Tonbridge is one of the leading boys’ boarding and day schools in the UK and is highly respected, both here and internationally, for providing a world-class education. It occupies an extensive site of 150 acres in Kent – just a 40-minute train journey from London Charing Cross. There are some 800 boys in seven Boarding Houses and five Day Houses. One of the key strengths of Tonbridge is that it blends tradition and innovation successfully, with high achieving boys wearing their gifts lightly.The School is renowned for its excellent teaching and for academic achievement.
Each year exam results at GCSE and A-level are outstanding, with boys progressing to leading universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group institutions: the large majority securing their first-choice destination. Tonbridge leavers have also recently gained places (and scholarships) at top US institutions including Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dartmouth, Northeastern and UC Berkeley and, worldwide, at universities in Austria, Australia, Canada, China and Hong Kong.
In the latest Sunday Times ‘Parent Power’ league table, published in December 2022, Tonbridge was the 8th highest ranking independent school in the country, and the top boys boarding school.
Pastoral care is based around an outstanding House system. Strong and positive relationships between boys, staff and parents are central to its success, and the School strives to ensure that each pupil, whether a boarder or a day boy, feels fully at home and well supported. Tonbridge was the first school in the UK to put mindfulness on the curriculum for all Year 10 pupils. There is also a vibrant programme of Co-Curricular breadth and depth, with a wide range of societies covering everything from Beekeeping to Ultimate Frisbee. The School has a strong commitment to widening access and is striving towards doubling the number of boys who receive means-tested fee assistance to be 80 to 100 boys by 2028.
Tonbridge encourages its students to make connections – connections between academic subjects, between different sports and activities, between people, between cultures: with the aim of producing fine minds and good hearts. The School’s ethos is summed up in just two words: ‘Only Connect’.
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.
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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.