12+ Exam Papers


The 12+ Exams - A Quick Guide

What is the 12+ exam?

The 12+ is a school entrance exam for pupils wishing to apply for entry into competitive independent schools in the UK. As with most British school entrance exams, competition is fierce and students are expected to demonstrate excellent numeracy and literacy skills. In addition to testing English and Maths, the 12+ exam, often includes assessments in other subjects such as French, German and Spanish.

The 12+ differs from the 11+ exams as they are sat when a student is in Year 7 rather than Year 6. Furthermore, the 11+ exam assesses English, Maths and Reasoning whilst the majority of 12+ exams assess English, Maths, Modern Foreign Languages and sometimes Humanities subjects such as Geography or History.

We highly recommend contacting each target school to confirm which subjects will be assessed.

In order to help your child prepare for the exam, encourage them to complete past papers such as the ones provided below. It’s also worth asking each target school whether they have any additional sample or specimen papers.

12+ English Papers

St Mary’s School, Cambridge. English Entrance Assessment 2018

The King’s School, English Paper (2014)

The King’s School, English Paper (2012)

St George’s, English Paper 

City of London, Freemen’s School, English Paper

Solihul English Paper 2016

12+ Maths Papers

St George’s, Maths Paper

Solihul Maths Paper 2016

St Mary’s School, Cambridge. Maths Sample Year 8 Maths Entrance Examination 2018

St Albans School, Maths Specimen Paper

City of London, Freemen’s School, Maths Paper

The King’s School, Canterbury, Kent, Maths Paper (2014)

The King’s School, Canterbury, Kent, Maths Paper (2013)

The King’s School, Canterbury, Kent, Maths Paper (2012)


More Information Regarding The Independent School Entrance Exams

The majority of British independent secondary schools teach children aged between 11 and 16. Some schools also have Sixth Forms for students ages 16-18. All British independent schools are registered with the Department of Education, and The Secretary of State for Education which ensures that such schools are regulated and follow strict guidelines.

Admissions Tests

The vast majority of independent schools are academically selective and depending on your child’s age, they’ll usually be expected to sit exams in Maths and English as well as additional subjects such as Reasoning (Verbal and Non-Verbal, Modern Foreign Languages, classical civilisation (Greek/Latin/Ancient History) and humanities subjects such as Geography or History). In addition to this, your child will usually be asked to sit an interview which will give admissions tutors the opportunity to get to know them and see if they’re a suitable candidate for the school.

During the interview, your child will be asked about their interests, hobbies (including extra curricular activities), their current school and future career or academic goals. It’s therefore important that you prepare your child for the interview component of the exam just as much as the academic side.

To ensure that your child is best-prepared, we recommend that you consult the admissions page of your target schools or call the schools to request the exact details on their selection process.

Lastly, for specimen and past papers for the 12+ exams, click on the links above to download them.