Kent Test

Registration closed at midnight on 1 July 2020 for children due to start secondary school in September 2021.

Assessment is normally done through testing during the autumn term.

Due to the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, we will keep this page up to date with the latest information as and when we have further advice from government. Once the registration window has closed, we will also contact registered families directly with any new information that may be required. Any reference to ‘Kent Test’ or ‘registration’ does not guarantee when or if testing will take place.

If you move to Kent after assessments have 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.

Kent Test for 2021 admissions

Registration closed at midnight on 1 July 2020 for children due to start secondary school in September 2021.

If you have missed the deadline, please email kent.admissions@kent.gov.uk with the following details:

  • child's name
  • their current primary school
  • home address.

Parents will be told closer to the time if any adjustments need to be made to the assessment process because of the recent school closures for most children.

Read KCC's admissions privacy notice.

Any request for special testing arrangements for children with SEN or disabilities is to be made by their school before 10 July 2020.

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.

Your child must have been born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 to take the 2020 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.

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 if your child is eligible for free school transport.

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 your current school's Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) as soon as possible. Any proposal for alternative access requirements must made by the school by 10 July 2020.

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.

Following the agreement of proposals to delay the Kent Test, assessments will now take place:

  • on 15 October 2020 for children who go to school in Kent (amended from 10 September 2020)
  • from 17 October 2020 for children who go to school outside of Kent (amended from 12 September 2020).

Your child must not attend the assessment if they are in a period of self isolation or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the test.

As testing arrangements vary between children, details of alternative arrangements will be confirmed shortly after their originally scheduled test date.

Kent Test for those who attend a school outside of Kent

Whilst the government have increased restrictions for affected families to a higher tier, they have prioritised education and provided separate guidance to local authorities and schools to ensure that they can remain “COVID-19 safe”.

In addition to the general guidance to schools, specific advice for grammar school testing has been shared with all test centres to minimise the risk of contamination on the day of testing.

As a result, your child can still sit their test at the date, time and venue that you have previously been advised. Children and families must follow the rules detailed in their invitation letter to help ensure the test environment remains safe on the day of testing.

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, 2.6 MB) gives a description of the different parts of the test and advice on approaching the types of questions asked.

Any additional familiarisation material can be downloaded free of charge from GL Assessment.

Read our latest statement about the 2020 Kent Test.

Registered online

If you registered online, we will email your child’s Kent Test result to you after 4pm on 26 November 2020 (the delivery time will depend on your email service provider).

Login to view test results

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.

Grammar school threshold 2020

To be given a grammar school assessment, children needed a total score of 332 or more, with no single score lower than 108. 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 2019

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 2021 open in September 2020.

This year Kent parents will be able to name up to 6 secondary school preferences, an increase from 4, to account for the fact that they will not know their child’s Kent Test result before applications need to be submitted on 2 November 2020.

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 about how to make the most of your six preference options, read our guide to secondary school applications (PDF, 936.7 KB).