Magdalen College School (MCS) 8 plus (8+) Exam: What You Need to Know



Founded in 1480, Magdalen College School (MCS) is an independent day school in Oxford. Primarily a boys’ school, girls are welcome in the school’s sixth form from age 16. Magdalen College is the first boys’ school to be named Independent School of the Year twice.


The school comprises a junior and senior school with six houses in each.


The main point of entry to the junior school is at age 7 into J1 (Year 3). The school also accepts applications for boys to join MCS aged 8 into J2 (Year 4), aged 9 into J3 (Year 5) and sometimes aged 10 into J4 (Year 6), dependent on the availability of places.


Magdalen College School 8 Plus (8+) Exam Information


Entry Level: 8 Plus (8+) exam

School Name: Magdalen College School

Description: Boys’ independent day school

Age range: 7-18

Size: 900 approx.

Fees: £6,313.00 per term

Address: Cowley Place, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 1DZ

Email (general enquiries):


Telephone (general enquiries): 01865 242191



Magdalen College School 8 Plus (8+) Admissions




To apply for an 8+ place at MCS, parents should complete a registration form, which can be found on the school’s website. The form should be returned to the school’s Registrar with a non-refundable deposit of £100.


Open Days and Visits


MCS holds open events throughout the school year, allowing parents and children to see the facilities, meet staff and current pupils and ask questions. The junior school events usually takes place in March and June. To attend an event, please book your place online.


To book an individual visit for another time, please email the Registrar on


Magdalen College School 8 Plus (8+) Exam Format


Prospective pupils will take entry tests in:


  • English (spelling, descriptive writing and three comprehension exercises)
  • Maths


Each part of the English test lasts 15-20 minutes and the Maths test lasts 45 minutes.


Candidates are tested together and many of the tests are teacher led. Most boys will be invited back to MCS for interviews about a week after the test day. Interviews are conducted by the Head of the junior school and another senior member of staff.


The interview lasts 8–10 minutes and will be a relaxed chat about the boy’s own interests. He will be invited to bring an object (or picture) to spark the discussion.


Magdalen College School 8 Plus (8+) Exam Practice Papers




The following 8+ English practice papers will help students prepare for the Magdalen College School entrance test:


Full Practice Tests


8+ English Pack 1

8+ English Pack 2

8+ English Pack 3

8+ English Pack 4

8+ English Pack 5


Comprehension Skills


8+ Reading Workbook

8+ English: Inference Skills

8+ English: Vocabulary and Grammar


The Complete Guide to 8+ Comprehension


Writing Skills


8+ English: Writing

8+ English: Spelling

8+ English: Punctuation

8+ English: Dictation


The Complete Guide to 8+ Writing




For 8+ Maths practice, we recommend the following:


Full 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



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Scholarships and Bursaries: Available at 11+, 13+ and 16+



Other Entry Points: 7+, 9+ and 10+ (Junior), 11+, 13+ and 16+ (Senior)


Most pupils move on to the Senior School at MCS. However, as the College uses the Common Entrance Exam for entry, places are not guaranteed.

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