JESS AR New Test For Secondary Admissions

JESS Arabian Ranches has announced a new 'selective' style assessment test for external Secondary school applicants, move away from the traditional ‘first come- first serve,’ admissions policy for external candidates.
JESS AR New Test For Secondary Admissions
By C Hoppe
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

UK/IB curriculum school JESS Arabian Ranches, recently voted top UAE school by our sister-site, has announced significant changes to its admissions policy for Secondary places.

The school has announced it will move away from the traditional ‘first come- first serve,’ admissions policy for the 30 to 40 external candidates it accepts annually.

In its place, the school plans to implement an entrance assessment exam, for those wishing to enter the school in Secondary.

After students from JESS Jumeirah and JESS Arabian Ranches Primary School, the corporate debentures and sibling places, the school has approximately 30 and 40 available seats annually for external candidates.

In the past, these seats were allocated to students on the JESS waiting list, with those who signed up first, being given the first spots.

Principal at JESS, Mark Steed says, “in the past these students were considered on a ‘date of application basis’ and were offered places so long as they passed the assessment for the school.”

“Going forward, in common with most schools around the world, there will be set assessment days and offers will be made on the basis of these regardless of how long they have been on the waiting list."

“We would encourage all motivated, ambitious and disciplined students to apply, who would like to enjoy the advantage of an education at JESS," he said. 

Steed was quick to reassure all parents with children currently attending both JESS Primary schools, saying, “all existing JESS Year six students will continue to be offered priority places transferring to secondary without examination.” 

“We are committed to remaining a community school,” he said, “and members of the two JESS schools are offered priority places without examination.”

However, of the new policy he said, “we will be offering places to other non-corporate applicants on a selective basis, but we will be considering the whole child and not just taking the most academic.” 

He reiterated that JESS intends to remain an inclusive school. "We are pleased to celebrate diversity and we pride ourselves in doing the very best for every child.  We have some the best Value-Added scores in the UAE."

So, what can parents and students expect from the new JESS entrance test?

The school says the test will be an online verbal and non-verbal reasoning test, with an assessment of other talents and abilities, reported via the Extra-Curricular Form.

Attitudinal, attendance and behavioural factors will also be considered including recent school reports and recommendations from the the child's headteacher.

Steed says of the test, “we will look at the whole child. For this reason, we send out an extra-curricular form to the parents of the students who are applying. Where possible we also interview the child either formally or informally.”

“We may be able to consider a student who may not excel in pure academics,” he said, “but who is particularly talented in other areas such as music, sport, art or performance.”  

Interested families are asked to attend the Open Morning/Evening on Monday 9th October. To apply, contact JESS on

Latest UAE articles
New Schools

World's First Blended Online, Physical School

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, King’s College online is being launched wi…


Playful Learning: Covid's Impact on Early Years

Most parents will know by now that young child learn best in a play-based curriculum. A y…


Finally! Dubai Nurseries Begin to Reopen

Nurseries in Dubai are once again busy with the sounds of happy children as they begin to…

School Performance

Students Get "Extra" 3-Weeks for A' Level, GCSEs

A-level and GCSE exams for 2021 are scheduled to go ahead next summer but with a three we…

Courses & Curricula

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award: What's In It for You?

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has it all; the blisters, putting up a tent i…

Courses & Curricula

IB Exams 2020-21: What You Need To Know

The Covid-19 pandemic continues, and it has been nearly a year of disruption to learning,…

Secondary Schools

Mock Exams to be 'Plan B' for A Levels, GCSEs

‘Rigorous’ mock A level and GCSE exams are to be held this winter as part of…


Nurseries Reopening: The Long Wait Continues

Nurseries in Dubai have been closed since 1st March. With no formal financial relief pack…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All