12 Plus / 13 Plus Exam (Late Transfer) | A Guide for Parents



Is your child set to sit the 12 Plus/13 Plus late transfer test in the hope of gaining a place at grammar school? If so, we’ve written this post especially for you.


Missing out on a school place at 11 Plus level can be quite discouraging for a child. However, if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where the 12+/13+ exam is used, your child could have a second chance of gaining entry through the late transfer test.


What is the 12 Plus/13 Plus Exam (Late transfer test)?


The 12+/13+ exam is for pupils in Years 7 and 8 who may have narrowly missed out on a grammar school place due to their 11+ exam results. The 12 Plus/13 Plus allows a child more time to prepare (up to 18 months) for the late transfer test. The tests have a strong academic focus on the core subjects and is used by many of the top grammar schools in the UK.


The exam aims to determine a child’s suitability to join a grammar school in Years 8 or 9. Not all schools accept 12+/13+ entry, but those that do, normally do so on the basis of available spaces in those year groups. Spaces can become available if there are too few applicants for the number of vacancies that year, or if children consequently leave those year groups during term time.


Grammar schools tend to have a larger intake of students at 11 Plus level than at 12+/13+. In some instances, there may be as little as 2 or 3 available places at 12 Plus / 13 Plus, so it’s important to set your child’s expectations as part of their preparation.


What Does the 12+/13+ Exam Involve?


12+ and 13+ entry to grammar schools

The exam tests ability in the core subjects: English, Maths and Reasoning


Every school has a slightly different exam structure, but generally, children are tested on their abilities in the core subjects of Maths, English and Reasoning.


Studying for the 12 Plus/13 Plus Exam


We’ve already written an in-depth guide to helping your child revise for exams, but to provide a summary, we’d recommend:


  • Starting revision early so that any gaps in your child’s knowledge can be identified and improved.
  • Agreeing a study timetable with your child so that they feel involved in the process of studying.
  • Studying little but often. The average 12-year-old has an attention span of around 30 minutes, so be sure not to overdo it.
  • Use a variety of different studying methods based on the three main learning styles (auditory, visual and kinaesthetic). For example, you could try a combination of flashcards, listening exercises and presentations to provide variety.



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