Computerised Testing

computerised_testingWhat are the Computerised Pre-Tests?

UK Secondary schools are now using a raft of computerised tests to ‘pre-test’ applicants when they are in junior schools at the age of 10 years old.

These tests are designed to assess the students’ current profile, and often include batteries of questions that test the following areas:

  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Numerical Reasoning or Mathematical reasoning
  • Spatial reasoning
  • English Skills


The most common tests are the ISEB Common Pre-test, the UKiset and the CEM Durham Test. To find out which test your chosen Senior school requires, it is best to visit their website.

Can you prepare for these tests?

The simple answer is that there is no need to try to boost your child’s academic level to meet the test requirements. The reason for this is that the tests are adaptive – which means that the questions will get progressively harder if your child answers them correctly.

However, familiarity with question types IS valuable, simply because the adage ‘forewarned is forearmed’ holds true for any new situation.If your child is not familiar with word problems in mathematics, or familiar with non-verbal reasoning question structures, they will be disadvantaged compared to UK peers, whose prep-schools will have exposed them to much pen on paper and online practice.

How can you familiarize your child with such tests?

AMG offers students a chance to take the CAT4 (Cognitive Abilities Test). This test’s statistical analysis of a student’s Verbal, Non-verbal, Numerical and Spatial reasoning closely correlates with the scoring on the UKiset. In addition, the test makers are the same as the test designers for the ISEB Pre-test, so the format of the test will feel familiar.

The CAT4 Test

The test lasts between 50 minutes and 1.5 hours, depending on the length of breaks between each battery (the student/parents can choose a break time that suits them). There is also no need to take the entire test in one sitting.

Once the test has been taken, we receive a report which lays out in detail the students age standardized ‘score’, which reflects their result compared with their UK peer group.

Once we have this test result, we can give further advice on suitable schools.

Arranging a CAT4 test at AMG

To arrange a CAT4 test at AMG, simply call or email us. The test costs HK$450. The consultation after the test is free of charge.

UKiset extra requirement – WRITING

For students facing the UKiset, AMG advises that the student also write a 30 minute essay based on titles that we provide. This need not be done at the centre, but does need to be supervised. This essay allows AMG to diagnose English proficiency, which is a part of the UKiset assessment.

ISEB Common Pre-test (CPT) extra requirement – READING COMPREHENSION

Reading comprehension is a major part of the CPT. AMG advises that students aiming for this test learn active reading techniques with our tutors. This cannot be learned in only a few sessions, so we advise parents to get in touch with us for an assessment, to check your child is reading at the required speed and with the required ability to read for inference.