Panic not! Each child will react differently to the pressures of exam preparation; whether aiming for Common Entrance or Scholarship, these exams are a huge undertaking; it’s quite normal to want a little help along the way. Some may hit the books ardently from the outset, some may concentrate on the minutiae of the revision plan, and others may simply go into denial and hide. Some may want their parent's help with every detail; others may prefer to keep them at arm's length; all understandable. Regardless of the reaction, the key to success at 13 plus is a combination of knowledge, strategy and nerve!


13+ exams are taken in Year 8 (age 12-13) either in the Autumn, Spring or Summer. The target school will let you know when they wish their Common Entrance papers to be sat but the Spring and Summer terms are more usual. Do check the timing with the school directly though or ask us and we can find out for you. In terms of 13+ Scholarship exams, these can be taken as well as or, indeed, instead of 13+ Common Entrance. Typically, scholarship exams fall earlier in the year than Common Entrance, giving a student the opportunity to prepare for both if necessary. Some of the major public schools opt for the Common Academic Scholarship papers set by the Independent School Examinations Board (ISEB). However, many choose to set their own specific papers and the levels will vary depending on the school. In terms of timing, the majority of public schools hold their Scholarship exams towards the end of January or in early May. If a child wins a scholarship, they are generally exempt from the final 13+ Common Entrance Exam.

Piers is an inspiring Geography and Maths teacher who instils the positive mindset needed in all learners. He is passionate about his subject and encourages learning through positive and interesting methods. As well as being teacher trained, Piers is currently completing a Masters ...


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