Common Entrance and Scholarship Pathways

Our final two years (Years 7 and 8) see boys follow two exam routes:

  • Common Entrance
  • Scholarship

An open and ongoing dialogue exists between teachers, pupils and parents to ascertain the best pathway for each boy. Regardless of which route pupils take, there are many opportunities for boys to thrive in their learning from Year 3 right through to Year 8. In the classroom, our final two years are about academic and curriculum extension and leadership opportunities at such an important stage of the boys’ development. We aim to find the right pathway for each boy, ensuring that they flourish academically and achieve the results required to gain entrance to their senior school of choice whilst placing their wellbeing at the heart of all we do.

Common Entrance

Common Entrance is a robust examination pathway characterised by a depth and breadth of study throughout. Boys sit Common Entrance exams at the end of Year 8. It is an excellent preparation for the rigours of senior school and GCSE exams. The majority of boys at Shrewsbury House sit Common Entrance exams.


Academic scholarship exams are very challenging and vary in style among senior schools. Potential academic scholarship candidates must be strong across all subject areas, display the right attitude in class and have a strong work ethic. Should it be felt that boys would benefit from sitting their senior school’s academic scholarship exams, they are initially invited to join 7S in Year 7. Pupils in 7S start to follow a different syllabus in order to prepare them for the rigours of academic scholarship exams in Year 8. Pupils sitting academic scholarship exams are also taught as one class in their final year (8S).