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Assessments

The St Mary’s School, Cambridge application process is designed to be holistic.

We’re not only interested in how well your daughter performs in the written entrance assessment; we want to understand each girl’s potential as much as her current levels of achievement, and so try to make the process as relaxed as possible. We interview all prospective students and seek references from their current school with the aim of getting to know each student as an individual and to understand how well she will fit in with our school community, ethos and framework.

This information relates to UK admissions or for students whose first language is English - for more information on the international admissions process, including assessment, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Joining reception (age 4+)

Assessments for prospective Reception girls take place during a one-hour visit to the Reception class. They meet the teaching team and engage in activities such as puzzles, letters, numbers and creative tasks.

Joining Year 3 (age 7+) to Year 6 (10+)

Girls applying in Year 3 to Year 6 are assessed in Mathematics, non-verbal reasoning and creative writing – sample papers for each age can be found here. A previous school reference is also required.

Joining Year 7 (age 11+)

Girls looking to join our Senior School in Year 7 are assessed by Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT). They also attend an interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and a reference from their previous school is requested. For more information about the CAT please see our FAQs page. For sample CAT questions please click here.

Joining Year 8 (age 12+) or Year 9 (age 13+)

Girls wishing to join St Mary’s School, Cambridge in Year 8 or Year 9 undertake assessments in English and Mathematics and a foreign language - sample papers can be found here. They attend an interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and a reference from their previous school is requested.

Joining Year 10 (age 14+) (first year of two GCSE course)

Girls wishing to join St Mary’s School Cambridge in Year 10 undertake assessments in English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics - sample papers can be found here. They attend an interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and a reference from their previous school is requested.

If an applicant is offered a place to study at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, and she opts to study a language at GCSE level, she will be asked to take an assessment in her chosen language to ensure that she is at the appropriate level to commence with the course.

Joining the Lower Sixth (16+) (first year of two year a level course)

Girls who have taken GCSE/IGCSE courses will be offered places at St Mary’s Sixth Form, Cambridge based on their predicted grades. In other cases, girls will be assessed by written assessment in each of their proposed A Level subjects - a variety of sample papers can be found here. They attend an interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and a reference from their previous school is requested.