There are two methods of entry to the school at 13+ (Year 9). Boys at preparatory schools should sit our Pre-test when they are in Year 6 and all other applicants looking to join in Year 9 should sit the 13+ Entrance Examination.

Pre-test prior to Common Entrance or Academic Scholarships

Candidates must sit our Pre-test when they are Year 6, and the deadline for registration is 31st October when boys are in Year 6 at their current preparatory school. The tests are the same as the 11+ entrance tests and take place on the same day. Following the Pre-test, candidates are offered  provisional places subject to their performance at Common Entrance or in our Academic Scholarships. Common Entrance papers are taken in the June preceding entry in September and candidates are expected to perform to a suitable standard, which for MCS generally means in the region of 70%. Alternatively some boys come to MCS to sit our Academic Scholarships in February before entry in September. There is more information about our Academic Scholarships on our Scholarships page.

13+ Entrance Examinations

The 13+ Entrance Examination is for candidates from state schools and independent schools which do not prepare candidates for Common Entrance. The tests are held at the school in the January preceding entry in September. The deadline for registration is 31st October when boys are in Year 8 at their current school.

Starting the application process

We would be delighted to welcome you and your son on a visit to the Senior School in the months prior to application. As well as having a tour of the school with one of our current pupils, you will have an opportunity to meet the Master, Helen Pike, and our Heads of Departments. The Master’s talk includes a pupil panel and we very much welcome questions from the boys as well as their parents. Please follow the links for information about our Open Events and Admissions dates, which guides you through the timeline for application, test and interview dates.


To register please complete the online registration form. You will be required to upload an electronic copy of your son’s birth certificate or passport and make an online payment of the registration fee (£100 for UK applicants; £200 for applicants living overseas). There is no need to register a very long time in advance, but do please bear the 31 st October deadline in mind. In the weeks leading up to our tests, we will contact you to ask more information about your son’s hobbies and interests so we can start to build a more rounded picture of him. We will also ask for a reference from his current school at this stage. The registration form will ask you if your son has any medical conditions or specific learning difficulties that the school should be made aware of, so that access arrangements may be put in place if applicable.

Apply Online

Help with fees

The school is committed to offering places to those most able to benefit from an MCS education, irrespective of financial means. The registration form will give you an opportunity to indicate whether you require information about our bursaries and you will find more information about these on our Bursaries page. Please be aware of the published November deadline should you wish to apply for financial support.

The Pre-test examinations

In our exams, we look carefully for potential, not simply current attainment and our entrance tests involve a combination of written papers and interviews for most candidates. We will also take the school reference into consideration as well as your son’s wider interests and any other relevant information. Please refer to our Entry at 11+ page for more information about the day of the tests and selection procedure.

The 13+ entrance tests

When boys come to sit our 13+ and they are in Year 8, we will pay careful attention to current attainment as well as potential. The entrance tests involve a combination of written papers and interviews for most candidates. We will also take the school reference into consideration as well as your son’s wider interests and any other relevant information.

Boys take tests in English, Mathematics and Verbal Reasoning. Papers are largely based on the Key Stage 3 curriculum. The English paper (1 hour 30 minutes) consists of an extended test in comprehension and a composition. The Maths paper is an hour long and the use of a calculator is permitted. The Verbal Reasoning test lasts 45 minutes and candidates will have an opportunity to work through sample questions before the test starts. There are breaks between the papers, and at lunchtime candidates are offered a choice of activities.

No special preparation is expected or required for the 13+ tests, but we would recommend familiarising your son with the format of our papers by looking at our sample English and Maths papers.


Candidates are invited back for interview on the basis of their performance in the entry tests. The interview lasts about half an hour. Candidates will be given the opportunity to talk about a particular object or subject of their choice. We will also give them a passage or a poem to read aloud and discuss.

"I enjoyed the interview. After the English part, I was asked about what sport I liked, the instruments I played, and which subjects I liked best. I think they were trying to find out about me as a person, to make it easier when I join the school."

13+ Candidate


We will let you know if your son has been offered a place at the beginning of February and you will need to confirm that you wish to accept the place by returning the correct forms and pay a deposit by the agreed acceptance date. The deposit is currently £1,000 and will be adjusted if you have been awarded a bursary.


Boys who have done particularly well in their entrance test or show particular promise will be considered for Academic Scholarships, All-Rounder Awards and Governors’ Presentation Awards. Scholarships in Art, Music and Sport become available at 13+ and more information can be found on our Scholarships page.

Induction and joining MCS in September

Important joining information is sent out in May and we hold an induction morning in June for parents and new boys. There will be a further induction day in September just before the beginning of term to help boys settle in and start making new friends.


Please visit our Fees page for an overview of Senior School Tuition Fees at Magdalen College School.