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Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Entrance Exam Information


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Stephen Perse Senior School is a co-ed independent day school in Cambridge. Dating back to 1615, it is noted as a progressive school, especially in terms of learning and social skills. Many notable politicians, scientists, academics, activists and journalists have attended Stephen Perse, complementing its strong reputation as a high-performing facility. [1]


Encouraging discovery and exploration, the school provides a varied syllabus comprising languages, science, expressive arts and technology, among others. The curriculum’s coherence and wealth maximises students’ capacity for learning alongside their productivity, allowing the facility to thrive in the country’s educational landscape.


The extensive co-curricular offering boasts an impressive range of features, including DofE, CCF, MUN and numerous club activities. Fencing, chess, creative writing, Chinese Heritage Club and orchestra are some of the most popular after-class pursuits, aimed at boosting pupils’ skills across a plethora of interests, talents and abilities. [2]


In line with its rich tradition of excellence and innovation, Stephen Perse Senior educates children consistently well above the national average, offering a vibrant learning environment and a rigorous yet welcoming ethos. Students benefit from expert care and a rich range of opportunities for rounded development, grounding their mindset in critical awareness and the determination to prosper in the fast-paced world beyond school. 


Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Exam Information


Address: Union Road, Cambridge CB2 1HF

County: Cambridgeshire

Admissions info: or 01223 454762

School type: Independent co-ed day school

Open day: In the Spring and Autumn terms

13+ Exam date: January of Year 8

13+ Exam type / Board: CAT4 & school’s own


Open Events for Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Entry


Stephen Perse Senior strongly encourages prospective families to visit the campus prior to applying for a place. Typically including a guided tour of facilities and meetings with staff, Open Days and individual tours can be booked through this page.


Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Admissions                   


The registration deadline for Year 9 places is in December of the year preceding entry. Entry will depend on your child’s performance in competitive online examinations and the quality of their current-school reports and references. 


There will also be a formal interview with a senior staff member later the same month, during which your child’s maths and English writing skills will be assessed. 


Offers are sent out in late January and the acceptance deadline is in March. The acceptance fee is £300 and the acceptance deposit is £500. 


Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Scholarships and Bursaries


Stephen Perse Senior offers scholarships for Music, Drama & Theatre, Art, Sport and Design & Engineering, alongside the Governors Academic Award. All scholarships are valued at 5% of fees.


The Governors Academic Award is awarded to top-performing applicants, as assessed throughout the 13+ admissions process. If your child wishes to apply for this award, that should be indicated in the application form. The evaluation process will include an interview. 


Music Scholarships are awarded on the basis of audition, during which your child will be asked to perform two contrasting pieces on their main instrument or voice and undertake some aural tests. Their ability must be Grade 5 standard or above. 


Drama and Theatre Scholarships are offered following successful auditions and interviews. Art Scholarships are available to applicants with the best portfolios and strongest performance in an interview. 


Design Engineering scholarships are awarded based on submission of a portfolio and an interview. Sports Scholarship applicants are invited to attend an assessment morning, during which they will be asked to partake in activities that demonstrate their physical and technical sporting ability. 


If you are in a need of financial assistance with paying the fees, you can apply for a means-tested bursary. The evaluation process is conducted by Bursary Administration Ltd (BAL), an independent company. 


Annually, the award can increase/decrease in value, depending on changes in your financial circumstances. To establish this, the school reassesses bursaries each year. More details are available here


Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Exam Format


The Stephen Perse Senior School Stage 1 13+ entrance examination consists of the following test:


  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4)


The CAT4 test aims to assess developed abilities via modules testing Verbal, Non-Verbal, Spatial and Quantitative Reasoning.



The Stephen Perse Senior School Stage 2 13+ entrance examination consists of the following tests:


  • English essay/comprehension (15 minutes)
  • Mathematics (15 minutes)


The English paper will examine comprehension or writing skills through a short assessment. 


The maths paper will assess your child’s problem-solving abilities and arithmetic skills. The paper may include questions on number, measurement, geometry, algebra and statistics.


Please see below for further details and recommendations on how to prepare for the Stephen Perse Senior School 13+ entrance examinations.


How to Prepare for the Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Exam


To successfully prepare your child for the selective Stephen Perse 13+ 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 child 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 child’s strengths, resulting in a significant boost of their confidence in the lead up to the big day.


Furthermore, your child 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 child prepare for the Stephen Perse 13 Plus entrance examination can be found below.


Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus (13+) Exam Practice Papers


Recommendations for each section of the Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus exam can be found below:


Stage 1 Exam


Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4)


The following Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) online practice tests and courses are highly recommended for successful preparation for the Stephen Perse Senior 11+ CAT test. They will familiarise your child with the various modules and question types that will come up in the exam. The practice tests are specifically designed for CAT4 Level E, which is taken for Year 9 (13+) entry.


CAT4 – Level E – Practice Test 1


CAT4 – Level E – Practice Test 2


CAT4 – Level E – Practice Test 3


CAT4 – Level E – Practice Test 4


CAT4 – Level E – Practice Test 5


CAT4 Level E Practice Tests Bundle



CAT4 Quantitative Reasoning Course


CAT4 Non-Verbal Reasoning Course


CAT4 Spatial Reasoning Course


CAT4 Verbal Reasoning Course


CAT4 Level E Video Courses Bundle



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Stage 2 Exam




We highly recommend the following packs to prepare successfully for the Stephen Perse Senior School 13+ English paper:


13+ English Pack 1


13+ English Pack 2


13+ English: Rewrite & Improve




We highly recommend the use of the following papers to help develop your child’s arithmetic and problem-solving skills within the examination context of the Stephen Perse Senior School 13 Plus maths test:


13+ Mathematics Pack 1



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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Stephen Perse Senior School 13+ past papers. The information provided about Stephen Perse Senior 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.


Other entry points for Stephen Perse Senior School:


Click here to learn about Year 7 entry via the 11 Plus (11+) Exam

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