Many Highfield children take the 13+ Common Entrance Examination, set and administered by the Independent Schools Examination Board. These exams take place in June and the children take them in Year 8. Highfield also prepares a number of pupils for the 11+ Common Entrance Examination or Entrance Examination, which are usually taken in January or February of Year 6, to pass into their first choice Senior school. No child has failed at either 11+ 12+ or 13+ for many many years.

The Common Entrance Examinations are marked by the schools at which the children are registered. They can only be registered for one school when they take the examination. Most Senior Schools will tell you that their pass mark is a 55% average. However, academic standards at Senior Schools vary and one school's 55% may be closer to another school's 65% and vice versa. One of the responsibilities of the Headmaster in advising parents on Senior School choice is to ensure that the pupil is steered towards a school that is academically appropriate. It is important to ensure that a pupil is sent on to a school that is neither too demanding academically; nor where a pupil is likely to coast academically. It is also important to choose a school where the ethos, style and feel will suit the child. The Common Entrance Examination is challenging and demanding, whether at 11+ or 13+, and pupils sitting Common Entrance in Year 6 or Year 8 will need to spend time in the Christmas holidays and Easter holidays revising.

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