• Radley College, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR
  • Telephone: 01235 543000, Fax: 01235 543106





Main Menu

13+ Academic Scholarship Introduction

Entry deadline:  10th January 2018

Pre-scholarship test

For 2018, we are considering the introduction of a pre-scholarship test and this will be confirmed in January 2018 when we will know the number of candidates entered.  The  proposed pre-test will be in just Maths and English; it will be sat at boys' current schools in early February.  Shortlisted candidates will be those who perform strongly at either Maths or English (or both) but we will also be looking carefully at Heads' reports for signs of those boys who may be specialists in certain subjects, particularly languages. 
Only shortlisted candidates will be invited to sit the full scholarship at Radley. Those boys who are not shortlisted will have the choice of either sitting CE in June, or sitting the scholarship papers at their current school in March.  Those that choose to sit the scholarship papers will be exempt from CE so long as they perform sufficiently well in the exams and, if there are any boys who perform outstandingly well in the remaining scholarship papers, we will invite them for an interview.  

Assessment: 27th February to 1st March 2018

An outline of the papers is as follows:

(a) English (2 hours) [For 2018 this paper may be taken at the pre-scholarship stage].  the literature section of the paper will test skills of understanding and literary analysis. Questions are designed to allow the best candidates to show that they can think for themselves, and have read widely. There is usually a mixture of poetry and prose, though these are often approached in an unconventional way. There is also a writing task which may be either creative or discursive, and in which candidates are expected to show that they can take pleasure in language with precision and flair. Clear, accurate, and agile use of English is essential throughout the paper. The interview is an important part of the examination, and is the candidate’s opportunity to show that he is ambitious about, and takes pleasure in, his study of English.

Marks: 200

(b) French (1hour).  Only candidates who have studied French at school for at least two years will be required to sit this paper. The examination will consist of dictation, reading comprehension and guided composition. Questions and tasks will be of various kinds, largely in the target language. Accuracy, imagination and an ability to cope with a wide range of tenses will be rewarded. Rubric and indications as to the content will be given in French. Dictionaries will not be allowed. There will be a short oral interview which will be in the form of a general, informal conversation, different for each candidate.

Marks: 100

(c)   General, Religious and Ethical Issues (1 hour) The first half of the paper is a test of reasoning and mental agility and will be used as part of the interview. The second half calls for responses to a stimulus passage which will be of a religious or ethical nature. Candidates are not expected to be familiar with the subject matter of the paper.

Marks: 25

(d)   Humanities (History, 45 mins, Geography, 45 mins) The History paper will have three questions. The first will test candidates’ ability to infer information from a source. The second will test candidates’ ability to cross reference two sources. The third will test candidates’ ability to evaluate a point of view using a selection of source material. The factual basis of the History section will be the major world events of the twentieth century. The Geography paper comprises six questions, five of which link with selected human and physical topic areas in the Geography Common Entrance specification, together with one that focuses on fieldwork skills. Candidates will be expected to answer any three questions. Successful candidates will be expected to demonstrate knowledge that extends beyond the Common Entrance specification, such as knowledge of current affairs with detailed examples. No submitted fieldwork project is required.

Marks: 100

(e)   Latin (1¼ hours). Only candidates who have studied Latin for at least two years will be required to sit this paper. It consists of a passage for unseen translation (Section A) which is compulsory and a choice of English to Latin sentences (Section B) or a comprehension exercise (Section C). All vocabulary outside the Common Academic Scholarship lists will be glossed, unless a meaning can be inferred through derivations or context.

Marks: 50

(f)   Mathematics (2 papers, each 1 hour) [For 2018, this paper may be taken at the pre-scholarship stage OR divided into two: one pre-scholarship and one at the assessment.]  Paper 1, in which calculators are not allowed, will consist of six routine questions based on algebra and calculation (see sample papers). Paper 2, in which calculators are allowed, will consist of six questions of varying difficulty. Applications are likely to involve algebra, number, lengths, areas, volumes and probability/counting arguments.

Marks: 200

(g)  Science (2 hours) The paper will consist of three 40 minute compulsory sections, one each of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Questions will be based on the Common Entrance syllabus (although candidates who can handle powers of ten and know some basic chemical formulae will find themselves at an advantage). It should also be noted that the general interview will include some science-based questions.

Marks: 150

Optional Subjects

(h)  Greek The paper is optional but candidates are encouraged to take it even if they have only studied a little Greek. Results on this paper can in no circumstances count against a candidate. The paper will consist of three sections. Candidates will be required to attempt two sections, either A and B, or B and C. Beginners are encouraged to attempt as much as possible. Section A will consist of sentences in Greek for translation into English (all vocabulary will be given) and will be based on the first eight chapters of Wilding; section B will contain a passage in two parts – the first will require candidates to answer comprehension questions, and the second will be a translation; section C will contain unseen English sentences for translation into Greek.

(i)   German/Spanish These papers are optional and an oral test will be arranged during the examination. Prep schools should notify the Registrar for how long and to what level the subject has been studied.


There will be three interviews: a French oral, an English interview, and a general interview with the Warden or a Senior Master together with a Science Master.

Results will be given to prep schools (or parents of those boys at maintained schools or overseas) approximately one week after the assessment day.  Grades and confirming letters will be sent out later that week. Successful candidates and all those who have reached the required entry standard will be exempt from Common Entrance.  

Main Menu