How intense is the competition for sixth form places at public schools?(no bursary)

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Improlix
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Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
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alexandraeylul
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(Original post by Improlix)
Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
I would say that the competition is really intense. I applied to St paul girls and did the entrance exams and got rejected as they offer place to only 10 exterior students. However I got a conditional offer from Harris Westminster and Tiffin School which are as good as St Paul so I’d say that the competition for St Paul is quite harsh. Also I know that Harris Westminster makes some of its best students study some subjects in Westminster School so i’d say that it is hard to get into WS as well- also the entrance exams are challenging however if your predicted grades are 8-9s then you’ll be fine.
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David Getling
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(Original post by Improlix)
Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
From what I've seen any good private school will be oversubscribed, and thus demand good pre A-level performance. If a private school is willing to take anyone then it probably isn't good at teaching A-levels, and just wants the money. The reason it's like this is that A-level teaching in most UK state schools is pretty mediocre.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Improlix)
Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
It depends very much on the school. Very few will be offering bursaries to overseas students for sixth form only study anyway, not needing a bursary is the expectation.

The schools you mention are very competitive to get into and I'm not sure to what extent they need additional sixth-formers, not as much as others I suspect.

You will need to have excellent, near perfect grades for that set of schools, and you can probably add Oundle, Wellington etc to the list.

Oakham, Uppingham, Cheltenham etc are more likely to have space.
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hotgirlscholar
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That's not true. It's not
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hotgirlscholar
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(Original post by alexandraeylul)
I would say that the competition is really intense. I applied to St paul girls and did the entrance exams and got rejected as they offer place to only 10 exterior students. However I got a conditional offer from Harris Westminster and Tiffin School which are as good as St Paul so I’d say that the competition for St Paul is quite harsh. Also I know that Harris Westminster makes some of its best students study some subjects in Westminster School so i’d say that it is hard to get into WS as well- also the entrance exams are challenging however if your predicted grades are 8-9s then you’ll be fine.
That's not true. It's not "the best" students that study at WS. It's just where HWSF does consortium cos our school is smaller and doesn't offer all of the subjects. consortium subjects offered include latin, German, drama and music.
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kgnmc
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(Original post by Improlix)
Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
I wouldn't say it's that difficult to get in for a regular place (as long as your predicted grades/reference are good), but the scholarship exams are incredibly difficult if you decide to do them. Make sure that you have knowledge outside the GCSE syllabus if you choose to do the scholarship exams.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Improlix)
Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
I wouldn't bother with Winchester - you'd be better off at a state sixth form :laugh:
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Veroveroverovero
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Hi! I got into Westminster this year, as an international student. Honestly, I don't believe there is a way to tell if exams are objectively difficult, as it really depends on your preparation and approach to your subject. If you want to tell me which subjects you're taking, I'd be glad to tell you a bit more. I also don't think it depends on your predicted grades (many students with all 9s didn't even get past the first round of examinations). The competition was definitely tough, but do consider that you're not really up against the other applicants as much as against yourself. Where do you come from btw? Plenty of international students applied and got into WS, so that really isn't a problem at all.
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Improlix
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(Original post by Veroveroverovero)
Hi! I got into Westminster this year, as an international student. Honestly, I don't believe there is a way to tell if exams are objectively difficult, as it really depends on your preparation and approach to your subject. If you want to tell me which subjects you're taking, I'd be glad to tell you a bit more. I also don't think it depends on your predicted grades (many students with all 9s didn't even get past the first round of examinations). The competition was definitely tough, but do consider that you're not really up against the other applicants as much as against yourself. Where do you come from btw? Plenty of international students applied and got into WS, so that really isn't a problem at all.
My school doesnt offer gcses and i am from hongkong. I dont require a bursary to attend. What subjects did you take and what was the competition?
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Improlix
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(Original post by Veroveroverovero)
Hi! I got into Westminster this year, as an international student. Honestly, I don't believe there is a way to tell if exams are objectively difficult, as it really depends on your preparation and approach to your subject. If you want to tell me which subjects you're taking, I'd be glad to tell you a bit more. I also don't think it depends on your predicted grades (many students with all 9s didn't even get past the first round of examinations). The competition was definitely tough, but do consider that you're not really up against the other applicants as much as against yourself. Where do you come from btw? Plenty of international students applied and got into WS, so that really isn't a problem at all.
And the only reason for me applying to those schools is that i want to enter Cambridge
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Veroveroverovero
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(Original post by Improlix)
And the only reason for me applying to those schools is that i want to enter Cambridge
oh ok, well I think the Hong Kong curriculum will be just fine, maybe have a look at the gcse specs before you take the exams in order to make sure you know everything you need. I took further maths (counts as two subjects) latin and greek. I think there were approx 500 (maybe 600 I honestly don't remember) for about 80-70 places, mostly for girls. I would recommend applying to WS (or really any of these schools) because you actually like it, it's not a guarantee that you will get into Cambridge after it and I'm sure you'd have more fun going to a school because you like the environment and not because of uni plans, still you probably wouldn't be the first person to follow that path.
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Improlix
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How was the mathematics entrance examination? What was the difficulty of it and am I at advantage considering I don’t require any scholarships or bursaries to attend. And I am a boy. If I put much effort on those entrance examinations and ace them, will I receive an offer/ acceptance letter solely because of my performance in those examinations?
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Veroveroverovero
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(Original post by Improlix)
How was the mathematics entrance examination? What was the difficulty of it and am I at advantage considering I don’t require any scholarships or bursaries to attend. And I am a boy. If I put much effort on those entrance examinations and ace them, will I receive an offer/ acceptance letter solely because of my performance in those examinations?
The maths exam was Olympiad style, at least for my year. Try the HWSF maths exam to prep, tho I believe they might be easier but it's still good practice to understand how the exam will be structured. Also, the grade you're expected to get varies depending on whether you're taking further or not. Most people do not require scholarships (also, I don't think WS offers bursaries for Non-at-least-partially-UK applicants, and the only scholarships are for girls only), so that will not put you at an advantage. The exams are very meritocratic, if you ace them you will at least get to interviews.
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Improlix
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(Original post by Veroveroverovero)
The maths exam was Olympiad style, at least for my year. Try the HWSF maths exam to prep, tho I believe they might be easier but it's still good practice to understand how the exam will be structured. Also, the grade you're expected to get varies depending on whether you're taking further or not. Most people do not require scholarships (also, I don't think WS offers bursaries for Non-at-least-partially-UK applicants, and the only scholarships are for girls only), so that will not put you at an advantage. The exams are very meritocratic, if you ace them you will at least get to interviews.
Are they like HWSF math exams? They are really easy for me. How did you prepare for your math examination? Do you have any past papers? I got some awards in math Olympiad. Will I be at advantage? I want to get at least a nearly perfect score in WS’s mathematics entrance examination
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Veroveroverovero
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(Original post by Improlix)
Are they like HWSF math exams? They are really easy for me. How did you prepare for your math examination? Do you have any past papers? I got some awards in math Olympiad. Will I be at advantage? I want to get at least a nearly perfect score in WS’s mathematics entrance examination
No, HWSF exams are easier. No past papers available, it's good you did well in the Olympiad, you won't be the only one tho so not really at an advantage, just do your best on the day of the exam. I looked at subject specs and tried doing some Olympiad past papers. Which other exams are you taking?
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_Mia101
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(Original post by Improlix)
Hello! I would like to ask how intense the competition for sixth form fee-paying places at public schools (Westminster, St Paul’s, Harrow, Winchester, and Charterhouse) I am not living in UK and will be considered as an international student. I do not require a bursary to attend a public school. Is it easy to enter these schools with preparation?
Competition is tough. For Westminster, since you are boy I do think it'd be harder than it was for me, only because there are only 4 spaces for boys. The exams aren't terrible - maths was quite hard though, and if you plan on doing further maths you are expected (apparently) to get as close to 100% as you can. For normal maths I've heard 50% is fine (which is probably true as I doubt I got more than 60% in that paper). The maths exams are like olympiad or ukmt questions but their honestly imo harder. They require you to use your mathematical knowledge in a way that you'd never be taught in school - i think they were designed to be tutor proof.

