Kent Test

Registration for the Kent Test for children due to start secondary school in September 2023 opened on Wednesday 1 June 2022 and will close at midnight on Friday 1 July 2022. We cannot accept late registrations.

Assessment is normally done through testing during the autumn term. This year, the tests are due to take place on Thursday 8 September 2022 for pupils in Kent primary schools, and on Saturday 10 September for other pupils. Any reference to ‘Kent Test’ or ‘registration’ does not guarantee when or if testing will take place.

If your child will be starting secondary school in September 2022 and has not taken the Kent Test, see our information about moving to a different school.

Who can take the Kent Test

Children currently in Year 5 who were born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012 can take the 2022 Kent Test. If your child is outside this age range but is expected to transfer to secondary school in September 2023, please email kent.admissions@kent.gov.uk.

Things to consider before you 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.
  • Being grammar assessed in the Kent Test does not guarantee your child a place in a Kent grammar school.
  • Make sure you know where the Kent grammar schools (PDF, 114.7 KB) are, and what the admissions criteria are for the school(s) you are interested in. You can also search for Kent grammar schools in our Kent schools search.
  • Many children will find the test difficult. Grammar schools in Kent provide for children in about the top 25% of the ability range. 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.

Register for the Kent Test

Read Kent County Council's admissions privacy notice.

If you live outside Kent

You can register your child for testing, but please only do so if you intend to apply for a place at a Kent grammar school. Every year, time and resources are wasted when children who are registered to take the test do not turn up.

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.

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 2022.

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 will take place on:

  • Thursday 8 September 2022 for children who go to school in Kent
  • the weekend of Saturday 10 September 2022 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.

If you provided an email address when you registered, your Kent Test result will be emailed to you after 4pm on Tuesday 18 October 2022 (the delivery time will depend on your email service provider). We can only send this to the email address used to register your child.

If you did not provide an email address, 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 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 2022 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.

Kent Test scores report 2021

In response to freedom of information (FOI) 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.

2021 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 47.3 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. From 2019 onwards, result reports will show the differences between children in a Kent County Council 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.

2020 Kent Test scores report (XLSX, 50.3 KB)

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 September 2023 open in September 2022.

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.
  • Grammar schools are often oversubscribed, meaning they receive more applications than there are available places. Schools use their admissions criteria to rank all applicants in priority order, so it’s important to read the admissions criteria for schools you are interested in.
  • A Kent grammar school can only consider your child for a place if you have named it on your application and your child has been tested and assessed suitable for admission.
  • If your child is not offered a place at the school, you will be able to appeal to an independent appeal panel and may be able to join the school’s waiting list.

If you are applying from outside Kent, 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 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 to that school will be refused.
  • You will then have the right to appeal to explain why you think it is a suitable option for your child.