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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.

The exam for admission to First Year in September 2025 will take place on Tuesday 14th January 2025. The closing date for applications is Friday 6th December 2024. If you miss the closing date, you can still register on-line but it is likely that the exam will be sat on our supplementary day which is Monday 20th January 2025.

Please visit our Senior School admissions page to find out how to apply.

If you have any questions regarding the Entrance Exam, please contact the Admissions Officer Mrs Margaret Connor at or 0161 419 2409.

The Examination Day

Children will spend the day with us in school and should wear comfortable casual clothes – not school uniform. They should bring a pen, pencil and a ruler and lunch will be provided. They will have the opportunity to take part in a number of activities during the lunch break.

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 three papers: English, Mathematics and Verbal Reasoning.


Our Entrance paper in English will consist of two sections – comprehension and creative writing.


  • Pupils will be provided with an unseen passage
  • Pupils will then have to answer 40 multiple choice questions that test their ability to:
    • Understand the events of the passage
    • Make accurate inferences based on what they have read
    • Define certain words from the passage based on their context within it
    • Identify the grammatical function of certain words from the passage, based on how they are operating
    • Appreciate the way that characters have been depicted within the passage.
  • This should take 30 minutes
  • Pupils should attempt every question.

Creative Writing

  • Pupils will be provided with a choice between two writing tasks:
    • One task will provide them with an image and ask them to write a description or a story suggested by it
    • The other will provide them with an opening line and ask them to write a story or a description that begins with it.
  • This should take 30 minutes.
  • Pupils should aim to write three developed paragraphs and spend the last five minutes, at least, proof reading their work as carefully as possible.


  • 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

  • 30 minutes (The VR paper that is sat will be a scaled down version of the 60 minute sample papers)

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

Sample papers

A complete 11+ entrance exam paper is available to download in order to give your child some familiarity with the style of paper they will see.

Download the English entrance exam paper and answers (pdf)

Download the Maths entrance exam and answers (pdf)

Download the Verbal Reasoning Parent’s Guide (pdf)

Download the Verbal Reasoning 1 entrance exam and answers (pdf)

Download the Verbal Reasoning 2 entrance exam and answers (pdf)

Download the Verbal Reasoning 3 entrance exam and answers (pdf)