Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Entrance Exam Information – Key Details




Sherborne School is an independent boarding school for boys, located in the parish of Sherborne Abbey in Dorset. Founded in 705 AD by St Aldhelm, the school has remained in the same location for over 1300 years.


In Year 9, pupils study the core disciplines of Maths, English and Science, plus three humanities subjects (theology, history and geography), MFL, classical civilisation and Greek / Latin, along with drama, music, music technology and art & design technology.


The enrichment programme comprises a wide range of activities, including debating, radio broadcasting, philosophical discussion, D&T and Art workshops, Drama, mathematical challenges, creative writing workshops, outdoor pursuits and charity work & volunteering.


Sherborne’s unique setting is home to a community of friendship and generosity where boys play a full and prominent role. Known as a centre of educational excellence which helps prepare pupils for a bright future, the school also strives to protect them from some of the pressures of modern living by teaching them to use technology wisely and engage with the local community.


Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Exam Information


Address: Sherborne School, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3AP

County: Dorset

Admissions info: or 01935 810403

School Type: Independent boarding school for boys

Number of Students: 560 (approx.)

Open day: Each Term

13+ Exam Date: January of Year 7

13+ Exam Type / Board: School’s own and an online test


Open Events for Sherborne School 13 plus (13+) Entry


The school hosts small-group visits each term. They include a talk from the Headmaster and a tour of a Boarding House, followed by an individual pupil-led tour of the campus, which concludes with a buffet lunch with the Headmaster and other senior staff.


Individual visits in a similar format can also be arranged. For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.


Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Admissions


Sherborne School is a selective school, evaluating candidates on the basis of entrance assessments and interview, as well as school references.


Upon registering, your son will be invited to sit examinations in January of Year 7. He will also attend an interview with a senior member of the academic staff and undertake a group task. A confidential reference from your son’s current school will be requested. 


Results and offers of places are sent out in February, to be accepted by the deadline in March.


Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Scholarships and Bursaries


The school offers scholarships and other non means-tested awards which normally carry a maximum of 10% remission of the day / boarding fee, excluding extras. In some cases, boys are offered an honorary award without a financial reward attached to it.  


Scholarships with nominal value fall into the following categories: Academic, Art, Design & Technology, Drama, Music and Sport.


Two additional awards are available for current and former members of the armed services:


  • Raban Award
  • Nutting Award


An All-Rounder award may be offered if your son misses out on an award in one specific area but has demonstrated high levels of talent and ambition in the scholarship & award assessment, interview and current-school reference. All-Rounder awards also cover a maximum of 10% of day or boarding fees (excluding extras).


To apply for any of these awards, you should complete an ‘Awards Interest Form’ which will indicate the award your son will be applying for.


If you are in need of additional bursarial support, your request will be considered only if your son has been successful in gaining an award. Bursaries offered in addition to the scholarship award will be means tested and subject to annual review. For more information, please contact the school.


Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Entrance Exam Format


The Sherborne School 13+entrance exam consists of:


  • English paper (essay)
  • Online Reasoning test similar to CAT (Cognitive Abilities Test)


The English paper examines writing skills, including spelling, vocabulary and punctuation. Marks will be awarded for good use of imagination, creativity, form, purpose, organisation, cohesion and sentence structure.


The online reasoning test likely resembles a cognitive abilities test (CAT), which measures developed abilities via modules testing Verbal, Non-Verbal, Spatial and Quantitative Reasoning.


Please see below for further details and recommendations on how to prepare for the Sherborne School 13+ entrance exam.


How to Prepare for the Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Entrance Exam


To successfully prepare your son for the selective Sherborne School entrance exam, we recommend using practice tests. Our resources fully reflect the actual exam by covering all the question types that could come up, whilst helping your son become familiar with the exam layout. 


Coupled with a structured study plan, our practice tests will help you define any weak areas that require additional work at the earliest. They will also help you recognise your son’s strengths, resulting in a significant boost of their confidence in the lead up to the big day.


Furthermore, he will get used to answering questions quickly and effectively, under time pressure.


Our resources are designed to be age-appropriate, yet challenging, and, as such, they are used successfully by tens of thousands of students every year. Our recommendations to help your son prepare for the Sherborne School 13 plus entrance exam can be found below.


Sherborne School 13 Plus (13+) Exam Practice Papers


Recommendations for each section of the Sherborne School 13 Plus exam can be found below:




We highly recommend the following packs to prepare successfully for the Sherborne School 13+ English paper. They will help improve your son’s writing skills, including spelling, vocabulary and punctuation:




11+ Complete Writing Guide


11+ Writing Prompts


11+ Rewrite & Improve


11+ Spelling Pack 1


11+ Spelling Pack 2



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Online Test


The following Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) online practice tests and courses are highly recommended for successful preparation for the Sherborne School Online Test. They will familiarise your son with the various modules and Reasoning question types that may come up in the actual exam:


CAT Practice Test 1


CAT Practice Test 2


CAT Practice Test 3


CAT Practice Test 4



CAT Quantitative Reasoning Course


CAT Non-Verbal Reasoning Course


CAT Spatial Reasoning Course


CAT Verbal Reasoning Course



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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Sherborne School 13+ past papers. The information provided about Sherborne School was believed to be correct at the time of publishing. However, please be aware of future changes. We advise you to contact the school directly if you are unsure of anything. School contact details are provided within the post.



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