Entrance for boys to Merchiston can be on either day, flexible boarder or full-boarder basis, depending on the year group on entry. The normal procedures are described below; anyone interested in applying for Scholarships should see the relevant page. The principal points of entry to the School are at 7 to 14, and 16 years of age. However, pupils may be admitted at other ages if places are available. The majority of applicants join at the start of the academic year in September, but it is possible for pupils to start at other times of the year, again if places permit. A number of year groups (and day places in general) can become oversubscribed. Once entry to a year group is closed, places may be offered on a waiting list.
Ages 7 – 12+ for entry to J4, J5, First, Second and Third Forms
Entrance assessments are normally held in the January of the year of entry: these comprise computerised tests in Mathematics and English, a writing exercise, a computerised screening test and an informal interview. We also require a satisfactory report from a boy’s current school, which must be made available at the time of assessment.
Ages 13+ and 14+ for entry to Fourth and Shell Forms (for non prep school entrants only)
Entrance assessments are normally held in the last week of January. Boys will sit written papers in Mathematics and English, a computerised Screening test, a Non-Verbal Reasoning test, and an interview. We also require a satisfactory report from a boy’s current school, which must be made available at the time of assessment.
(Entrants from prep schools sit the Common Entrance papers.)
Age 16+ for entry to Sixth Form
Entrance assessments can be held at any time of the year. Entrants taking GCSEs or equivalents can be considered for entry on the basis of their predicted and actual results in those examinations and an interview with the Headmaster. We also require a satisfactory report from a boy’s current school, which must be made available at the time of assessment. Thereafter we can continue to offer assessments to boys seeking entry to all these year groups, provided places are available.
When must I accept the offer?
We will normally ask you to accept a place within three weeks of the offer being made. With your letter of offer, we will send the appropriate Acceptance Form, together with our Terms & Conditions of Entry.
In some cases, pupils may be assessed for entry and a deferred place offered. Deferment may be for a period of 1 year without further assessment. Thereafter, re-assessment is recommended to ensure correct placing in class sets.
Assessments (and entry requirements) may be a little different for International Students. Click here for further details about International entry.
The School will do all it can to ensure that places are available for younger brothers of current pupils. However, parents are advised to make early reservations of places to assist the School, and to ensure that a place can be made available, subject to entrance assessments and satisfactory school report.
If applications to the School are oversubscribed, then a waiting list may be operated. Parents who wish their son’s name to be placed on the waiting list should complete a Registration Form and pay the Registration Fee, after which their son may sit entrance assessments. If places become available before the start of an academic year, then these will be offered on the basis of academic ability. Since the School is primarily a boarding school, priority will be given to boarding applicants.