UK Boarding School Admissions Courses

Around half of the UK’s 500 boarding schools are academically selective. For entrance to these schools, students are asked to sit various admissions tests, such as the UKiset, the Common Pre-test, the Common Entrance examinations (CE), Sixth form entry exams, as well as admissions interviews (exams vary depending on age and school). Cana is here to help you prepare by offering guidance, for both admissions tests and interview coaching.

UKiset - Course schedule at CANA

Recommended teaching hours: 37
Reading (4 hours), Writing (6 hours), Listening (2 hours), Speaking (2 hours), Interview practice (1 hour), Mathematics (10 hours)
Verbal reasoning (6 hours) + Non-verbal reasoning (6 hours)

11+ 13+ 16+
  • Reading for Literal Details and Inference
  • Author Technique
  • Writing in your own Words
  • Increasing Vocabulary
  • Reading for Literal Details and Inference
  • Author Technique
  • Writing in your own Words and understanding literary techniques
  • Increasing Vocabulary
  • Reading for Literal Details and Inference
  • Author Technique
  • Understanding and analysing literary techniques
  • Increasing Vocabulary
  • Creating Writing
  • Essay Writing
  • Using Correct Grammar and Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Creating Writing
  • Essay Writing
  • Using Correct Grammar and Punctuation
  • Understanding the use of language
  • Creating Writing
  • Essay Writing
  • Using Correct Grammar and Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Properties of Numbers
  • Fractions, Decimals and Percentages
  • Algebra and Word problems
  • Patterns and Sequences
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Coordinates and Transformations
  • 2D and 3D Geometry
  • Expansion and Factorization
  • General sequences and Series
  • Statistical Graphs and Measure of Central Tendency
  • Graphs and Transformation
  • Linear and Quadratic Function
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Surds and Radicals
  • Exponential and Logarithm
  • Arithmetic/Geometric Sequences and Series
  • Basic Probability and Measure of Dispersion
  • Linear and Quadratic Function
  • Geometry and Trigonometry
  • Basics in Calculus
  • Style and duration of test
  • Sample questions
  • Introducing different styles of questions such as Pairing , Sequence , Formation of cubes and Coding
  • Technique
  • Learn skills and strategies such as solving by elimination as well as time management
  • Exercises
  • Students are trained to complete tasks within a limited time
  • Sufficient number of questions will be provided

What is the UKiset?

UKiset is an online adaptive test that can be taken by students of any nationality between ages 9.5 to 18. Although this is not a compulsory test, many schools request the UKiset. Right now, over 200 UK schools use this as the sole assessment or as a part of their admissions process (some schools conduct further testing and/or interviews with the candidates after seeing their UKiset Profile). The test results compare the candidate’s academic skills against British students of the same age, specifically those studying in the independent sector. It is a smart way to test a student's ability to thrive in an English-speaking school. From experience, as long as a student applies to around 5 schools, at least 1 will ask for a UKiset profile. Therefore, it is useful to take it prior to school selection to avoid wasting money flying over to take entrance exams at schools.

UKiset can be taken at any time during the year. The test itself takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours to complete (with breaks between sections) and is split into 3 parts:

Reasoning Test

Verbal Reasoning (the ability to work with words and language)

  • Non-verbal Reasoning (solving problems using pictures, diagrams and patterns)
  • Numerical Reasoning (Working with numbers, values and sequences)
  • Each section of a test is given a standardised score, a National Percentile Ranking, and a Stanine ranking against tens of thousands of British students of the same age
Cambridge English Placement Test

Reading Comprehension, Listening and Use of English (Grammar, Vocabulary and Spelling)

  • The scores are scaled and reported using the Cambridge English Scale and are equated to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level. This test measures receptive language skills providing an internationally recognised level for reading and listening skills in English.
Creative Writing
  • Minimum word requirement of the essay ranges from 100 to 300, varying depending on a student’s age.
  • The essay is sent to be marked by the 5 schools chosen

When should a student take the UKiset?

If targeting top UK boarding schools, it may be advisable for a student to take the UKiset once to practice before application. We recommend that this be done1.5 - 2 years before the planned start date to study in the UK. Doing a trial test first will help identify areas for improvement. You will then be able to find materials and/or courses to boost relevant skills before your child retakes the UKiset for actual submission. CANA runs individualised, tailor made UKiset courses. Feel free to get in touch for an initial assessment.

Contact us to schedule a UKiset lesson


Here at CANA Elite, we truly believe that every student is unique and has the potential to reach their goals with the right guidance. Academic excellence is derived from both passionate teachers and eager students. That is why we provide a unique learning experience tailored to each individual student. Named after the location of the first miracle in the Bible, we hope CANA elite can be the place of miracles for all our students, allowing them to achieve their dreams.