this week, I'm taking a closer look at UKiset, an assessment aimed at international students seeking to attend British schools.
Focusing on academic ability and English-language skills, the results are compared against those of British students when deciding whether to admit an international student to a British school. Sounds pretty useful, right?
As UKiset is recognized by over 140 independent UK schools as a means of initial screening, advancement of a student's application and, in some cases, replacement of the school's own entrance exams, it's a hassle-free way for an international student to apply to a British school.
Furthermore, as many of the schools that have endorsed UKiset are known for their academic expertise and student success, it's a useful entry route into top British schools such as Eton College, Wycombe Abbey, Oundle School, Tonbridge School and Wellington College.
Sitting for the UKiset can also help to give international students an insight into the UK education system, enabling them to experience first hand what it's like to sit formal exams.
Is it true I should sit for UKiset earlier and why?
Yes, it's certainly worth sitting UKiset as soon as you feel ready to do so. You may think UKiset will be a breeze to pass, but both students and parents often underestimate the complexity of the assessment, especially when many international students are unfamiliar with sitting formal exams.
If you complete the assessment early, you'll be allowing plenty of time for any necessary re-sits (which can only take place six months after the first attempt) and as the results from both tests are valid for one year, you can choose the highest score to submit.
How should I prepare for September 2019 entry?
Be ready to sit the UKiset for the first time in January to February 2018. If your initial score isn't as high as you'd hoped, you can re-sit the UKiset in the summer. Following on from this, you can choose the better result of your two assessment attempts and then submit this for your UKiset profile. The application procedure for British schools runs from August to October 2018, so once you've got your scores, it's a good idea to start thinking about where you'd like to apply, and read up on the application process and requirements.
Sitting the UKiset paid off for Alvina, who has an average academic result at school. She scored 8/9/9 in UKiset, earning her a Year 12 offer from Badminton School without having to sit any of the school's own entrance exams.
All in all, taking UKiset as part of the application procedure is a good idea as it will help students know their academic standings among their UK counterparts.
Mabel Chan is a principal consultant at Britannia StudyLink. www.facebook.com/lucyqna