The 7+ and 8+ exams differ for individual schools and change from year to year. At 7+ and 8+ entry, schools
test English and Maths skills, with an increasing number of competitive schools also including a Verbal and
Non-Verbal Reasoning paper. Less common tasks may include group discussions about a short film or text,
designed to observe students’ ability to interact with their peers. If students are successful at this stage,
they will be invited for an interview. Interviews and assessment days are usually held a week after the written


For most schools, there is a focus on fundamental arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication and
division, featuring questions on fractions, measurements, time and remainders. Ensuring your child is
confident in their times tables is an important part of 7 and 8+ exam preparation. Maths questions in
previous 7 and 8+ exams at competitive schools include:

• Adding hands to clock faces, e.g. 3 o’clock
• Drawing a 10 cm line in a rectangle
• Measuring a line and giving an answer to the nearest cm
• Identifying and rotating shapes which contained right angles
• Drawing two diagrams of a pentagon (regular and irregular)
• Word problems, e.g. A mini-bus carries 13 school children. 8 children get off at
a stop and 5 get on the mini-bus. How many people were on the mini-bus when
they arrived at school?

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