The Kent Test

If you want to apply for a year 7 place at a Kent grammar school, you can register your child for the Kent Test. The test assesses whether grammar school is a suitable option for your child.

If you move to Kent after the Kent Test has taken place, or if your child has not been tested and you want to move them from their current school secondary school to a grammar school, please read our information about moving to a different school.

  • Register

    Online registration closed on 1 July 2016. You can view your registration online.

    Postal applications closed on 13 July 2016.

    Kent Test leaflet (PDF, 144.1 KB)

    If you move to Kent after the Kent Test has taken place, or if your child has not been tested and you want to move them from their current secondary school to a grammar school, please read our information about moving to a different school.

    If you live outside Kent

    Every year, a large number of children who live outside Kent register to take the test but do not turn up on the day. This wastes time and resources, so please consider the following before you decide to register.

    The test is only valid for Kent grammar schools. Medway Council has its own Medway Test and London Borough of Bexley has its own Bexley selection test.

    Many children will find the test difficult. Grammar schools in Kent provide for children in about the top 25% of the ability range. In addition, some of Kent’s grammar schools  - particularly those which are most likely to offer places to children from outside Kent - give priority to those with the highest scores. You may want to discuss your child’s academic achievement with their primary school before you decide whether to register them for the Kent Test.

    Passing the Kent Test does not guarantee your child a place in a Kent grammar school. Make sure you know where the Kent grammar schools are, and what the admissions criteria are for the school(s) you are interested in. Consider how likely your child is to be offered a place there, and how they would get to that school if a place was offered. If you will need help with the cost of transport from home to school, check your home local authority's school transport policy.

    School admissions are co-ordinated between local authorities. Even if your child qualifies for admission to a grammar school in more than one area, all your preferred schools must be listed on your home local authority’s application form, and you will not be offered more than one school place. Independent schools have their own admissions processes.

    If your child is disabled or has special educational needs

    If your child has a disability or special educational need that may affect the way they access the test, you need to discuss this with the person in your child's school responsible for special educational needs (the SENCO) as soon as possible. Any proposal for alternative access requirements must made by the school by 11 July 2016.

    When you register your child online for the test, you will see a tickbox asking you to confirm that you have discussed a request for access arrangements with your child’s school. If you use a paper form to register your child for the test, you will need to include written confirmation when you return it.

  • Test dates

    Your child will take the test in year 6 of primary school.

    The Kent Test dates for 2016 will be:

    • 8 September 2016 for children who go to school in Kent
    • 10 September 2016 for children who go to school outside of Kent.
  • Test paper

    The tests are multiple-choice with a separate answer sheet. They are marked by an automated marking machine.

    The first test will be an English and Maths paper and will take 1 hour. Each section will involve a 5 minute practice exercise followed by a 25 minute test. The English section will involve a comprehension exercise as well as some additional questions drawn from a set designed to test literacy skills.

    The second test will be a reasoning paper. It will take about 1 hour, including the practice sections and questions. It will contain a verbal reasoning section and a non-verbal reasoning section of roughly the same length. The non-verbal reasoning will be split into short sections, administered and timed individually.

    There will also be a writing exercise which will not be marked but may be used by a local headteacher panel as part of the headteacher assessment stage of the process. 40 minutes will be allowed for the writing task, including 10 minutes planning time.

    The Kent Test familiarisation booklet (PDF, 2.7 MB) gives a description of the different parts of the test and advice on approaching the types of questions asked.

  • Results day

    The results for the 2016 Kent Test will be sent out on 13 October 2016.

    You can get your results:

    • by email: If you registered online we'll email your results after 4pm. We cannot guarantee the exact time you will receive your email, this will depend on your email service provider
    • online: You can log in after 5pm to view your results and scores online
    • by post: Results will be sent out by first class post on 13 October 2016
    • from your primary school: Test scores are available from your primary school from 14 October 2016. We cannot give out test scores over the phone.

    You can't appeal against your child's Kent Test results.

    If you need further advice please email kent.admissions@kent.gov.uk. If you applied online, please email from the same email address that you used to register.

  • What your score means

    Your child's score

    Your child will get three standardised scores, 1 for English, 1 for maths and 1 for reasoning.

    Standardisation is a statistical process which compares your child's performance with the average performance of other children in each test. A slight adjustment is made to take into account each child's age so that the youngest are not at a disadvantage.

    The score ranges for 2016 will be published later this year.

    Grammar school threshold 2015

    To be given a grammar school assessment, children need to get a total score of 320 or more, with no single score lower than 106.

    If they did not reach this score and their primary school referred their case to the local Head Teacher Assessment panel, their written piece will have been looked at, together with information about their achievement in school and examples of their work before a final decision was made.

    Kent Test scores report

    In response to a number of Freedom of Information requests, we have produced a report which shows the number of children who scored each total score, broken down by district and gender. The tabs in the report show grammar school and high school assessed pupils, as well as a total of both.

    Where children have been assessed suitable for grammar school via their local Head Teacher Assessment panel, their score may be below the 320 total score threshold. Children may also score higher than 320, but still be assessed as suitable for high school in cases where 1 or more of their individual scores were below 106.

    2015 Kent Test scores report (XLS, 144.5 KB)

  • Apply for grammar school

    Applications for secondary school will open in early September 2016 and close on 31 October.

    If your child took the test and was assessed as suitable for grammar school, any Kent grammar school you apply for will consider your application. However, this does not guarantee your child will be offered a place. If more children qualify for places than it has spaces for, the school will use its admissions criteria to decide which children to offer places to. If you are not offered a place at a grammar school because it is full you can put your child's name on the school's waiting list. You can also appeal to explain why you think the school should admit your child even though it is full.

    If your child was not tested or was not assessed as suitable for a Kent grammar school, you can still apply for a Kent grammar school but it will turn down your application. You will then have the right to appeal to explain why you think grammar school is a suitable option for your child.