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University College School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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University College School Overview

University College School, commonly known as UCS, is an independent day school located in Frognal, Hampstead, northwest London, England. Established in 1830 as part of University College London, UCS inherits the progressive and secular values of its parent institution. The school’s history is marked by a commitment to providing higher education opportunities regardless of religious beliefs, a departure from the traditions of the time.

UCS takes pride in nurturing confident, bright, and compassionate individuals who are encouraged to shape the direction of the school and make a positive impact on the global society they are part of. The school’s motto, “Paulatim Sed Firmiter” (Slowly but surely), reflects its dedication to gradual and steadfast progress.

University College School 16+ Application Process & Interview Format

UCS offers approximately 60 places each year for girls aged 16 or over, and a few places for boys of the same age. The admissions process is designed to select candidates who align with the school’s values and academic standards.

Applicants for 16+ entry will undergo the UCS 16+ Assessment, which includes an objective multiple-choice test assessing thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, there is a 20-minute writing task on a topical issue. The assessment is designed not to require prior preparation.

Following the assessment, UCS requests a confidential report, including a forecast of GCSE grades or equivalent, from each candidate’s current school. Successful candidates are invited to UCS for two one-on-one interviews with senior staff members. Parents are also invited to this occasion, where they can meet Senior Leaders and current Sixth Form pupils.

Offers of places are typically made in early December, and they are conditional on GCSE performance. UCS requires an average grade of 7.0 across all eligible subjects. The school provides further information about offers and subject requirements upon application or upon request from the Senior School Admissions Office.

UCS takes pride in its founding values and continues to celebrate the individuality of its pupils. The school is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and ambitious learning environment, preparing students to make a meaningful impact in the world.

UCS does not provide past papers for the assessment.

University College School is a member of the Eton Group of twelve independent schools and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. The school’s bursary program, music scholarships, and outreach work with other schools in North and West London exemplify its commitment to education and community involvement.

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University College School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join University College School (UCS)?

My desire to join UCS stems from its rich heritage as a progressive and secular institution. The school’s ethos of inclusivity and its strong academic focus align with my personal and educational values. The opportunity to study in a school that nurtures free thinking and offers a broad, modern curriculum is very appealing. UCS’s commitment to outreach work and its bursary programme demonstrate a dedication to community and social responsibility, which resonates with my interests. Additionally, the co-educational environment in the sixth form will provide a balanced and diverse educational experience, preparing me well for future academic and professional pursuits.

What is the history of University College School?

University College School, commonly known as UCS, was founded in 1830 as part of University College London. It emerged as a reaction to the religious restrictions imposed by the only other two universities in England at that time, Oxford and Cambridge. UCS was established with a vision of providing education irrespective of religious beliefs. The school initially taught modern languages and sciences, which was unique for that era. UCS became a separate corporation in 1905 when University College London joined the federal University of London. The school moved to its current location in Hampstead in 1907, with its main campus noted for its Edwardian architecture. Throughout its history, UCS has maintained a reputation for academic excellence and progressive education, making it one of the leading independent day schools in London.

How does University College School foster student development outside the classroom?

University College School (UCS) fosters student development outside the classroom through a wide range of extracurricular activities and a strong emphasis on community engagement. The school offers various sports, music, drama, and art programs, encouraging students to explore and develop their interests and talents. UCS’s outreach programs with local schools in North and West London, including the London Academy of Excellence and UCL Academy, highlight its commitment to community service and social responsibility. Additionally, the school’s connection with the Equatorial College School in Uganda and its charitable work in Romania and India provide students with opportunities to engage in global issues and develop a broader world view. This holistic approach to education at UCS not only enriches students’ school experience but also prepares them for active, compassionate citizenship.

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University College School 16+ Interview Past Questions

Academic Interests and Goals

  • What subjects are you most passionate about and why?
  • Can you describe a project or piece of work that you found particularly challenging and how you addressed it?
  • What do you expect to be doing 10 years from now in terms of your career and personal development?


Personal Attributes and Achievements

  • Can you talk about a time when you had to demonstrate leadership qualities?
  • Describe an obstacle you’ve faced and how you overcame it.
  • What are some of your non-academic interests or hobbies, and why do they appeal to you?


Contribution to School Community

  • If you could change one thing about your current school, what would it be and why?
  • What unique qualities or perspectives would you bring to our school community?
  • Discuss a time when you contributed to a team or group effort. What was your role, and what was the outcome?

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