The Examination Papers
We set our own entrance papers which are designed to identify potential and innate ability rather than test what has been taught. Past papers are not released, but the commercially available 11+ papers and our online Maths Wizard Challenge and Bookworms webpage can provide you useful practice and preparation. You may also find the following information helpful:
Our Maths paper is intended to assess mathematical ability and potential rather than test mathematical knowledge. Questions focus on problem solving and often involve two or three different stages. Candidates should have a good understanding of mathematical techniques (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and, equally importantly, know how and when to apply them to solve mathematical problems. Questions include some simple calculations, number patterns and relations, spatial relations and elementary logical reasoning. For example:
- Give the next term in each of the following series:
- The distance round a square is 12 metres. What is its area?
- If a*b means add a and b and divide the result by two (e.g. 3*5 = 4), find the numbers meant by 8*4, 21*3, 6*7.
Calculators are not allowed in the tests.
Our English paper tests writing skills and candidates are asked to complete either a piece of creative or a descriptive piece based on an image. Liveliness and sensitivity in style and vocabulary will be rewarded, as well as an ability to invent convincing dialogue. The composition should comprise of controlled sentences of varied length and pattern and should be coherent as a whole. Candidates are expected to write legibly (in ink, ball-point or pencil), to spell and punctuate reasonably well and to express themselves in grammatical English. It is important that the candidates’ writing is directly linked to the stimulus image.
The English paper also includes a short comprehension exercise.
In setting this paper, it is assumed that boys have read a wide range of the best children’s novels, by authors such as Gillian Cross, Terry Pratchett, Rosemary Sutcliff, Robert Westall or Philip Pullman.
Words & Reasoning
The Words & Reasoning paper tests candidates’ ability to extract information from a factual passage and from material such as maps or timetables. It assumes that boys will have read a good deal of non-fiction appropriate to their age: science and history, for instance, and informative books on their hobbies. The paper also includes questions about the meaning and use of words and some simple verbal and visual puzzles.
The questions on the passage are in multiple-choice format, a few questions may take the slightly more awkward negative form: “All the following are true EXCEPT one. Choose the one that is not true.”