Designed to develop student’s knowledge of the paper formats, question types, and strategies to answer each type of ISEB 13+ Common Pre-Test question. Questions are selected from a mixture of past papers and custom created resources based on past entrance examinations.

Skills Covered

Extensive practice tests

Performance analysis

Familiarity with format

Feedback and improvement

How many hours?

Typical Student Booking: 15 hours or more. Different timelines may be appropriate for different students to reach their goals.

Course Outline

Lesson 1

Introduction to Reading Passages

This session will introduce the student to speed reading of the comprehension passages, how to identify pieces of new vocabulary in the passage from their surrounding context and how to approach the answers to the multiple-choice questions asked on the passage.

Lesson 2

Making Inferences in Reading Passages

This session will introduce short extracts from a variety of famous books for analysis. Over the session, the student will explore how to deduce information from the implied meaning of a word or from adjectival association (e.g. if a passage says a man is red in the face and someone has just stepped on his foot, we can work out that he is angry).

Lesson 3

Vocabulary Questions

There are 4 key styles of question within the Verbal Reasoning Test. This session will introduce and explain strategies to answer the following styles of question, and then practice questions using past paper materials:

  • Analogies
  • Antonyms
  • Complete the sentence
  • Compound words
  • Crosswords
  • Mixed up groups
  • Odd one out
  • Rhyming words
  • Synonyms
  • Word categories
  • Word connections (e.g. ‘the man ate fish’ = finding the word them as the only hidden word between the phrase)
  • Word meanings
Lesson 4

Meaning in Context

This session will explore how the meaning of a word can be worked out from the context of a passage, especially with complex words. We will look at common prefixes and suffixes as examples too (such as duo representing a quantity of two, and ‘ly’ as a symbol of an adverb, or ‘er’ as a comparative adjective).

Lesson 5

Meaning Enhancement by Lexical Choice

The lesson will focus on choice of adjectives and literary devices as ways to qualify a noun or verb or phrase. We will consider the role of alliteration, personification, similes, metaphors, and ways that an author can invoke the 5 senses.

Lesson 6

ISEB Verbal Reasoning Ordering

There are 4 key styles of question within the Verbal Reasoning Test. This session will introduce and explain strategies to answer the following styles of question, and then practice questions using past paper materials:

  • Add a letter
  • Change a letter
  • Change a word
  • Join two words to make one
  • Jumbled words
  • Finding hidden words in sentences
  • Leftover letters
  • Missing three and four letter words
  • Missing letters
  • Move a letter
  • Word chains and spot the word
Lesson 7


This session will focus on spelling exercises and spotting patterns in reading. The student will be asked to analyse a passage with multiple mistakes and to identify those mistakes and what the corrections should be. Passages will be selected from a range of classic British stories.

Lesson 8

Making Comparisons & Retrieving Information

The focus of this class will be to show how comparisons can be made across a text, such as between different characters and between the formality of structure of a passage. We will look to concepts like the tone and mood of the passage, as well as indicators for physical and emotional descriptors.

Lesson 9

Logical Reasoning

There are 4 key styles of question within the Verbal Reasoning Test. This session will introduce and explain strategies to answer the following styles of question, and then practice questions using past paper materials:

  • Always has
  • Mixed up sentences unscrambling
  • Position problems
  • Sorting information into categories
  • True and false statements
  • Can’t tell statements
Lesson 10-11

Punctuation and Grammar

These sessions will overview the key types of punctuation and their correct usage. Including full stop, comma, exclamation mark, question mark, dash, semi colon, colon, apostrophe, ellipses, quotation marks and speech marks. The student will practice forming sentences with each aspect of punctuation mentioned. We will also look at the correct use of grammatical terminology for nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, clauses, informal language, and sentence structure, with a series of example sentences to use.

Lesson 12

Codes, Sequences and Patterns

There are 4 key styles of question within the Verbal Reasoning Test. This session will introduce and explain strategies to answer the following styles of question, and then practice questions using past paper materials:

  • Always has
  • Mixed up sentences unscrambling
  • Position problems
  • Sorting information into categories
  • True and false statements
  • Can’t tell statements
Lesson 13-15

Past Paper Practice

Students will practice past paper questions during the session with the tutor’s guidance and the sessions will be tailored to address any areas of weakness identified.

FAQ of ISEB English & Verbal Reasoning

The link to join the live online course will be sent to the registered email address with a reminder one day before the scheduled session. Please ensure that the email address provided during registration is accurate and regularly checked for updates.

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Individual lessons or Forming a group

Contact us to book a lesson! Students of similar ability are welcome to join us as a group and enjoy a moderate price!

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Jessie C.
Desire Subject Physiotherapy
Programme Medicine and Allied Health Professions Admissions Preparation Course
Hours Attended 20

From a young age, Jessie was passionate about sports, especially football and competitive jump roping. An injury during a jump roping competition that required physical therapy piqued her interest in the profession. Jessie chose Biology and Chemistry as her subjects, and her predicted DSE scores met the entry requirements. However, she had doubts about her suitability due to her petite stature and introverted nature, fearing these could be obstacles to becoming a physical therapist. Despite Jessie's excellent grades, her father was also concerned about her career choice, worrying that Jessie was blindly following a trend without truly considering her interests and abilities, as choosing this field would mean committing to a career as a physical therapist.

