The Comprehensive Guide to Winchester College 13+ Entry: Admission Process, Exam Dates, and Success Strategies

by Richard Davis on Jun 14, 2023

The Comprehensive Guide to Winchester College 13+ Entry: Admission Process, Exam Dates, and Success Strategies
Winchester College, a prestigious independent boarding school for boys in Winchester, Hampshire, has been fostering academic excellence and holistic development since 1382. As one of the original seven English public schools, Winchester College values diversity, kindness, and promotes intellectual curiosity among its students.

Gaining entry to Winchester College at 13+ can be highly competitive, especially with their unique entrance exams. As a parent, it is imperative to understand the admissions process and how you can effectively prepare your child for success. In this detailed guide, we give you insights into the Winchester College admissions process, key entrance exam dates, and expert strategies to ensure your child's readiness for Winchester College 13+ entry.

Winchester College 13+ Admissions Process and Entrance Exam Dates
1. Attend an Open Day

Before applying to Winchester College, parents and prospective students are encouraged to attend one of the school's Open Days, typically organized in Years 4 and 5. These events give families an immersive experience of the school's culture, along with interactions with the Headteacher, staff, and current students. For details on upcoming Open Days, contact the school at 01962 621178 or email

2. Register for 13+ Entry

To kickstart your child’s Winchester College admission journey, complete a registration form and submit a non-refundable fee of £375 by July in Year 5. Registration forms can be requested directly from the school.

3. ISEB Common Pretest

All registered candidates are required to sit the ISEB Common Pretest in October-November of Year 6 at their current school or an approved test center. This online, age-standardized assessment evaluates current attainment levels and future potential in verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English, and maths.

4. Attend Interviews

Based on pretest results, suitable candidates are invited for interviews between January and March of Year 6. These interviews focus on evaluating the child's skills, personality, and alignment with the Winchester College ethos.

5. Final Exams and Offers

Conditional offers are extended to successful interviewees, subject to their performance in the final exams (Election or Winchester Entrance exams) held in April and May of Year 8. By June of Year 8, places will be confirmed, and students will embark on their academic journey at Winchester College.

Winchester College Entrance Exam Dates 2023
  • ISEB Common Pretest: October-November in Year 6
  • Interviews: January-March in Year 6
  • Final Exams (Election or Winchester Entrance exams): April-May in Year 8

Preparing for Winchester College 13+ Entrance Exams and the Unique Comprehension Components 

Winchester College's rigorous entrance exams require structured preparation for confidence and success. To help your child excel, consider the following expert recommendations and access to tailored resources like our two books specifically designed to emulate Winchester College's unique 13+ comprehension exam.

1. Develop a Study Plan: Scaffold a balanced revision plan that integrates all subjects assessed in the Winchester College pretest and entrance exams. This should allow ample time for focused revision sessions, regular breaks, and other leisure activities.

2. Utilize Specialized Resources: Familiarize your child with the unique comprehension components of Winchester College 13+ entrance exams by providing them with specialized books that mirror these exams. Both our books, containing four model Winchester comprehension papers each, along with model answers and insightful commentary, are excellent resources that can significantly enhance your child's comprehension skills and exam success.

Book Cover, Winchester College 13+ Comprehension, Book 1
3. Employ Regular Practice Tests: Practice tests are integral in reinforcing exam concepts and boosting your child's confidence and time management skills. Use a mix of subject-specific practice tests and comprehensive mock exams to ensure your child is adept at managing their time and handling the pressure of exam situations.

4. Strengthen Key Skills: Encourage your child to hone their skills in verbal and non-verbal reasoning, English, and maths through interactive exercises and activities. Developing problem-solving, critical reading, and numeracy skills will give them a well-rounded foundation for success in all entrance exam subjects.

5. Seek Support and Guidance: If your child is facing challenges in a particular subject or concept, don't shy away from seeking additional help. Tutoring, online workshops, and engaging educational forums can provide valuable support and guidance during your child's preparation journey.


With the right preparation strategy, access to specialized resources, and unwavering parental support, your child can successfully navigate the competitive Winchester College 13+ admissions process. Stay up-to-date with Winchester College developments, including entrance exam dates, admissions policies, staff lists, rankings, and school events, by checking the school's website regularly. Remember to nurture your child's academic curiosity and passion for learning as they embark on this exciting journey.