PA Mock Tests - FAQs

Please note: The PA Mock Tests are organised and run exclusively by the St. Olave’s Parents’ Association and play no part in the St. Olav'e Grammar School Admissions process.

Please direct any queries to the PA at and not to the School.

Frequently asked questions are available below:

About the PA Familiarization Mock Tests

Why should I enrol my child for the St. Olave’s Parents’ Association mock test?

The St. Olave’s PA mock test is as similar to a real admission test as possible. It is held in the School's Great Hall using the same procedure and instructions as the St. Olave’s admission test and replicates the real St. Olave’s Stage 1 Selective Eligibility Test (SET) very closely. Therefore, because your child will have gone through the experience before, the real test should be a lot less stressful for your child.

Your child’s results will indicate the likelihood of performing strongly in the real SET (Selective Eligibility Test) , and will help identify any areas to focus learning on beforehand.

Why is a Parents’ Association running a mock test?

As parents who been through the process that you are going through, we understand that it can be a stressful time. We have run the mock tests since 2016 in order to offer parents of prospective entrants to grammar schools a practice test to help parents/carers and pupils prepare and set their expectations, and at the same time to raise funds to enrich the lives of St. Olave’s pupils.

Is this test suitable for applicants to other selective schools?

We believe this test will be of use to you regardless of which school you finally decide to apply to. It is open to both boys and girls.

What questions does the mock test contain?

The mock test is intended to be as close to the St. Olave’s Stage 1 Selective Eligibility Test (SET) as possible. It contains four separate multiple choice sections across English Comprehension, Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and Non-verbal Reasoning.

How long is the mock test

The test itself is around 60 minutes, similar to the St. Olave’s SET as well as that of several other grammar schools. The entire process from the time you drop your child at the specified location until the time you can collect them is likely to be around 2 hours.

Can I get a copy of the test questions?

For copyright reasons we do not distribute the test questions. 

Is the mock test open for both girls and boys too?

The mock test is open to both boys and girls who are preparing for selective eligibility schools. 

Does my child have to be in Year 5 to sit the tests?

The test is designed for children in Year 5 who will be sitting secondary school entrance exams in the next school year. The test is not appropriate for children who are not in Year 5.

Are past papers available for practice?

Past papers of the PA Familiarisation Mock Tests are not available.

St. Olave's Grammar School does produce 'sample questions' of their Admissions tests, (Stage 1 and Stage 2) which are available to download HERE .

In addition, the PA also sell further 'sample questions' during the School's Open Day in the summer.



Implications for St. Olave's Grammar School Admissions

Results of the PA Familiarisation Mock Tests play no part in the school admission process. These tests are run by the PA to give your child an opportunity to experience exam conditions as part of their preparation for sitting secondary school selection test in Year 6.

The PA Familiarisation Mock Tests are in no way related to the selective eligibility tests for St. Olave's Grammar School or any other school entrance exams and you must apply for those separately. 

My son scored well in the PA Mock Test. Does this mean he is eligible to go to St. Olave's?

Results of the PA Familiarisation Mock Tests play no part in the St. Olave's Grammar School Admission process. 

Who are the PA Mock tests designed for?

The PA Mock tests are suitable for boys and girls in Year 5 who are preparing for secondary school entrance exams in the next school year. The test is not appropriate for children who are not in Year 5.

Bookings / Cancellation / Fee Waiver / Refunds / Payment methods

How much does the mock test cost?
Each mock test costs £60.

What if I cannot afford the mock test fees?

The St. Olave’s Parents’ Association believes that everyone should have the opportunity to gain admission to a Grammar school and has a number of free places for those who can demonstrate financial hardship (for example to students in receipt of the Pupil Premium). If you think you qualify, then please apply in confidence to and provide details.


Are places limited?

Once bookings are open, all available sessions are shown on the booking platform. There will be no sessions opening at a later date. There is a maximum of 150 places available in each session due to health and safety reasons. To be guaranteed a space in your chosen session, early booking is recommended.

Can I book my child for more than one session?

This year we are only offering one test paper across all sessions therefore unless you want your child to attend multiple sessions for practice, we do not recommend you to book more than one session.

Can I pay by credit card, cheque or cash?

We currently only accept payment by PayPal. Setting up an account with PayPal is free and simple.

After booking, I didn't receive a booking confirmation email from St. Olave's PA, only a confirmation from PayPal. Do you send a confirmation?

