Winchester College is one of the country's most distinguished schools. We pride ourselves on a unique admissions system and the substantial financial assistance which we are able to offer to deserving pupils each year.

The aim of our admissions process is happiness. We want the right boy to get to the right school, with minimum anxiety before his acceptance, and maximum enjoyment after it. 

Our process is therefore human and personalised; focused on potential, not merely prior attainment; and designed to fashion an accessible, balanced and harmonious community. It has its origins in systems designed by top universities and depends substantially on interview. It is designed to offer maximum interaction with the school at all times.

Currently, due to COVID restrictions, we are offering virtual Open Days and Registrar's Tours of the school, which are now open for bookings. Our Housemasters are also available to talk to parents and boys about their Houses and answer any specific questions you may have, which we hope will help you decide which boarding house will be right for your son. 

Please note that applications for entry at 13+ in September 2021, 2022 and 2023 are now closed, except for those wishing to apply for a Music or Sports Award. 

There are three simple stages:

Stage 1 – Choosing the school and a house (Year 4 and 5)

  • When your son reaches Year 4, attend one of our Open Days. In the summer term, Registrar's Tours are available.
  • In Year 5, if you have not do so already, attend one of our Open Days or a Registrar's Tour. You can then explore your choice of boarding house with a Housemaster at Home visit, which introduces you to up to three Housemasters. 
  • Complete and return your registration form by the closing date of 3 July at the end of Year 5, enclosing a non-refundable fee of £375 and indicating your choice of house.      

Stage 2 - Assessment and preparation (Year 6 and 7)

  • Your son will sit the ISEB Common Pre-Tests during October and November in Year 6 at his current school or an approved centre.  
  • Successful candidates will be invited back for interview between January and March of Year 6, with results published in April.  
  • When you accept a place (by 1 July of Year 6) we ask for an Entrance Fee of £500.
  • If you would like to explore a bursary, please complete and return the bursary application form by 1 July of Year 6 (forms available via the bursary office). Decisions are made by the end of November. Your Entrance Fee will be refunded if you are unable to continue your application.   
  • Attend an Our Journey Together Open Morning in January and February of Year 7. This is designed to congratulate your son, and also to help the family prepare for starting at Winchester.   
  • In January of Year 8, sign and return the Parent Contract and deposit by 31 January, after which we look forward to staying further in touch.

Stage 3 - Final Exams: Entrance or Election (Year 8)

  • During Year 8, there are opportunities to apply for a Sport, Music or Academic Scholarship (known as Election).    
  • Boys sit either Election or Winchester Entrance exams in April or May of Year 8. Election is taken over three days at Winchester in the same week as the Entrance exam. The Entrance exam is taken in the boys’ own school or at an approved centre.
  • By June of Year 8, places will be confirmed, and we will look forward to welcoming the successful boys to a New Men’s Day.

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“Happiness is the most important factor when choosing a senior school for your son - we take a great deal of time to ensure that Winchester is the right place for him and for you.”

Andy Shedden • Registrar