Sitting the 7+ and 8+ exam can be a daunting prospect, so it is important that children become familiar with working under strict time constraints before the exam. There is significant competition for entry into schools at both 7+ and 8+. For example, for every one place at Westminster Under or Colet Court, 8 or more boys sit the entrance exam.
Both the 7+ and 8+ exams require pupils to sit an English and Maths examination. Prospective pupils will be assessed on their ability to work independently on timed exercises, and they will also be assessed on how they react and socialise with fellow prospective students and staff members. Reasoning tests appear in the 7+ exam but it more commonly features within the 8+ exam, in which results are weighted according to the child’s age. The 8+ exam is more intensive in that pupils will be assessed on their knowledge and abilities within the full Year 3 Maths syllabus and will also be expected to write at length using a range of vocabulary and punctuation. 8 Plus exams may also feature separate punctuation and spelling tests. To be successful in the 8+ exam, prospective pupils are expected to know at least the Key Stage 2 English word lists for Years 3 and 4.
Offer 54 places per year for 7+.
Offer entry at 7+ (between 20-30 places), and 8+. Westminster Under mention that those applying for entry into Year 4 should have a firm knowledge of multiplication facts and that their writing should show accuracy and sophistication.
Alleyn’s set the 7 Plus exam. Junior School pupils have automatic entry to the Senior School but will still sit the scholarship/entrance exam with all other candidates. Junior School pupils usually make up approx. one-third of the Senior School’s Year 7 intake.
Currently don’t offer entry at 8+, instead offering only 7+ entry.
HABS Girls has entry at 7 Plus only, where it offers approx. 10 places.
Offer entry at 7+ and 8+. For both 7+ and 8+ entry, King’s College offer activity mornings in which the school can get a clearer picture of your child’s personality and abilities. 7+ activity mornings are held in January and 8+ activity mornings are held at the end of November. There are 54 places available at 7 Plus, and approx 14 at 8 Plus.
Wetherby has one class intake of 20 boys at Year 3 (7 Plus) and three classes of 20 at year 4 (8 Plus). Wetherby Pre Prep boys automatically feed into the school at year 4.
This school sets both the 7 Plus and 8 Plus exam. There are 45 places available at 7 Plus (15 or 16 boys in each of three forms) and six to 10 places for entry into Year 4 (8 Plus) and Year 5 (9 Plus).
City of London Girls offer 24 places for 7 Plus entry into Year 3.
Offer entry at 7+. Each year, 8 to 10 girls join year 3 of the Junior School.
Offer 36 places per year for entry at 8+. Highgate – Offer entry at 7+. In 2016 there will be places for approximately 50 boys and girls to join approximately 30 children from Highgate Pre-Prep School.
The 7+ Maths assessment is in line with the Year 2 Maths syllabus, whereas the 8+ maths assessment is based on the Year 3 syllabus. Both 7+ and 8+ Maths exams have mental arithmetic, written and problem solving components. The timings of the paper are typically the same and the importance of showing working is highlighted. The table below shows clear differences between what is expected of pupils at 7+ or 8+. When assessing both 7+ and 8+ Maths papers, schools are looking for children to have strong problem solving skills and an ability to apply skills and analyse problems in unfamiliar contexts.
|Area||7 Plus (7+)||8 Plus (8+)|
|Numbers and the number system|
Count on and back in 2s, 3s etc – 10. Recognise 2 digit multiples of 2,5 and 10
Count on and back in tens and hundreds. Recognise 3 digit multiples of 2,5 and 10.
Place value and ordering
Read and write three digit numbers in figures and words.
|Read and write four digit numbers in figures and words|
Estimating and rounding
Round two digit numbers to the nearest 10.
|Round two digit numbers to the nearest 100.|
Recognise halves and quarters.
Recognise halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths and tenths.
Add three single digit numbers. Add and subtract 20. Multiplication questions (2,5 and 10 times tables)
|Add three or four single digit numbers mentally, or three or four two digit numbers. Add and subtract to 30. Multiplication questions (2-10 times tables)|
The English exam content at 7 Plus and 8 Plus will largely look quite similar. At both levels, students may be expected to write a composition and complete a comprehension exercise. However, at 8 Plus, candidates will be expected to write at length using a wider range of vocabulary and punctuation. The comprehension exercise will also most likely be based on a “tougher” text. 8 Plus exams may also feature separate punctuation and spelling tests. To be successful in the 8+ exam, prospective pupils are expected to know at least the Key Stage 2 English word lists for Years 3 and 4. It is worth noting that some schools are replacing the composition exercise with a dictation.