Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Entrance Exam Information – Key Details




Basic information: Stonyhurst College’s preparatory school, Stonyhurst Saint Mary’s Hall, is a co-ed independent school, located outside the small village of Hurst Green, near Clitheroe (Lancashire). As successor to Hodder Place, SMH is considered the oldest surviving preparatory school in Britain. [1]


Curriculum: The aim of the academic (and non-academic) provision is to help pupils develop an appreciation for life through a broad education spanning across a range of disciplines. Besides boosting numeracy and literacy skills, SMH is invested in providing top-quality teaching for humanities, science, languages, art and ICT, among others. 


Co-curricular: A number of sporting activities are on offer, complementing the learning experience and enriching the time spent on campus. These range from rugby, cricket and tennis to swimming, cross-country and athletics. Performing arts pursuits, including drama, LAMDA lessons and ballet, are some of the most prominent features of the school’s enrichment programme, nurturing pupils’ creativity according to their individual needs, interests and capacity. 


Inspection reports: The recent ISI inspection for the school concluded that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children is excellent. The provision of pastoral care also received the highest grade, thanks to the school’s effective procedures for promoting positive behaviour and preventing harassment and bullying. [4]


SMH’s educational philosophy is rooted in the aim to provide children with a supportive community where they can develop their unique talents. In line with the motto Quant Je Puis (all that I can), the school encourages pupils to thoroughly explore the spectrum of their own abilities and engage in religious life to the fullest.


Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Exam Information


Address: Clitheroe, BB7 9PU

County: Lancashire

Admissions info: or 01254 827073

School type: Independent, co-ed day and boarding school

Open days: In the Spring and Autumn terms


Open Events for Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Entry


The best way to discover whether SMH is the right school for your child is to attend one of their Open Events. These typically include guided tours of facilities, informal meetings with key members of the teaching and senior staff and a range of fun activities. Please click here for more details.


Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Admissions


Unlike 7+, 8+ is not St Mary’s Hall’s standard point of entry. 8+ applicants will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of their references and school reports and their performance in online assessments. 


The registration fee of £125 is non-refundable. If a place is offered, you will be asked to secure it with a payment of a deposit.


Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Scholarships and Bursaries


Scholarships are only available to Senior School applicants. Bursaries are also typically awarded to Senior School applicants; however, under exceptional circumstances, Prep School applicants may also be considered. Please contact the Admissions Team for further details.


Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Exam Format


The Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) exam consist of the following assessments:


  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT)


The Verbal Reasoning section of the CAT test is designed to test and assess your child’s logical thinking, use of English language and vocabulary.


The Non-Verbal Reasoning section of the CAT test measures their ability to understand, interpret and problem-solve, testing logic and intelligence rather than knowledge. 


Please see below for further details and recommendations on how to prepare for the Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus entrance examination.


How to Prepare for the Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Entrance Assessment 


Practice tests are an effective tool for preparation for the Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus exam. With the help of our practice tests, your child will learn to deal with various 8+ exam question types quickly and confidently. 


The benefits for your child are numerous: the tests provide focused practice and familiarity with a wide variety of possibilities and examples, serving as an indicator of any weaker areas that require additional work ahead of the exam. We suggest starting early with your revision so that you have plenty of time to identify subject areas that need additional work. 


The majority of our 8+ resources are accompanied by detailed step-by-step video tutorials for every question. These are available for free with all purchases. It’s like having a word-class tutor explain each question to your child at no extra cost!


Our practice tests are used successfully every year by tens of thousands of students targeting schools with a competitive entrance exam. They are age-appropriate, reflecting the demands of the actual exam.


Our recommendations to help your child prepare for the Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus entrance exam can be found below.


Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus (8+) Exam Practice Papers


Recommendations for each section of the Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus exam can be found below:


Cognitive Abilities Test


The following packs will significantly boost your child’s Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning abilities ahead of the Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8 Plus CAT test:


Full Practice Tests


8+ Reasoning Pack 1 

8+ Reasoning Pack 2 

8+ Reasoning Pack 3 

8+ Reasoning Pack 4 

8+ Reasoning Pack 5 



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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 8+ past papers. The information provided about Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall 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 Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall:


Click here to learn about Year 3 entry via the 7 Plus (7+) Exam

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

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