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The Perse Upper School 13 Plus (13+) Entrance Exam Information


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The Perse School is a co-educational day school in Cambridge. Established in 1615 by Stephen Perse, it is among the leading UK independent schools and has educated a number of notable alumni in the areas of engineering, academia, science and politics. [1]


Pupils at Perse Upper are of above-average ability, making the most out of the school’s extensive provision both in and out of the classroom. The culture of high expectations inspires intellectual curiosity across the curriculum, facilitating pupils’ academic versatility and research skills, among other things. [2]


The rounded education is further supported by a plethora of enrichment activities, including 100+ clubs, 150+ sports teams and 70+ music ensembles. Aimed at cultivating individual talents, the programme boosts pupils’ confidence and allows them to acquire skills at every step of their purposeful educational journey. [3]


To familiarise students with different professional domains and their characteristics, The Perse offers the 42 Society programme, through which it regularly welcomes visiting speakers from the world of arts, business, academia and technology. Consequently, students learn how to make informed decisions about their future endeavours, form valuable connections and lead by example, successfully applying this knowledge throughout their adult years.


The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Exam Information


Address: Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8QF

County: Cambridgeshire

Admissions info: or +44 (0) 1223 403800

School type: Independent co-ed day school

Open day: In the Summer and Autumn terms

13+ Exam date: January of Year 8

13+ Exam type / Board: School’s own


Open Events for The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Entry


To help parents and their children familiarise with the school’s ethos and philosophy, The Perse holds Open Days in the Autumn and Summer terms. These include one-on-ones with the Head, a Q&A with members of the senior staff and guided tours of facilities. Pre-registering for the events is essential. 


The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Admissions                   


In order for your child to be considered for a Year 9 place, they should be registered with the school by December of the year preceding entry. The registration fee is £150.


As Perse Upper is academically selective, your child will be formally assessed for entry in January of Year 8. Typically, results are made known the following month. The school’s admissions process also includes interviews, reports and confidential references. 


If your child is offered a place, you will be asked to accept it by the deadline in March. Please note that acceptance includes a payment of a non-refundable induction fee of £595.


The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Scholarships and Bursaries


13+ candidates can be considered for Academic and Music Scholarships, each worth £450. Academic awards are awarded on the basis of the entrance assessments and there’s no need for a separate application. 


Music Scholarships are awarded on the basis of audition, lasting 20–30 minutes. Applicants are expected to achieve a Grade 7 standard or higher. More details are available here


Perse Upper also offers means-tested bursaries to families in need of financial assistance. Ranging from 5–100% of annual fees, these awards are reviewed annually and may vary in value if your financial circumstances change. 


The evaluation procedure, conducted by Bursary Administration Limited, will include a home visit. To indicate your interest, you should tick the appropriate box on the registration form. 


The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Exam Format


The Perse Upper 13+ entrance examination consists of the following assessments:


  • English writing (45 minutes)
  • Mathematics (45 minutes)
  • Verbal Reasoning (45 minutes)


The English paper examines writing skills, requiring a creative response to a given passage which provides an insight into pupils’ creativity.


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


The Verbal Reasoning paper is designed to test and assess logical thinking, use of English language and vocabulary.


There will also be a Humanities paper. 


Please see below for further details and recommendations on how to prepare for The Perse Upper 13+ entrance examinations.


How to Prepare for The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Exam


To successfully prepare your child for the selective Perse Upper 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 Perse Upper 13 Plus entrance examination can be found below.


The Perse Upper 13 Plus (13+) Exam Practice Papers


Recommendations for each section of The Perse Upper 13 Plus exam can be found below:


English writing

We highly recommend the following packs to prepare successfully for The Perse Upper 13+ English paper:


13+ English Pack 1 (Writing sections only)


13+ English Pack 2 (Writing sections only)


13+ English: Rewrite & Improve




We highly recommend the following papers to successfully prepare for The Perse Upper 13+ Mathematics paper:


13+ Mathematics Pack 1


Verbal Reasoning

The following packs will significantly improve your child’s Verbal Reasoning skills ahead of The Perse Upper 13+ entrance examination:


13+ Verbal Reasoning Pack 1


13+ Verbal Reasoning Pack 2



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


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

Click here to learn about Year 4 entry via the 8 Plus (8+) Exam

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

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