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Entrance Exam

The entrance exam is taken by every child who applies to join the first year at age 11.

The exam is held at the school in the January before the child’s year of entry. Candidates spend the whole day at school and a free lunch is provided.

The 2020 entrance exam is on Wednesday 15th January 2020. The closing date for 11+ applications is Friday 13th December 2019. Please visit our Senior school admissions page to find out how to apply.

Clothing, equipment and collection

Candidates should wear comfortable, casual clothes – not school uniform.

Parents will receive their child’s exam number, a list of items they need to bring with them and car parking details a few days before the exam.


Applicants take four papers – three before lunch and one in the afternoon:

English comprehension

  • 35 minutes

Candidates are required to answer questions on a short passage taken from a fiction or non-fiction text of an appropriate standard for able key stage two pupils.

Candidates are required to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of content and specific aspects of vocabulary
  • be able to infer details

English essay

  • 40 minutes

Candidates are given a choice of three essay titles and are asked to write a response to one of them.

The subject of the essays will be related to the topic of the English comprehension passage, which may act as a stimulus.

Candidates are required to:

  • write with originality and ambition
  • demonstrating a good level of accuracy
  • an ability to structure their essay in paragraphs


  • 60 minutes

The mathematics exam tests present knowledge and potential for future mathematical development.


The syllabus is that of national curriculum mathematics key stage two. No knowledge beyond this is assumed.

Metric units will be used with their standard abbreviations:

  • length (mm, cm, m, km)
  • area (cm², m² etc)
  • volume (m³ etc)
  • capacity (cm³, ml, l)
  • mass (mg, g, tonne)
  • currency (£, pence)

Any use of imperial or foreign units will be fully explained.


All questions are to be attempted, in any order. Space is given on the paper for working and answers. Credit is given for correct working even if the final answer is missing or wrong.

The first page of the exam tests arithmetic. The exam continues with other parts of the syllabus. Later questions require the candidate to understand and think beyond their normal mathematical experience (but without any knowledge beyond key stage two mathematics).

Verbal reasoning

  • 50 minutes

Candidates are asked to attempt general knowledge questions and answer questions based on the information that is given.

Sample papers

The complete 2017 11+ entrance exam paper is available to download, in order to give your child some familiarity with the style of paper which he/she will see on 15th January 2020.

Download the English entrance exam paper (pdf)

Download the Maths entrance exam paper (pdf)

Download the VR entrance exam paper (pdf)