Guiding you through the process

The aim of our unique admissions process is happiness. We want the right child to get to the right school, with minimum anxiety before accepting a place, and maximum enjoyment after it. Our substantial bursary programme ensures there is financial assistance available so deserving pupils can attend, irrespective of their circumstances. 

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

The timeline below leads you through the process and includes all the links you will need to register, to book your visit to the school, and to apply for a bursary or scholarship: Election (Academic) or Music and Sports Awards.

Please note that the application date for 2023 and 2024 has now passed and we are no longer accepting new registrations for these years. The application deadline ​for 2025 was 3 July 2022.

Welcoming applicants from the State Sector

We recognise that families from the state sector may not be familiar with our admissions timeline. If you have any questions or have missed any of the deadlines, please contact our Admissions Team who will be very happy to help you. 

Applying for places in Year 9, Year 10 or Year 11

Vacancies in Years 9, 10 or 11 do occur from time to time. Please contact us for further details.

13+ Timeline For Entry

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We would recommend adding your details to our Enquiry Form which will allow our admissions team to keep you up to date. If you would like to apply now, you can do so now using our Application Form.

Research and Register

Your current year 4 Year

Your current year 5 Year

If you have not done so already,

  • You have the opportunity to visit up to two Housemasters, including a tour of each house. Please contact to arrange your visit.
  • If you would like advice about Houses, please contact our team at or 01962 621247 and we will be happy to guide you.

Assessment and Preparation

Your current year 6 Year

  • All those applying to Winchester College are required to sit the ISEB Common Pre-Tests. 
  • The Common Pre-Tests are age-standardised tests which seek to assess a pupil’s attainment and potential. The tests are multiple-choice and cover verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, English and Maths. No preparation is required. The tests may only be taken once in an academic year. Further information can be found on the ISEB website.
  • The tests are taken online, usually in your son’s current school. However, if this is not possible, the tests may be taken at an approved test centre.
  • Winchester College will register your son for these tests.
  • The results will be available to all those schools to which your son is applying.
  • At this stage, we will also request a confidential reference from your son’s school.
  • We will email you with the results of this stage of your application in early December.

  • If you would like to apply for a bursary, please contact our Bursary team at or 01962 621138.
  • Bursary applications must be submitted by the end of January.

  • If your son is successful in the first stage, we will invite him to an interview in the spring term. 
  • In May, the Housemaster or Registrar will email you with the result of your son’s interview.

  • If your son is successful, you will receive an offer letter from the Headmaster. This should be signed and returned, along with the Acceptance Fee of £1,000, by 1 July to secure your son’s place.
  • If you applied for a bursary, you will be informed of this decision at the same time.

  • We appreciate that our application process begins early and may well have started before you thought about exploring a Winchester College education. 
  • If you have missed a deadline or have any questions about making an application, please don't hesitate to contact our team via and we will be very happy to advise you.   

Your current year 7 Year

  • The Our Journey Together Open Morning is for families who have accepted a place. This event welcomes you and your son to the school, and helps your family to prepare for the next steps.
  • The morning will include talks from the Headmaster and senior leadership team on how to prepare for life at Winchester College. There will be a choice of activities for you and your son, designed to introduce you both to the wide range of opportunities at Winchester.
  • The event enables you to see your Housemaster and meet other boys and parents who will be joining your house.

Final exams and scholarships

Your current year 8 Year

If your son is a talented musician or exceptional sportsman, you may wish to apply for a Music or Sports Scholarship.

In early November you will be sent the Parent Contract and accompanying documents by email. Please sign the Acceptance Form and send the deposit by the end of November. Find out more about the fees and deposits here.

Exceptionally bright boys may apply to take part in Election, the academic scholarship exam. Election is taken instead of the Winchester Entrance exam. It is a unique selection process involving both written examinations and interviews.

  • We will invite your son to sit either Election or Winchester Entrance exams in April or May.
  • Election is taken over three days at Winchester. You will hear the results of Election by the end of that week.
  • The Entrance exams are taken in your son's own school or at an approved centre. Your son’s results will be sent by email in May.

Your son’s place will be confirmed by email. You will then receive our New Pupil’s Pack, which includes all the practical information your son needs before joining Winchester, such as our uniform requirements.

We look forward to welcoming your son, and his successful peers, to New Pupil’s Day. This is an enjoyable day, designed to offer advice and support parents and boys as they prepare to join Winchester College the following September.

Your son joins the school

Your current year 9 Year

  • You and your son will be welcomed on the first day of term by the Housemaster, who will remain your main point of contact throughout your son’s time at Winchester.
  • In the first few weeks of term, boys will have a full schedule of activities every day so that they can learn about what is on offer at Winchester and they can start to form friendships.
  • We understand the importance of your son’s first day, week, month, term and year with us. The House teams, dons, and support staff devote time and care to ensure that each boy settles in and has a happy, successful experience at Winchester.

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

Andy Shedden • Registrar