8 plus (8+) Exam – St. Paul’s Juniors (formerly Colet Court) – What you need to know




St Paul’s Juniors (SPJ, formerly known as Colet Court) is an academically selective boys’ school situated in Barnes, Greater London and shares this fantastic site with its senior school. Both schools are however physically separate, operating from adjacent modern buildings on the South Bank of the Thames. Shared facilities include a dining hall, a sports centre and playing fields.


Boys also enter at 7+ and 11+ by competitive examination. Means-tested bursaries are available at all points of entry. It is the expectation that the vast majority of boys go from the junior school to the senior school. The few that do not progress to St Paul’s tend to get places at their first-choice schools.


The first entry point is in Year 3, via the 7 plus exam. However, children do not mature academically at the same rate, so 8+ makes more sense for many boys. We see many boys enjoy great success at 8 plus, having not made the cut at 7+.


As an all-through school, boys who join SPJ can stay for the full duration of their studies. Providing their academics are up to par, they will be automatically registered for transfer to St Paul’s at 13+. This means they have a place at St Paul’s, conditional upon their academic ability and successful passing of the entrance exam to the senior school. It is not an unconditional offer of a place, only an unconditional offer of registration.


St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus (8+) Exam Information


Entry point Eight plus (8+)

School Name St Paul’s Juniors (formerly known as Colet Court)

Description Boys’ day school

Age range 7-13

Size 439 approx.

Fees £6,257 per term

Address Lonsdale Road, Barnes, London, SW13 9JT

Website http://www.stpaulsschool.org.uk/st-pauls-juniors

Telephone (general enquiries) +44 (0)20 8748 3461

Admissions 7and8PlusEntry@stpaulsschool.org.uk  or +44 (0)20 8746 5444


St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus (8+) Admissions


Applications: Boys can be registered from their fourth birthday. The closing date for registration is in October.


Registration: The registration form is available to download here. When registering, the terms and conditions state that St Paul’s ‘must be your first choice for 13+ education’.

Registration fee: £175.


Open Days/Visits: SPJ hosts one main open morning each year usually in November. This is an opportunity for parents and boys to meet the Head, staff and current pupils, and to get a flavour of daily life at SPJ. Eight plus (8+) families are asked to attend in the morning. If you’re unable to make the open morning, then parents are advised to contact the school to make a time for a small group visit.


St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus (8+) Exam Format


The 8+ exam is held in the January of the year of entry. Dates to be confirmed and sent to registered candidates in December. Examinations are designed to provide an understanding of current levels and to test potential. About 220 will take the exam. Approx. 40/50 are then called back for an interview for 18 places.


All candidates sit papers in:


  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Reasoning


This is the typical St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus exam timetable:


8.30 am   Arrival   
9.00 – 9.45 Verbal Reasoning  (45 minutes)
9.45 – 9.55   Short Break (10 mins)
9.55 – 10.35 Mental and Written Maths test (40 minutes)
10.35 – 11.05  Long Break (30 minutes)
11.05 – 11.50  Reading (comprehension) and Non Verbal Reasoning (45 minutes) 
11.50 – 12.00     Short Break (10 minutes)
12.00 – 12.35 English Dictation (35 minutes)
12.40    Collection Time



NOTE: For 2020 entry onwards, this English Writing Task will be replaced by a Dictation Task. This will be a short passage read out by a teacher which boys will copy down. It will test spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and handwriting. You can view the school’s announcement here. To prepare for this new assessment, we recommend using our new 8+ Dictation Pack and our  8+ Listening Pack, which includes Dictation exercises.



  • Previous SPJ eight plus (8+) maths papers have placed an emphasis on extended number problems and mental maths. It is normally split into three sections with the problems coming at the end. Last year they were described as ‘tough’ by some of our most able candidates (who got in!)


  • Last year’s SPJ eight plus (8+) English paper asked the boys to write from a picture prompt of a man with a top hat, in a hot air balloon with parrot on his shoulder. Creative Writing skills are however no longer tested from 2020 entry onwards.


  • Last year’s SPJ eight plus (8+) reasoning papers contained a mixture of elements including verbal and non-verbal reasoning. VR concentrated on word meanings and appropriate choice of words; NVR concentrated on shapes (2D and 3D), symmetry and sequences.


St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus (8+) Exam Practice Papers


Full Practice Tests


8+ St. Paul’s Juniors Practice Test 1

8+ St. Paul’s Juniors Practice Test 2




8+ English practice papers, ideal for St Paul’s Juniors School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:


Practice Tests


8+ English Pack 4 (Comprehension Sections Only)

8+ English Pack 5 (Comprehension Sections Only)


Comprehension Skills


8+ Reading Workbook

8+ English: Inference Skills

8+ English: Vocabulary and Grammar

8+ English: Spelling

8+ English: Punctuation


The Complete Guide to 8+ Comprehension


Dictation Skills


8+ English: Dictation (Ideal Preparation for the new Dictation Assessment)


Writing Skills


The Complete Guide to 8+ Writing (Potentially useful for any short writing tasks that could come up in the second round interview/assessment day)




8+ Maths practice papers, ideal for St Paul’s Juniors School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:


Practice Tests


8+ Mathematics Pack 1

8+ Mathematics Pack 2

8+ Mathematics Pack 3

8+ Mathematics Pack 4

8+ Mathematics Pack 5


Targeted Skill Development


8+ Mathematics: Mental Arithmetic

8+ Mathematics: Problem Solving




Reasoning practice papers, ideal for St Paul’s Juniors School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:


8+ Reasoning Pack 1

8+ Reasoning Pack 2

8+ Reasoning Pack 3

8+ Reasoning Pack 4

8+ Reasoning Pack 5




8+ Listening practice papers, ideal for St. Paul’s Junior School eight plus (8+) exam preparation:


8+ Listening Pack 1 (Ideal Preparation for the new Dictation Assessment)



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St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus (8+) Interviews and Activities


Approx 40/50 candidates who are successful in the 8 plus exam will be called back for an assessment and a short group interview with the Head or a senior member of staff. The school says:


Boys who perform well in the written tests will be invited back for a half-day group assessment. Group sizes will be approximately 10. This process will involve a Maths lesson, an English lesson and a group problem-solving task. At the same time, parents will have the opportunity to meet with the Head of St Paul’s Juniors. The group assessments will take place during the two weeks following the tests, enabling boys to know their results within a fortnight.


As part of the assessment in previous years, boys have been asked to write a short story and answer some complex maths questions. Contact us for more details if you reach this stage.


St. Paul’s Juniors 8 Plus (8+) Scholarships and Bursaries


SPJ offers bursaries at all entry points, including 8 plus (8+). Not every school will offer financial support at such a young age as a child’s potential is still relatively unknown.


Bursaries are means-tested and full details of income and capital resources will be requested. Each application is assessed on its own individual merit and offers of financial support, if appropriate, will be made in the November of the year prior to entry.


Bursaries are means-tested each year and may change as a family’s financial situation improves or deteriorates. Requests for a bursary form should be made after registration.


Scholarships are honorary. Fee remissions are given to families with three or more children at St Paul’s Juniors, St Paul’s School and St Paul’s Girls’ School. For further information, please click here.


St. Paul’s Juniors: Destination Schools at 13+


In most cases boys move on to St Paul’s. However a small minority may transfer to other schools, often as a result of a change in parental circumstances. SPJ  (formerly known as Colet Court) has a good relationship with other senior schools, such as Eton and Winchester, and will support boys with appropriate references and recommendations.


Other Entry Points: 7+, 10+ deferred and 11+

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