Frequently Asked Questions

What form do the S1 Entrance Exam papers take?

The examination comprises an English paper (reading and writing elements), a Mathematics paper and a Non-verbal Reasoning paper.

Are past papers available for the S1 Entrance Exam?

We do not provide past papers, nor do we encourage any sort of preparation for the tests, since specific preparation is unnecessary.  On the day of the Entrance Examination we do, however, work through a practice test with all the children before starting the real tests. We believe this is the fairest approach to adopt.

Do children need to do any special preparation for the Junior School Entrance Assessments?

No, special preparation is not necessary.

When should we apply for entry to the school?

Nursery - S1 applications, for entry in August 2018, should be made by Tuesday 9 January 2018. Applications for S2 - S6 can be submitted at any time and places are subject to a space being available in that year group.

We accept application for mid-session entry for all year groups, provided there is a space available.

Can we apply at any other times?

If you are moving to Aberdeen or for other reasons cannot apply before the application deadline, there may be places available and applications will be accepted. Please contact the Admissions Office (select Admissions). Please note that bursaries are only considered for pupils who have sat the S1 Entrance Examination.

Is there a waiting list?

Applications are always accepted. A waiting list will only be applied to candidates who have been successfully assessed where a year group is full. The position with regard to each year group can change quite quickly but individuals will be informed of the possibility of spaces when they apply.

How are candidates assessed for entry to years S3-S6?

The selection process for years S3-S6 takes the form of a series of interviews (candidates for S3 will also sit tests for English and Mathematics). It is preferable for pupils to attend the College in person in order to be interviewed by the relevant Heads of Department, however, it is possible for applicants for places in P4 - S6 to be assessed in schools abroad.

What is the format of the interviews for entry to S3-S6?

The interview process comprises 20 minute slots with the Heads of Department of each subject selected for study. These interviews, along with written tests in English and Mathematics for S3 candidates, are usually scheduled to occur in a morning. It is helpful if some course work/completed assessments etc can be brought to interview (e.g. English, Technology/Engineering, Art & Design etc). Most interviews are oral but in some cases there is likely to be a requirement to complete some brief written or practical work. It is expected that those wishing to study Music will perform on two instruments at interview. Otherwise, the conversations will concentrate on what an applicant has studied previously in each subject and how secure his or her knowledge is of key concepts, principles, content etc.

What is the nature of the S3/S4 curriculum?

The S3/S4 curriculum comprises eight National Courses, studied over two years. Applicants need to select six subjects in addition to Mathematics and English, which are compulsory. In some subjects, the bulk of the work connected with the formally assessed aspects of the course occurs in S4 but in others there is a significant proportion of this kind of activity which occurs in S3. 

Entry to S4 is limited an only considered in exceptional cases as pupils embark on a two year curriculum at the start of S3.

What are the international year group equivalents t the Scottish System? 

Please refer to page 22 of our prospectus for international year group equivalencies.

Are the same dates of birth used in Scotland and England to determine a pupil’s year of entry?

No. In England 1 September is the cut-off date while in Scotland it is 1 March. As a result, pupils in England tend to be older than their Scottish counterparts when they leave school.

Do pupils coming from outside the Scottish system have difficulties adjusting to it?

Generally, no. The key factors tend to be a pupil’s ability and motivation. Arrangements can be made to cover any significant work that has not been covered, and sometimes it is a condition of an offer that steps be taken to address particular gaps or weaknesses.

Where can I find information about the courses (National Courses, Higher courses and Advanced Higher courses) studied by pupils at Robert Gordon’s College?

Documentation for courses that are examined by the Scottish Qualifications Authority can be found on their website.

Can we arrange to see around the school?

Of course. We are delighted at any time to show visitors around and, wherever possible, our tours will be conducted by College Prefects (Primary 7 or Senior 6) pupils. Please follow this link to arrange a visit.

You are also warmly invited to attend one of our Open Events.