What are the differences between the 7+ and 8+ exam?

Judith is a tutor with Owl Tutors

Judith

Owl Tutor

April 21st, 2020

What are the differences between the 7+ and 8+ exam?

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.

Which schools offer entrance at 7+ and/or 8+?

St Paul’s Junior

Offer 54 places per year for 7+.

Westminster Under School

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

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.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School

Currently don’t offer entry at 8+, instead offering only 7+ entry.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls

HABS Girls has entry at 7 Plus only, where it offers approx. 10 places.

King’s College Junior School

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 Prep School

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.

Dulwich College

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 School for Girls

City of London Girls offer 24 places for 7 Plus entry into Year 3.

North London Collegiate School

Offer entry at 7+. Each year, 8 to 10 girls join year 3 of the Junior School.

Sussex House

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.

What is the difference between the 7+ and 8+ Maths exam?

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.

Area7 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.
Fractions
Recognise halves and quarters.

Recognise halves, thirds, quarters, fifths, sixths and tenths.
Mental arithmetic
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)

What is the difference between the 7+ and 8+ English exam?

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.


Judith is a tutor with Owl Tutors

More about Judith

Judith qualified as a teacher in Primary education in 2012, and now works as a tutor with Owl Tutors.

Judith works full time as a tutor for Owl Tutors. Judith is our lead 7 Plus tutor, having taught to the highest level in both the State and Private sectors.