13+ Admissions from 2022

Merchant Taylors’ School will be introducing a new admissions system that will affect all boys seeking 13+ entry from September 2022 onwards; that is, born after 31st August 2008.

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The New System

The School is responding to requests that offers are made earlier so that parents and boys have peace of mind regarding the transition at 13+.  As such, the system will be as follows:

1.    Visiting the school

You may wish to attend one of the School’s Open Mornings, held each year in September and May.  Details of these can be found on the School website alongside the opportunity to book a private tour with a senior boy on a School day.  You can also order a School Prospectus online at https://www.mtsn.org.uk/contact-us/request-a-tourprospectus

2.    Registration

Boys must be registered as potential candidates for the entrance examinations by the end of June, when they are in year 5 at their current school. It is not necessary to register a long time in advance but do please be aware of the deadline. Registration is online at www.mtsn.org.uk/admissions  and costs £100.
Please note that it is not possible to apply for both 11+ and 13+ entry.

3.    The application

A short while after the Registration deadline has passed, we will ask your son’s Head Teacher for a confidential reference.  We will then write to you to invite your son in for a thirty-minute interview with a senior member of staff.

4.    Specific Learning Differences / Medical / EAL

If your son has specific learning differences you will need to alert us as part of the application process, before any interviews take place. Special provisions will be made available in accordance with the School's Admissions Policy.

5.    The Interview

In September/October of Year 6 your son will be invited to the School for an interview.  The interview will assess four areas – communication; intellectual curiosity; reasoning and extra-curricular commitment.  Following the interview we will discuss each candidate prior to making a conditional offer.

6.    The Conditional Offer

In November, following the interview, we will write to you detailing one of three possible outcomes.

A – offer conditional on a satisfactory performance in the 11+ examinations
B – offer conditional on passing the 11+ examinations at grade C or above
C – Sadly we will not be taking the application forward

A deposit of £1,050 is paid by the successful candidate, returnable in the event of the examinations not being passed.

7.    The Entrance Examination

The Entrance Examinations will take place in early January when boys are in Year 6. There are three examinations, English, Mathematics and a General Paper. Specimens of the English and Mathematics exams can be found on the specimen papers page. We do not supply General papers which test broader skills such as problem solving; ethical thinking; linguistics etc

8.    Unconditional Offers after examination

Following the examinations there are three outcomes. In mid-February some parents will receive a letter making their son an unconditional offer of a place in Year 9.
Others will unfortunately be told that we are not able to make an offer.
A third group will receive an offer of a place on our waiting list. 

9.    The final deposit

In January of Year 7 we send letters asking you to confirm that Merchant Taylors’ is your first choice of school by paying a deposit of £1,000. From the total deposit paid, £400 is returned at the end of the School career and £1,600 is set against the first term’s fees.  £50 is a non-returnable administration fee.

10.    Setting Examinations

In January of Year 8 Merchant Taylors’ examinations will be sat for the purpose of setting in Year 9. They will be taken in English, Maths, Science, Humanities, a Modern Language and optional Latin. Entrants from Schools other than 13+ Prep Schools will sit examinations in a minimum of English, Maths and Science.
11.    A place at Merchant Taylors’ School

After a successful outcome in the setting examinations, the Head Master writes in February to parents offering a confirmed place to their sons to join Merchant Taylors’ in year 9 the following September.

12.    Preparing to join Merchant Taylors’ School

All boys who have been offered places are invited in for a subject choices day in March. There is also an induction day before the beginning of the Autumn term.

Why is Merchant Taylors’ School making changes?

There has been a steady drift towards assessment in Year 6 by Schools and it is popular with parents who are seeking assurances about transfer at 13+.  Many parents would like to apply to Merchant Taylors’ but are unable to do so as the current system is too late in the 13+ cycle of admissions.
By retaining interviews prior to examinations, the School is able to retain its commitment to giving each candidate the opportunity to demonstrate their ability. 
Similarly, whilst boys will continue to sit examinations in Year 8, they will not have the same pressure of the current system.

Some Key Questions:

Can boys enter for both 11+ and 13+?
Our expectation is that boys from 13+ Prep Schools will continue to use the 13+ admissions process.  If parents should opt to apply for 11+ entry then they will not be able to apply for 13+.  Merchant Taylors’ will alert 13+ Prep Schools to any of their pupils who have applied for 11+ entry so that they can discuss options with parents.

What if 13+ candidates miss the Year 6 entrance process?
The School will allow a 13+ entry to be made in exceptional circumstances in Year 8, but an application can only be made via the Head Teacher of a feeder school. In this instance, interviews will be held in the Autumn term of Year 8 and candidates will sit the Year 8 examinations in January.

When are Scholarships and Bursaries awarded?
Year 9 awards are based on performance in the Year 6 examination and interview.  Successful candidates are informed in February of Year 6. 

What is the difference between Admissions at 11+ and 13+?
11+ admissions continues to focus on a Primary School intake with the aim of admitting approximately 60 boys in to Year 7.  13+ remains the main intake of the School, with up to 90 places available, the majority of intake being from 13+ Prep Schools. 

The processes remain distinct, as per the table below:





Register by October 31st Year 6

Register by June 30th Year 5


Examinations in English/Maths/General Paper January Year 6.  Candidates shortlisted for interview on basis of performance in examinations.

References requested from Feeder Schools followed by interviews and conditional offers made ( A grade – satisfactory performance in exams; B grade must pass each examinations; C – application not proceeded with)


Shortlisted candidates interviewed

January/February Year 6

Examinations in English/Maths/General Paper January Year 6.


Final offers sent out February Year 6

Final offers sent out February Year 6



Setting examinations in January Year 8

At 11+ the examinations are used to select the candidates for interview prior to final selection, whilst at 13+ the examinations are used to confirm final selection. 

Transition arrangements to the New 13+ Assessment System

Year of Entry

Date of Birth





Currently Year 7

1/9/06 – 31/08/07

Feb 2019

(Year 7)

May/June (2019) (Year 7)

January 2020 (Year 8) 13+ Exam



Year 6

1/9/07 – 31/08/08

Feb 2020 (Year 7)

May/June (2020) (Year 7)

January 2021 (Year 8) 13+


Currently Year 5

1/9/08 – 31/08/09

June 2019 (Year 5)

September/October Year 6


January 2020 (Year 6)  11+ exam

Year 8 2022 Setting Tests


Currently Year 4

1/9/09 – 31/08/10

June 2020

(Year 5)

September/October Year 6


January 2021 (Year 6) 11+ exam or (Year 6)

Year 8 2023 Setting Tests