There were almost five applications for every place at Bristol Cathedral School and four for every place at Colston's Girls this year, with more than 30 appeals lodged at each by parents who were unsuccessful.
Both became academies in September 2008. Bristol Cathedral School had just 400 pupils before the move to the state sector but numbers are set to grow to 700 in the next few years. Government funding through Building Schools for the Future is paying for the transformation of a nearby office block into classrooms.
At Colston's, pound;12 million will be spent on a glass entrance and a new four-storey brick and glass block in front of the school's gym. The school expects to expand from fewer than 550 students to as many as 720.
There were more than 440 applications for 112 places at Colston's; in 215 cases, the school was the first choice. After places were allocated, 37 appeals were lodged but none were heard.
There were more than 520 applications for the cathedral school, 197 as their first preference. Seven appeals were upheld out of a total of 38.