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How to Get into Harrow School
July 21, 2015
Useful tips on how to get into Harrow School, and their admissions process at 13+ and Sixth Form.
Type: Independent boys' boarding school, ages 13 - 18
£12,450, per term
Harrow School fees include board, tuition, textbooks, a stationary allowance and laundry. If your son is offered a place, you will have to pay a £3,000 entry deposit, of which £1,500 is returned to you at the end of your son's first term. For more details, extra services or information how and when to pay your fees, click here.
Current Head: Jim Hawkins
About Harrow School
Harrow School was founded in North West London by John Lyon in 1572 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I. It is one of four schools in Britain that has 800 pupils who all board full time.
Harrow believes "that success should be measured not by grades, but by one's influence on the world. The willingness and ability to learn, to lead and to serve are what enable a life to be both well-lived and worthwhile."
Why is it so popular?
Harrow School has been home to quite a few famous individuals, including poets, writers, Winston Churchill and six other British Prime Ministers, and the first Prime Minister of India.
At GCSE in 2016 62% of grades were at A*, and 85% were at A* or A. At A-Level, 28% of grades were at A*, and 65% at A* or A.
The Application Process for 13+ Entry
Each year Harrow accepts 160 boys into at 13+. If your son is attending a school in the UK, they must be registered with Harrow by 1st June in Year 5. At the end of Year 5, the school asks that you provide them with references from your son’s current school, and your son will sit the ISEB pre-test in October at the end of Autumn term in Year 6.
The pre-test is an online assessment, consisting of multiple-choice questions in verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English and Maths. It takes approximately 2 and half hours to complete, and each test can be taken together or separately. Harrow School will assess the applicant's results and school reference within a week. A small number of boys will then be asked to meet one of the House Masters before the Harrow Test is taken in Year 7.
The Harrow Test takes place in the autumn term of Year 7. The test will assess spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. Along with the test, there will be two 15 minute interviews with a senior Harrow teacher and a House Master. After these steps, there will be another reference taken from your son’s current school in Year 7. You will find out your son’s standing in the first week of December. He will receive one of the following:
A1 List - the offer of a place at Harrow for a specific house.
A2 List - the offer of a place at Harrow with a House to be confirmed at a later date.
B List - the offer of a place on Harrow's waiting list.
C List - no offer.
All offers are subject to a good performance in either Common Entrance or the Harrow Academic Scholarship examinations. Normally at Common Entrance, students are required to achieve at least 60%.
The Application Process for Sixth Form Entry
Every year Harrow accepts around 20 new boys into Sixth Form. Your son should apply in Year 11, in his final GCSE year. Your son will be required to write a CV (which is no more than an A4 page) detailing his academic achievements and extracurricular interests and achievements. He will also be required to write a one page handwritten letter to the Headmaster explaining why he would like to study at Harrow school, in addition to your son’s most recent school report and the £300 registration fee.
After these are presented, strong applications will be invited to a test day, where your son can choose to be tested on 3 of his 4 A-level subject choices.
How do I know if Harrow School is right for me?
The best way to know if a school is right for you and your son is to experience the campus on an average day. Harrow School hosts several Open Mornings throughout the year allow you to do just that!
For a chance to have a look around, book an open morning here. If you are unable to make one of the Open Mornings, we recommend looking at their prospectus instead.
How do I do well on Harrow School's exams and interviews?
While Harrow School doesn't offer specimen papers to prospective students, you can still prepare for your exams and interviews by revising with the abundance of resources online. Harrow's article "Learning How to Study is Key" outlines top tips for how to revise efficiently, while our resource centre offer a wide variety of study materials for specific subjects.
For extra support you can also search Tutorfair and our fantastic selection of Admissions tutors. We also have experienced 11 plus tutors.
Contrary to popular belief, you can even "study" for interviews, too, by researching the ethos and aims of Harrow School and practicing articulating your achievements and goals in a calm and confident manner.
Best of luck!
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