Our education consultant recommended the shadowing program by Ascent Prep, the only official preparation program recognized by AEAS, offering students clinical internship experiences and professional mentorship. Seeing it as an opportunity to resolve her doubts and increase her chances of being admitted to higher-ranking universities, her father enrolled her in the program.

During the shadowing process, she gained in-depth knowledge of a physical therapist's daily duties, including assessing patients, developing treatment plans, and guiding patients through rehabilitation exercises. Though challenging, she found the work meaningful. Throughout this period, Jessie had the opportunity to ask many questions, particularly about her concerns. After completing the shadowing program, her determination to become a physical therapist was strengthened.

When preparing her personal statement, Jessie tried writing it herself but felt it lacked persuasiveness. With her tutor's guidance, she realized many areas needed improvement. The tutor helped her reorganize her experiences volunteering in physical therapy, highlighting her passion and dedication to the field. During interview training, she learned how to showcase her strengths and effectively answer the interviewer's questions. For example, Ascent Prep tutors taught students how to answer common situational questions, such as:

  • What do you think are the basic professional ethics for a physical therapist?
  • How do you view the relationship between physical therapists and their patients?
  • How would you handle conflicts of interest with patients?

Ascent Prep tutors prepared students for these ethical questions and situational challenges to test their problem-solving abilities, such as:

  • How would you deal with a patient unwilling to cooperate with treatment?
  • How would you respond to an emergency during treatment?
  • How do you collaborate with other healthcare professionals?

Ultimately, with Ascent Prep's assistance, Jessie was accepted into the Physical Therapy program at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and also received offers from the University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, Brunel University, and the University of Salford in the UK. Among these options, she chose the University of Birmingham and was awarded a scholarship for her outstanding performance.

This journey highlights the value of Ascent Prep, offering practical clinical experiences and professional guidance, enabling students to not only improve academically but also to find their direction in their future career paths.

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Sophie F.
Desire Subject Architecture
Programme Portfolio Guidance
Hours Attended 10

Sophie is a high school student from Hong Kong who has been passionate about architecture since she was young. She excelled academically and actively participated in various architecture-related activities, such as architectural model competitions and visits. However, as the time for further education approached, Sophie began to feel somewhat lost, due to her very high standards for herself. She knew that to gain admission into architecture programs at prestigious universities like Cambridge or UCL, she needed not only excellent academic grades but also well-rounded abilities and creativity.

By chance, Sophie attended a lecture by Ascent Prep, where the instructors shared their experiences in helping students gain admission to top universities. Ascent Prep introduced her to a mentor who was studying architecture at Cambridge. The mentorship and classes were designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and encouraged Sophie to think critically about the core of architectural studies, enriching her personal statement with diverse elements. In these classes, Sophie learned about architectural history, theory, and design. Her tutor explained complex concepts in an engaging way, making it easy for Sophie to understand.

For instance, during a mock interview, Sophie encountered a challenging question: "What do you think are the professional ethics of an architect?" She had never considered this question before, but with her tutor's guidance, she was able to articulate a well-thought-out answer, boosting her confidence for the actual interview.

The art portfolio is a critical component of university applications, and Sophie's tutor helped her create a portfolio that was both deep and creative. The tutor meticulously guided her through the selection and arrangement of her works, covering her academic research, practical experience, and personal interests. Under the tutor's guidance, Sophie revised her portfolio multiple times, resulting in an impressive collection of work.

Sophie's efforts were rewarded when she was accepted into the Architecture program at the University of Cambridge. Her portfolio showcased her unique understanding of architecture, including a sustainable design proposal that received high praise from her tutor. Moreover, Sophie performed excellently in her university interviews, demonstrating her academic abilities and personal charm.

Sophie's success story is a testament to the effectiveness of the Ascent Prep program, which is dedicated to helping students realize their potential and achieve success in their educational pursuits.

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Andy M.
Desire Subject AEAS
Programme Official AEAS Test Preparation Course
Hours Attended 30

Andy attended a local Hong Kong secondary school. Despite having average grades at school, he has always been afraid of English, to the point of hesitating to speak it. Andy is a typical slow starter; when under pressure, he easily feels overwhelmed. This became even more evident after he took the AEAS test unprepared, resulting in scores far below expectations. The AEAS report recommended Andy to undertake an English course for 20-30 weeks, and the substantial cost of attending a 30-week language course in Australia, including tuition, accommodation, and student insurance, caused considerable concern for his parents. Not only were they considering the dual factors of time and finances, but they also hoped that Andy could have more opportunities to apply to his desired schools. That's when they found us, the only official preparatory course institution recognized by AEAS. In the 1-on-1 courses at Ascent Prep, students receive meticulous instruction from teachers and consultants, improving their English skills and gradually overcoming their fear of English. To the parents' surprise, the child performed excellently in the AEAS test. By achieving good results in Hong Kong, the AEAS report reduced the required language class from 30 weeks to just 4 weeks before entering mainstream schools in Australia. This not only saved money but also allowed the child to integrate into the Australian mainstream education system sooner.

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