough, the Wandsworth test ultimately determines which senior school they attend.

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What is the Wandsworth test?

The Wandsworth Year 6 test is an exam set by the Borough of Wandsworth to help the transition to senior school. All children who go to state primary school in the borough sit the test, which normally takes place in the September of Year 6.

Confusingly, not all schools in the borough use the test for admissions purposes and indeed those that do, use the test in different ways, depending on their own admissions criteria. Results are usually released in October: a good score undoubtedly means more options when applying to secondary schools in Wandsworth.

Key dates:

  • Registration Closing Date: September (a year before entry)
  • Common Application Form (CAF) Closing Date: October
  • Exam Date: September
  • Results Date: October
  • Allocations Date: March
  • Appeals Hearings: June, July

Admissions Info: [email protected], 020 8871 7316

What is on the Wandsworth test?

The Wandsworth Year 6 test has two parts, with a short practice session at the start and a short break in between the two tests: 

Part 1: Non-Verbal Reasoning (55 minutes)

 Part 2: Verbal Reasoning (50 minutes)

The tests are created by GL Assessment, one of the exam boards particularly involved with Grammar School Admissions. GL Assessment tests do have a particular slant and focus and we would recommend you read our article to make sure you are familiar with GL Assessment tests and that your child practices with the correct resources. To find out in more depth about what is involved with Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning, please see the following articles:

How can I prepare my child for the Wandsworth Test?

Ideally, parents should begin preparation for the Wandsworth Year 6 Test twelve months before their child will sit the test. This is so that children prepare in a gentle build up that never feels too much for them. Children do pick up on the pressures of preparing for an important test such as this and it is important to try and strike the balance between them feeling well prepared and practised and them feeling pressured and switching off from their learning.  

The Wandsworth Year 6 Test is purely a Reasoning test. This is because the borough tries to make it a test of ability, rather than of learning or parental resources. Parents and tutors are indeed less able to influence success, compared to say, helping their child memorise stories for creative writing tests for the English Exam.

However, some parents have been told that they cannot help their child improve at all and this is absolutely not the case! Although your child may have a natural affinity for Reasoning, there are a finite number of types of Reasoning questions. It is easy to practice and improve on them all if you start early and work systematically.  

We believe that there is an uplift of 10-12% in terms of scoring available from learning how to approach each type of question and practising. A further 10-15% uplift available if your child can develop a speed of collecting up to 1 mark per minute. We cannot stress enough how important a factor speed is in terms of succeeding at Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning exams. The Wandsworth Test consists of approximately 60 questions in less than 1 hour. No matter what proportion of the questions your child solves correctly, they will not pass the test if they only get to question 40. 

How can I help my child develop their Reasoning skills for the Wandsworth test?

  • Firstly, aim to familiarise your child with each type of Verbal and Non-verbal reasoning question that they will come across. Teach them how to approach each type of question and how best to solve them. We have specialist tutors who can help you to do this if you don’t have the knowledge or time.
  • Once children are familiar, aim for accuracy. Encourage them to take their Reasoning practise slowly at first when they are learning how to approach the questions and concentrate on speed only when their knowledge is secure. Children must read the question carefully.
  • From the Summer holidays of Year 5, practise Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning every day. Bond 10-minute test books are perfect for this. A little bit and often works best.
  • From September of Year 6, encourage your child to work through their Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning practice at speed. They will need to pick up 1 mark per minute, whilst maintaining their accuracy. This is an essential element of preparation as Reasoning tests are notoriously time pressured. There is no point in your child answering accurately but only getting halfway through the paper in the allotted time. This is a hurdle we feel many parents never get through and is a common reason why children do not perform to their potential in entrance exams.
  • Learn Reasoning specific exam technique for the Wandsworth Test. Our tutors can advise on specific school tests. 

What resources should I use? 

Because the Wandsworth Year 6 Test is set by GL Assessment, their resources should be your first port of call as a parent. We recommend the following:

Verbal Reasoning

Non-verbal Reasoning 

How can Mentor help?

