Winchester College is one of the country's most distinguished schools. We pride ourselves on a unique admissions system, and the substantial financial assistance which we are able to offer to deserving pupils each year.

We have recently undertaken a major review of our admissions process. Our aim is happiness. We want the right boy to get to the right school, with minimum anxiety before his acceptance, and maximum enjoyment after it. 

Our process is therefore human and personalised; focused on potential, not merely prior attainment; and designed to fashion an accessible, balanced and harmonious community. It has its origins in systems designed by top universities and depends substantially on interview. It is designed to offer maximum interaction with the school at all times.

Please note that applications for entry at 13+ in September 2021 and 2022 are now closed. The deadline for September 2023 applications is 3rd July 2020.

There are three simple stages:

Stage 1 – Choosing the school and a house (Year 4 and 5)

  • Request a Prospectus and also start to get to know Winchester through our website.  
  • When your son reaches Year 4, attend one of our two Open Days or a weekly Registrar's Tour. Please note that the Registrar's Tours will start in the summer term of Year 4.
  • In Year 5, select from one of our two Open Days or a weekly Registrar's Tour, then explore your choice of boarding house with a Housemaster at Home visit, which introduces you to up to three Housemasters. 
  • Complete and return your registration form by the closing date of 3rd July at the end of Year 5, enclosing a non-refundable fee of £375 and indicating your choice of house.      

Stage 2 - Assessment and preparation (Year 6 and 7)

  • Your son will sit the ISEB Common Pre-Tests during October and November in Year 6 at his current school or an approved centre.  
  • Successful candidates will be invited back for interview between January and March of Year 6, with results published in April.  
  • When you accept a place (by 1st September of Year 7) we ask for an Entrance Fee of £500.
  • If you would like to explore a bursary, please complete and return the bursary application form by 1st September of Year 7 (forms available via the bursary office). Decisions are made by the end of November. Your Entrance Fee will be refunded if you are unable to continue your application.   
  • Attend an Our Journey Together Open Morning in January and February of Year 7. This is designed to congratulate your son, and also to help the family prepare for starting at Winchester.   
  • In January of Year 8, sign and return the Parent Contract and deposit by 31st January, after which we look forward to staying further in touch.

Stage 3 - Final Exams: Entrance or Election (Year 8)

  • During Year 8, there are opportunities to apply for a Sport, Music or Academic Scholarship (known as Election).    
  • Boys sit either Election or Winchester Entrance exams in April or May of Year 8. Election is taken over three days at Winchester in the same week as the Entrance exam. The Entrance exam is taken in the boys’ own school or at an approved centre.
  • By June of Year 8, places will be confirmed, and we will look forward to welcoming the successful boys to a New Men’s Day.

“Happiness is the most important factor when choosing a senior school for your son - we take a great deal of time to ensure that Winchester is the right place for him and for you.”

Andy Shedden • Registrar