Admissions Guidance

Please note that the below guidance is designed to assist candidates through each stage of admissions once their initial application has been reviewed.

For candidates yet to apply to Harrow School Online, we recommend familiarising yourself with the application process of which the first stage is to complete the online application form

Entrance Tests

Admissions Interviews

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I prepare for the entrance tests?

Candidates are not required to prepare specifically for the entrance tests. However, revision of core subject fundamentals and general practice of the more challenging questions on your course specification may be of assistance.

2. Do you publish past papers?

The School does not publish past papers or practice material for our entrance tests. The entrance tests are designed to assess the candidate's current ability in each of their subjects - we do not expect pupils to prepare extensively for them. 

3. What is the pass mark for the tests?

There is no specific pass mark for the tests. We will pass candidates who we feel have the potential to excel on the International A Level programme. If a candidate scores well in some sections of the test and poorly in others, our academic interviewer will establish whether this is because of gaps in learning rather than a lack of ability. We are looking for pupils with academic ability, and will accept pupils with some knowledge gaps if we feel they have the potential to learn.

4. Will I be disadvantaged if I sit the entrance tests early in Year 11? 

No, not in the slightest. It is a guiding principle of our admissions department that candidates sitting an entrance test at the beginning of Year 11 will be in no way disadvantaged when compared to candidates sitting their test at the end of Year 11. The tests – and their marking criteria – have been carefully designed by our teachers to assess the ability of candidates at different points in the year, allowing for the fact that those candidates who sit their tests earlier in Year 11 will have covered less of the GCSE, or equivalent, curriculum. 

5. What if I pass some subjects and fail others?

If a candidate has performed highly in most exams but particularly poorly in one subject, we may accept the candidate on the condition that they either drop that particular subject for the International A Level course, or take extra academic support.  

6. Can I use my calculator during the tests?

Yes. Candidates may bring calculators into their exams. 

Please note: Candidates are not permitted to use the calculator feature on their smartphones.

7. What are the technical requirements for completing the test?

To complete the test, each candidate needs a laptop or desktop computer with a modern operating system (Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.7 or newer) and browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 11 or newer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari). A broadband Internet connection is essential. 

It is essential that a candidate has a microphone headset and webcam. The test cannot start without these. 

8. Will I have access to formula sheets in the Maths, Further Maths and Physics exams?

Yes. Candidates will be provided with a copy of a formula sheet in the testing website that they will be able to access anytime during the exam. The formula sheets will contain equations and formulae typically covered during a GCSE or equivalent course in these subjects. 

9. Will I have access to a Periodic Table of Elements during the Chemistry entrance test?

Yes. Candidates will be provided with a copy of the Periodic Table of Elements in the testing website that they will be able to access anytime during the exam.