Kent Test

Registration for the Kent Test for children due to start secondary school in September 2022 is now closed.

Assessment is normally done through testing during the autumn term. This year, the tests took place in September 2021.

September 2022 admissions

Registration for the Kent Test for children due to start secondary school in September 2022 is now closed.
Registration was open between 1 June and midnight on 1 July 2021.

We are unable to accept any late registrations.

If you have missed the deadline but still want your child to attend a grammar school you can follow these steps:

  • name a Kent grammar school(s) on your secondary application form, which you will make to your local authority (who you pay your council tax to) in autumn. This gives you the right of appeal in March 2022 and the grammar school will arrange for your child to be tested before the hearing.
  • apply directly to grammar schools after 26 April 2022 and they can arrange testing at this stage.

Read KCC's admissions privacy notice.

Moving to Kent

If you move to Kent after the Kent Test has been 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.

Who can take the Kent Test

Your child must have been born between 1 September 2010 and 31 August 2011 to take the 2021 Kent Test. If your child is outside this age range but still needs to apply please email kentonlineadmissions@kent.gov.uk.

If you live outside Kent

Most years, many children who live outside Kent register to take the test but do not turn up on the day. Others take the test, but do not apply for Kent schools.

With restrictions in place to limit virus transmission it will be particularly difficult to arrange testing for thousands of visitors. Please only register if your child needs to take part in the Kent Test because you intend to apply.

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. You can search for Kent grammar schools with our Kent Schools search.

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 has SEND

If your child has special educational needs or a disability that may affect the way they access the test, you need to discuss this with your current school's special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) as soon as possible. Any proposal for alternative access requirements must made by the school by 12 July 2021.

When you register your child for the Kent Test online, you will need to confirm if you have discussed a request for access arrangements with your child’s school.

The Kent Test took place on:

  • 9 September 2021 for children who go to school in Kent
  • the weekend of 11 September 2021 for children who go to school outside Kent.

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.

Familiarisation paper

This document explains the Kent Test papers for children who will take them, and parts of it will not be fully accessible to users of some assistive technologies.

Any child with a severe visual impairment who cannot access test papers can instead be assessed by a head-teacher panel, which will look at their classwork and academic achievement. If you need to know more about the content of our familiarisation paper or how we assess students with visual impairments, please email kent.admissions@kent.gov.uk.

Kent Test familiarisation paper (PDF, 2.6 MB)

You can request an alternative format of this document.

View a range of free familiarisation material.

Registered online

If you registered online, we will email your child’s Kent Test result to you after 4pm on 21 October 2021 (the delivery time will depend on your email service provider).

Did not register online

If you did not register online and we do not have a valid email address for you, the Kent Test result can only be sent by letter.

If possible, we will post your child’s result to you on results day by first class post. You can ask your child’s primary school for their test scores the day after results go out.

Your child's score

Your child will get 3 standardised scores, one for English, one for maths and one for reasoning, and a total (aggregate) score.

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 account of each child's age so that the youngest are not at a disadvantage.

The grammar school threshold for the 2021 tests will not be published until the results have been sent out.

Grammar school threshold 2021

To be given a grammar school assessment, children needed a total score of 332 or more, with no single score lower than 109. Test scores range from 69 to 141. The highest possible total score is 423.

If your child did not reach the threshold score and their primary school referred their case to the local Head Teacher Assessment Panel, the panel will have looked at their achievement in school and examples of their work, including the writing task completed on the day, before a final decision was made.

Kent Test scores report 2020

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

Where children have been assessed suitable for grammar school via their local Head Teacher Assessment Panel, their score may be below the 332 total score threshold. Children may also score higher than 332, but still be assessed as suitable for high school in cases where one or more of their individual scores were below 108.

2020 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 50.3 KB)

Previous reports

Previous reports have provided details such as:

  • showing scores by Kent district
  • whether the child was taught in an independent or non-Kent mainstream school

Following guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), from 2019 we will no longer publish Kent Test results for any sub-category containing 5 or fewer children. This is due to the large number of redactions it would need, this effectively prevents the publication of meaningful district breakdowns, and will restrict differentiation between schools. The 2019 and 2020 result reports will show the differences between children in a KCC mainstream school and all other children.

Any direct FOI requests for more detailed breakdowns of the test results will be declined in line with the ICO’s advice. As previous reports are already in the public domain, they will remain available.

2019 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 24.9 KB)

2018 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 80.8 KB)

2017 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 89.5 KB)

2016 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 82.2 KB)

2015 Kent Test scores report (XLS, 144.5 KB)

Applications for the secondary school intake of 2022 open in September 2021.

This year Kent parents will be able to name up to 4 secondary school preferences.

If your child is assessed as suitable for grammar school, any Kent grammar school you apply for will consider your application, but this does not guarantee your child will be offered a place. If more children qualify for places than it has space for, the school must use its admissions criteria to decide which children to offer places to. If your child is not offered a place at a grammar school because it is full you can put their name on the school's 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 your application will be turned down. You will then have the right to appeal to explain why you think grammar school is a suitable option for your child.

For more information read our guide to secondary school applications (PDF, 1.2 MB).