After you book, you should get a confirmation email from us. If you haven't got one, either you made a mistake with your email address or our email is in your spam folder. If you can't find it, please contact us, and add to your address book to make sure you receive emails from us in future.

Can I cancel and get a refund?
There is a £10 administrative cost for a cancellation or a date change. Any changes will be subject to availability of a place on another date. However, we cannot change dates or give any refunds within 7 days of the date of the exam

Can I change my date?

See the information above. Please check dates of any school trips, sports days, sports fixtures, friends’ birthdays and other entrance tests etc before booking for your mock test session. There is a £10 administrative cost for a date change. Any changes will be subject to availability of a place on another date.

What if the PA changes or cancels a test?

In the unlikely event of the Parents’ Association having to change or cancel the date of a test, we will give you at least two weeks’ notice and will offer you a choice of all available dates or a full refund.



Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) / Known Medical Needs / First Aid

What if my child has special requirements?

Please let us know of any special medical or education requirements. At least one of the mock test sessions will cater to those with special educational needs, known medical needs or other circumstances which may require positive action on the day of the test. You will be required to provide documentary evidence of needs.

Please note: Any decision on eligibility for extra time taken by the Parents’ Association for the Mock Test, will be completely separate from a decision made by St. Olave's Grammar School on extra time for their Admissions tests.

What if my child needs to carry medication with them to the examination hall?

If your child needs to carry prescribed medication with him / her to the examination hall, you MUST tell us during the booking process.

Will there be a first aider on site during the tests?

There will be a first aider on site during each test. If you have concerns about this or if you have a child with medical needs please contact us at



Parking & Arrival

Where are the PA Mock Tests held?

At St. Olave's Grammar School, Goddington Lane, Orpington, Kent, BR6 9SH. Please note: Entry into the school is via the pedestrian entrance in Park Avenue only. There is NO entry via the Goddington Lane Entrance.

Parking and access to the school site?

There is no parking available on site and extremely limited parking in neighbouring roads. If you are driving to the school, please be mindful of the parking restrictions, particularly in Park Avenue where there will be council parking enforcement in place to avoid inconvenience to the neighbours. Please do not park across our neighbours driveways.

You are advised to park at Tesco Orpington where up to three hours of free parking is available with no requirement to use the store. Please arrive at the school through the Park Avenue pedestrian entrance and await stewards’ instructions. Parents/carers are not allowed to re-enter the school grounds until the appropriate collection time.

Can I get to school by public transport?

Certainly. Candidates are strongly advised to use public transport wherever possible. Orpington Station is less than 15 minutes' walk away and there are a number of local bus routes.

What time should we arrive and what time can we collect our children?

If you have a morning session booked, please arrive by 9.30 a.m. and wait at the gate. Your child should be ready for collection from 11:15 am.
If you have an afternoon session booked, please arrive by 2:30 pm and wait at the gate. Your child should be ready for collection from 4:15 pm.

Entry to the School is via the Park Avenue entrance only.

Can I accompany my child to the examination hall?

No, because you will not be able to in the real exam, and we are trying to provide a realistic experience.
Parents/Carers are not allowed on site for safeguarding reasons

What happens if my child is ill on the day of their Mock Test?

If your child is ill on the day and you notify us at least two hours before the test starts and can also provide a doctor’s certificate, we will allow you to book another mock test subject to availability. If there are no remaining places, we will give you a refund.


Is there a waiting area for parents/carers?

No parents/carers are allowed to remain on-site or in the school facilities. 
Please note that regardless of the weather, there are no indoor facilities for parents/carers, nor can we provide parents/carers access to toilets or other facilities for safeguarding reasons. 



What should my child bring/not bring on the day?

What does my child need to bring for the mock test?

Your child should bring the following items only please:

  • A transparent/clear pencil case or bag;
  • Two HB or B pencils;
  • A pencil sharpener;
  • A soft rubber;
  • A ruler;
  • A transparent bottle of water without labels;
  • An A4 piece of paper with your child’s first name and surname, candidate number, parent/carer's name and a mobile number where we can reach you during the test if necessary.

Your child should NOT have with them:

  • Electronic devices including calculators, mobiles or tablets;
  • Language aids including dictionaries or smartphones;
  • A watch (there will be a clock in the room); Any food or drink other than water;
  • Opaque bottles or pencil cases;
  • Any bags, hats, hoodies, toys or mascots.

We will confiscate any disallowed items for the duration of the exam.

