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Birkdale School

In their own words

Our vision at Birkdale is to provide the best academic education for each pupil which will enable them to achieve their full potential and equip them for the rest of their life.

A dedicated team of outstanding academic specialists deliver high quality expert teaching in a wide range of subjects in an aspirational and supportive environment resulting in:

  • Superb results in our public examinations, enabling our pupils to successfully gain entry to their chosen university or profession.

  • A curriculum tailored to suit each individual, promoting intellectual curiosity and independent thought

  • Provision of a wide variety of academic clubs, entry in national competitions and trips to further develop and widen pupils’ horizons

Learning is supported by excellent facilities, specialist resources and small classes encouraging pupils to develop as independent, intelligent and insightful individuals and life-long learners who are self-aware, reflective and proficient in a wide range of skills and abilities.

The school has strong links across the city of Sheffield, including with the universities, professions and different sections of industry providing pupils with further insights to higher education and career opportunities.

The tailored academic education received at Birkdale aims to prepare pupils not only for higher education, professional training and their future careers but also to contribute positively to society as life-long learners.

Mr Ryan Becks – Deputy Head (Academic)

The admissions process uses the online ISEB Common Pre Test (sometimes referred to as the Common Entrance Exam). This exam has a specific format and structure, includes a range of predictable questions types and is taken in an online/computer environment. Students should pay particular attention to the Non-Verbal and Verbal-Reasoning modules, as these sections may include question types they have never encountered before.

We have partnered with the test experts at Ready Steady Pass, to bring you the most accurate and best value ISEB practise material. These exams are audited by AQA and EdExcel exam markers, and ISI independent school inspectors. Tests are taken online, include unlimited resits and emailed results including answer sheets to share with tutors and parents.

Each individual exam contains a full ISEB Common Pre Test experience, covering Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Buy the Bundle or Complete Collection to get the best value for money.

Click below to create your Ready Steady Pass account and start your revision journey.

£24.99 for 1 complete exam

£59.99 for 3 complete exams

£99.99 for all 5 complete exams

What questions can I expect?

The ISEB Common Pre Test is a combination of 4 individual exams, all of which are set in a multiple choice, online environment. The exams vary every year, but you can expect to find all or most of the below in this year's test.


  • Calculations

  • Money

  • Place value

  • Statistics and data

  • Fractions, decimals, and percentages

  • Triangles and angles

  • Area and perimeter

  • Units and measurement


  • Reading and comprehension

  • Vocabulary and spelling

  • Literary devices

Verbal Reasoning

  • Code breaking

  • Word meanings

  • Missing letters

  • Pairing synonyms

  • Pairing antonyms

  • Word combinations

Non-Verbal Reasoning

  • Visual codes

  • Missing shapes and shape sequences

  • Matching shapes

  • Net-to-cube

  • Cube-to-net

£24.99 for 1 complete exam

£59.99 for 3 complete exams

£99.99 for all 5 complete exams

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