Particularly bright boys may be invited 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. Election typically takes place at the school over three days in the April or May of Year 8.

The full details surrounding the process of Election can be found here .

What to expect in the Election exam

Candidates from prep schools sit compulsory papers in English, Maths 1, Science and General Paper 1. 

They must also take at least three papers from the following subjects Latin, French, Greek, History, Geography, Maths 2 and General Paper 2.  

We have reformed the Election process to be more accessible to pupils from different academic backgrounds.

Candidates from the maintained sector sit compulsory papers in English, Maths 1 and General Paper 1.

They are, of course, free to undertake any of the additional papers if they wish.

Preparing for the Exam

All boys sitting Winchester Entrance and Election take a common English paper and Maths paper (Paper 1 in Election). The syllabuses below set out what could be covered in English and Maths 1. They should be cross-referenced with the KS3 and Common Entrance syllabuses.

Parents and teachers preparing candidates from the maintained sector to sit papers in English and Maths (Paper 1) at Election should e-mail the Master in College or the Registrar’s office who will be happy to assist and can then direct their queries to the appropriate Head of Department if needed.

Past papers are a helpful way of preparing. They give a good indication of the level and difficulty of typical questions.The following examples of Election papers from recent years are provided to give prospective pupils an idea of what to expect.

Success at Election

Those boys who are successful at Election are awarded either:

  • A Scholarship – boys are offered a place in College, the oldest of the school’s boarding houses. On joining the school, they are known as Scholars and are distinct by the gowns they wear.
  • An Exhibition – boys are publicly recognised for their academic ability and accept their existing offer of a place in one of the school’s other boarding houses.
  • Headmaster’s Nominations – an award where a boy has not previously been offered a conditional place at the school or been successful in gaining an Academic Scholarship, but whose exam results are strong enough to gain a place in the school. He will subsequently be offered a place in one of the school’s boarding houses.

An Academic Scholarship, Exhibition or Headmaster’s Nomination does not automatically carry a remission of school fees. Financial assistance is available via our substantial bursaries programme.

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