Winchester Entrance is designed to give all candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their academic potential, irrespective of their previous educational setting.
The majority of boys will undertake the Winchester Entrance exam in the April/May of Year 8, either at the candidate’s own school or at an approved centre.
We recognise that candidates from the maintained sector will have followed KS3 of the National Curriculum, rather than the Common Entrance syllabus, and we very much welcome their applications.
All candidates sit papers in English and Maths. All boys sitting Winchester Entrance and Election take a common English paper and Maths paper (Paper 1 in Election). Find out more about Election.
Candidates from prep schools must also sit papers in Science, Geography and History. Where a candidate has studied Latin and/or French in prep school they must also undertake that exam. If a candidate has studied Spanish or German in place of French then they may choose to sit an alternative paper in that language. Candidates may also choose to sit the Greek paper.
Candidates from maintained schools may take the full range of papers should they wish but the prime requirements are Maths and English.
We have reformed the Entrance exam to be more accessible to pupils from different academic backgrounds. However the exam remains challenging, with some of the questions designed to be particularly stretching. As 2021 will be the first year when candidates sit the new exam, the following specimen papers have been designed as examples of what a typical exam might look like.
Whilst the exams have changed this year, past papers remain a helpful way of preparing. They still give a good indication of the level and difficulty of typical questions. Therefore they will help candidates know what to expect. A full range of past papers is provided via the links below.
Parents and teachers preparing candidates for Winchester Entrance who need guidance and support can email the Registrar’s office who may direct their queries to the appropriate Head of Department if needed.
28th April 2021
A boy in his final year has achieved a near-perfect score in the UK Chemistry Olympiad, and once again will represent his country in the international competition.
23rd November 2020
This year’s Recita was a blended affair with some of the performers reciting remotely. Nevertheless, the socially-distanced audience enjoyed a wonderful evening of stunning poetry, which ranged from the comic to the musical to the profound.
8th November 2020
A wintry Winchester was the perfect location for the boys' first introduction to bushcraft and survival skills.
20th October 2020
In the final instalment of our focus on Wordsworth, in this 250th anniversary year of his birth, we reveal a previously undiscovered treasure within the school's collection.
13th October 2020
The texts pupils study in Div, English and other lessons provide springboards for discussion about a range of topics. Ensuring there is content that is both diverse and international in outlook encourages depth of study and understanding.
9th October 2020
As the school considers how it celebrates the diversity of its community, Black History Month provides an opportunity to focus on how pupils are learning about different voices and cultures, and their inseparability from our "own" histories and experiences.