I don't know what subjects you are planning on doing but I can give you some advice or bio, econ, chem and maths.
(Original post by Improlix)
And the only reason for me applying to those schools is that i want to enter Cambridge
No school will guarantee you entrance into Cambridge... or any uni really. So you shouldn't only pick your sixth form dependent on that.
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Improlix
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(Original post by Veroveroverovero)
No, HWSF exams are easier. No past papers available, it's good you did well in the Olympiad, you won't be the only one tho so not really at an advantage, just do your best on the day of the exam. I looked at subject specs and tried doing some Olympiad past papers. Which other exams are you taking?
(Original post by _Mia101)
Competition is tough. For Westminster, since you are boy I do think it'd be harder than it was for me, only because there are only 4 spaces for boys. The exams aren't terrible - maths was quite hard though, and if you plan on doing further maths you are expected (apparently) to get as close to 100% as you can. For normal maths I've heard 50% is fine (which is probably true as I doubt I got more than 60% in that paper). The maths exams are like olympiad or ukmt questions but their honestly imo harder. They require you to use your mathematical knowledge in a way that you'd never be taught in school - i think they were designed to be tutor proof.

I don't know what subjects you are planning on doing but I can give you some advice or bio, econ, chem and maths.

No school will guarantee you entrance into Cambridge... or any uni really. So you shouldn't only pick your sixth form dependent on that.
How were the econ and maths exams? There are only 4 places for boys?! I might take physics as well. I’m currently in my year 9, I will apply for sixth form in my year 10 or else I will be over-aged.
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Improlix
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Do extra curricular activities help
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Veroveroverovero
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(Original post by _Mia101)
No school will guarantee you entrance into Cambridge... or any uni really. So you shouldn't only pick your sixth form dependent on that.
I think there are more places than that for boys? I know at least ten boys got in this year. Also r u on the WhatsApp group?
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