UKiset is an online assessment specifically designed for international students aged between 9 and 18 who are applying to UK independent schools. It forms part of these schools’ selection process by giving them an academic profile of the candidate, benchmarked against their peers in the UK.
The test can be taken once in a 6 month period and the results are valid for one year. The results from the test will be sent directly to all schools that have been applied for, so there is no need to sit a different test for each school.
The UKiset test is made up of three separate parts and takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Candidates take the test in one sitting, on a computer at an authorised UKiset test centre anywhere in the world or at the UKiset head offce in the UK.
Section 1: Reasoning (45 minutes)
The reasoning section of the test looks at how the candidate processes information and their ability to solve problems, numerically, verbally and spatially. The questions adapt to how the candidate is performing, the more questions they get right, the more challenging the questions they will be presented with are and when they get questions wrong, they will be presented with easier questions.
This portion of the test focusses on three areas:
Section 2: English Language (30 minutes)
Ukiset bases the English portion of the test on the Cambridge English Test, which uses its own internationally-recognised scoring system to determine the candidate’s English language level. Unlike the other sections of the test, it is possible to use Cambridge English practice materials for this portion in order to become familiar with the layout and format of the test.
Section 3: English writing (30 minutes)
The writing portion of the test is the only section which is hand-written and is designed to give teachers and schools a clear idea of how well the candidate can express themselves in the English language.
Candidate are asked to spend 30 minutes writing an essay on a subject given on the day; there are no options given. This section of the test is described as a piece of “expressive writing on an expository topic”. Candidate need to address the given topic in a logical way, while also providing opinion supported by relevant argument. Students may be asked to describe an experience, a feeling or a person. Marks will be given for content, structure and linguistic accuracy.
Some sample titles include:
Each UKiset test generates a report called The Profile Report which is usually available 2 business days after taking the test. The report gives an overview of the candidate’s performance in all sections of the test. Candidates are given various rankings, which place their level amongst their peers in the UK and they are assigned an English CEFR (Common European Framework for Languages) level, which grades their language level of academic English.
The report gives teachers and schools a very detailed picture of a student’s potential, as well as where they are now in their academic journey.
UKiset does not publish past papers of its tests so there is no exact preparation that can be done to replicate what will happen on the day. However, there are plenty of excellent resources which can combine to give students a huge amount of help in their preparation:
Bond Assessment: To prepare for reasoning section of the exam, UKiset suggests Bond workbooks. Bond is a cornerstone of test preparation – it has book series and assessment papers on Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.
Online practice: It is important to combine skills learning with online practice so that this element of the test is familiar on the day. We highly recommend using Atom Learning for this (using our exclusive discount link). Pre Test Plus also has sample tests which can be bought to complete online
English: These Cambridge tests (free) are useful for becoming familiar with the format and layout of the English portion of the UKiset test.
The essay section needs lots of practice in writing opinion-based pieces to time that are tightly structured, well-expressed and grammatically perfect. Wide reading, discussion at home and lots of conversation in the English language are a must for anyone preparing for this test.
British Tutors provides expert support and academic preparation for all aspects of the UKiset test. Contact us today to arrange for one of our UK School Entrance tutors to plan and execute a tailored preparation programme.