Comfortable clothing and toilet breaks

What should my child wear?

  • Comfortable clothes are best.
  • There is no requirement for children to wear school uniform.
  • As there will be some time spent waiting outside, please dress suitably for the weather.

Are there Toilet breaks?

  • All children are given an opportunity to go to the toilet before the test.
  • Toilets are also available during and after the test if necessary.


Collection after the Mock Test

What time do I collect my child?

  • If you have a morning session booked, please arrive by 9.30 a.m. and wait at the gate. Your child should be ready for collection from 11:15 am.
  • If you have an afternoon session booked, please arrive by 2:30 pm and wait at the gate. Your child should be ready for collection from 4:15 pm.


Who can collect my child/can my child come home on their own after the Mock test?

Your child must be collected by a responsible adult.

What if I am late picking my child up?

Please make every effort to be there on time as it can be distressing for the children if you are late. However, you will be provided with a mobile number to ring in case of emergency on the day.


The Results of the Mock Tests

What results do I receive?

There is no pass or fail on this test. You will receive results showing which questions your child gets correct, wrong or does not attempt. This will help you decide whether he or she needs more support for a particular section in terms of practice or speed or both. We also provide a ranking within the cohort who sit the test at the same time as your child (separately for boys and girls and also across all candidates) which will help you understand their readiness for the real test.

How are the test results presented?

Results are emailed to your registered email address. To give you a very clear picture of your child’s performance in comparison to other potential grammar school applicants, we tell you:

  • Whether your child attempted each question and if so, whether he/she answered correctly or incorrectly
  • Your child’s percentage score in each section and in total
  • Your child’s percentile ranking within the whole cohort taking the test that week, for each section and overall
  • Similar percentile rankings within the same sex cohort taking the test that week

After all the mock tests have been run, the PA will send a further email with similar percentile ranks showing your child’s performance compared to all the pupils who have taken the test this year.

When will I get my child’s results?

The test papers are sent away for marking and it takes us about 2 weeks to get the results, therefore the earliest we may publish results is two weeks after the mock test date. We endeavour to issues the results between 2-3 weeks after the mock test date. Results are sent by email.

How should I interpret the percentage rank?

Entry to Grammar Schools are typically dependent upon how well your child performs in comparison to how well all other candidates do. It is for this reason we provide you with a percentage rank within the cohort who sat the exam on the same weekend as your child. While it is never possible to replicate the exact parameters that your child will face in their actual admission test, you can use the results as an approximate indicator. We provide percentage rank within same sex within the cohort in case your child’s first preference school is a single sex school.

Why do you give percentage rank rather than absolute rank?

As the number of children at each session varies, we use a percentage rank rather than absolute rank to give you a more meaningful comparison. This standardises the results as if exactly 100 children sat the test and gives your child’s rank amongst these, where a rank of 100 is the highest possible.

What if my child has a high percentage rank in one section and a low rank in another?

You can use these indicators to see whether there are one or more section(s) in which your child may benefit from some additional support.

What is the ‘cohort percentage rank’ and what is the ‘population percentage rank’?

The cohort percentage rank places your child in position with the others who took the text on that weekend and the population percentage rank places your child in position with the all the other children who have taken the test this year.

Will the cohort or full population at a mock test be similar to those sitting the real test?

Unfortunately there is no way to know or predict this.

My child is born in August. Do you standardise scores by age?

Like many actual Grammar School tests, we do not standardise scores by age.

Can I get information on the specific questions that my child struggled with?

No, only on how they performed on each section of the test, and the total number of questions which went unanswered.

My child was unable to answer a number of questions. What should I do?

The best thing you could do is give your child the opportunity to practice. Practice helps a child to answer questions more quickly and become more confident.

Can I get a copy of the test questions?

For copyright reasons we cannot distribute the test questions.

Should I enrol my child for another test date to get more practice?

There is only one test paper used, so we do not recommend this.

Child Protection Procedures/ Data Protection

What are your child protection procedures?

All our invigilators are DBS checked. Before and after the test children will be in groups accompanied by two adults. During toilet breaks children will be shown to the toilets by two adults who will remain outside (unless in an emergency). In the event of a fire alarm the children will be escorted outside where a register will be taken.

Will my personal details be shared with other organisations?

We will only use your personal details to administer your account and to provide the products and services that you have requested from us. Your personal data will be removed from our system 90 days after the final exam results have been sent out.