Here at Mentor Education, we specialise in the school entrance and the Wandsworth Test specifically. Our results speak for themselves, with 90% of our 2020 cohort achieving their first-choice school in 2021. 100% received an offer from their first or second choice school.

The key to this success is our annual Wandsworth Test programme that builds each year, from January of Year 5 to the January of Year 6, encompassing the whole Wandsworth Test syllabus, across the Reasoning disciplines tested in the exams themselves, exam technique and question practice. This allows young children to develop at an appropriate pace, with no element of cramming. We see your journey in three distinct phases and have organised our work to support you at each of these.

Our School Entrance Co-ordinator

One of the main advantages of working with Mentor Education is that we can coordinate your whole Wandsworth Test journey. Our dedicated Co-ordinator works to get to know you, your child and your aspirations. We can flex our services to reflect what you need at any point in your Wandsworth Test journey.

For example, if you don’t know where to start or don’t know if your child is a good candidate for the Wandsworth Test our School Entrance Coordinator can arrange an academic assessment brimming with data points to help you make decisions, target schools and focus tuition only on where your child needs it.

If your child’s needs change throughout the year, our Coordinator can swap out a generalist tutor, bringing in Reasoning experts as needed.

Essentially, our Co-ordinator’s job is to stay close to your journey and assist every step of the way. 

Specialist Reasoning Tuition for the Wandsworth Year 6 test

We have specialist Wandsworth Test tutors, who understand in great detail the Reasoning tests set by Wandsworth borough. These can change year by year and our exam tutors are always up to date with the latest knowledge. Many schools are increasing their proportion of Spatial Reasoning questions and this is a trend we see across the London Independent Sector. Our experienced tutors can help.

Which schools use the Wandsworth test?

Even though all school children in state primaries in Wandsworth take the test, not all the secondary schools in Wandsworth necessarily use the test. Additionally, if they do, they each use it in different ways, according to their individual admissions policies.

Graveney School building

The following schools in Wandsworth offer places to children with the best scores in the Wandsworth Test results:

Graveney School 

The 70 applicants with the highest scores in the Wandsworth Year 6 Test are offered places in Graveney’s prestigious fast track cohort. These places are highly sought after because they are not geographically limited.

The remaining places are allocated firstly to children looked after by the Local Authority, siblings, children with exceptional medical or social needs, children of staff and finally based on geographical proximity to the school.

Burntwood School

The 78 applicants with the highest scores in the Wandsworth Year 6 Test are offered places at Burntwood school.

The remaining places are allocated firstly to children looked after by the Local Authority, siblings and finally based on geographical proximity to the school.

Ernest Bevin

The 60 applicants with the highest scores in the Wandsworth Year 6 Test are offered places at Ernest Bevin school.

The remaining places are allocated firstly to children looked after by the Local Authority, siblings, children with exceptional medical or social needs, children of staff and finally based on geographical proximity to the school.

The following schools use the Wandsworth test for banding purposes to ensure an equal spread of academic abilities in their intake.

Ashcroft Technology Academy

Children wishing to attend the Ashford Technology Academy can apply for a specialist place by taking an aptitude test relating to the school’s specialisms of information technology and design and technology. 24 children are offered places based on their performance in these technical aptitude tests. The remainder is subject to the results in the Wandsworth Year 6 Test as per the following criteria:

“With the exception of those children with an EHCP where the Academy is the named school, all applicants who sit the Wandsworth Test will then be placed in one of five ability bands (A-E), based on their performance and equal numbers are admitted from each band as best as can be achieved.”

Chestnut Grove

Chestnut Grove Academy offers thirty places to children excelling at Art and Design and thirty places to children excelling in Modern Foreign Languages. Children hoping to apply for either of these specialist routes attend an aptitude assessment day at the school and also take the Wandsworth Test.

For general places, the remaining students are divided into 5 bands of ability, based on their score in the Wandsworth test. The Academy admits, as far as possible, an equal number from each band. Within each band they prioritise children being looked after by the Local Authority, children with exceptional social and medical needs and then children with siblings at the school, the children of teachers and finally geographical proximity to the school.

Schools we believe do not refer to the Wandsworth test at all in their admissions, with links to their respective admissions policies:

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