Entry and Assessments

Normal entry is in September at 11+, 12+ or 13+, as a result of the Common Entrance Examination or through Benenden's own entrance examinations. In addition, there is also a small 16+ competitive entry into the Sixth Form. Occasionally a Fifth Form place may become available and entry to this is also competitive. Full details can be found in the Parents' Information Handbook.

There are four stages to entry to Benenden:

A. 11+ and 12+ Candidates

1. Registration

Your daughter is registered by you and placed on our provisional list. We recommend registration at least three years in advance.

2. Preview Weekend – 11+ and 12+

Preview Weekend gives your daughter the chance to show us her abilities and interests in both academic and other areas. It also gives her the opportunity to get a taste of boarding, to meet some of the younger students already part of life at Benenden and to enjoy a lively weekend of fun and sociability.

All candidates will undertake assessment activities, which will include English and Maths tasks, undertake an informal interview with a Benenden staff member and in advance we will have requested a confidential report from her current school. The weekend, in the Autumn Term, is not part of the visiting process and is intended only for confirmed candidates.

For 11+ and 12+ candidates, this pre-assessment takes place 12 months prior to entry.

3. Examination for Entry

The main route for entry is via Common Entrance Examination. However, candidates who have not been prepared for Common Entrance will be asked to sit the School's own entrance examinations (English and Maths). If your daughter's school is unable to prepare her for Common Entrance, please contact Registry for sample papers.

4. Formal Offer and Acceptance of an Unconditional Place

Provided your daughter reaches our standard at Common Entrance/entrance examinations a Formal Offer of an unconditional place will be made. The Formal Acceptance of a Place completes a legally binding agreement and a Security Deposit is required.

B. 13+ Candidates

1. Registration

Your daughter is registered by you and placed on our provisional list. We recommend registration at least four years in advance.

2. Preview Weekends, Examination for Entry and Formal Offers

To bring the timeline for Benenden’s admissions procedure at 13+ closer to that of some other senior schools, we now assess 13+ candidates two years in advance of entry, rather than one.

We believe this change is necessary so that parents of girls seeking at place at Benenden at 13+ are in a position to make decisions at an earlier stage and at more or less the same time as they may receive offers from other senior schools.

To help with the demands placed on girls in terms of testing for several different schools, we have adopted the ISEB Common Pre-test for 13+ entry. We will therefore be in contact with candidates’ Prep Schools to request that 13+ applicants for Benenden have taken the ISEB Common Pre-test before they come to Preview Weekend, our overnight stay and assessment weekend.

Benenden’s 13+ pre-assessment takes place in Year 7, two years prior to entry. We will be making Formal Offers of an unconditional place at this stage.

C. Candidates for Year 10 and the Sixth Form

Benenden has a small competitive entry each year into the Fifth Form (Year 10) and the Sixth Form. Offers are made on the results of competitive examinations, an interview and satisfactory school report. For Sixth Form entry, you should follow the standard registration procedures, as above. 

Deadline for applications to be received for entry in to the Sixth Form and Fifth Form (Year 10) is 1 September in the preceding year of entry. 

To find out more about Benenden's Admissions procedures, to arrange a visit, or to request a prospectus pack, please contact: 

Registry, Benenden School, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4AA Telephone: 01580 240592 


Examples of recent 11+ Entrance papers


Examples of recent 11+ Academic Scholarship papers

13+ Candidates

For 2019 entry the 13+ Academic Scholarship candidates will be tested in four papers - English, Maths, Science and a combined Humanities and Languages paper from which two subjects will be picked: History, Geography, Latin, French writing and/or Spanish writing.

Examples of recent 13+ Entrance papers


Examples of recent 13+ Academic Scholarships

14+ Candidates

Examples of recent 14+ Entrance papers

Sixth Form

Examples of recent Sixth Form Entrance papers