Entrance to St Mary’s School, Cambridge is through a combination of formal and informal assessments; including tests and face-to-face interviews appropriate to the age of the student applying and her proposed year of entry.
Applicants whose first language is not English
Applicants take the online UKiset test; an assessment specifically designed for international applicants to British independent schools. This test can be taken at approved test centres around the world, or in person at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. Once the test has been taken, UKiset send us a full electronic report of the results. Subject to performance in the UKiset test, students are invited to interview (usually via Skype).
Further information on the UKiset test
Applicants whose first language is English
Applicants take the following written assessments depending on the year they wish to join:
- Year 7 to Year 9: students are assessed in English and Mathematics
- Year 10: students are assessed in English, Mathematics and Science
- Lower Sixth: students are assessed by examination in each of their proposed A Level subject options
Subject to performance in their assessments, students are invited to interview (usually via Skype).
Formal assessments for entry are often arranged in conjunction with an overseas educational agent and can be taken at any UKiset centre, and there will be additional assessments for applicants to the Sixth Form who wish to study certain subjects:
- Modern Languages – applicants will be required to participate in an oral conversation in the chosen language(s), either in person or via Skype
- Art and Textiles – applicants will be required to submit a portfolio
- Drama and Music – applicants will be required to participate in a practical assessment, either in person or via Skype
Although we do not ask students to have a formal English qualification prior to joining St Mary’s School, Cambridge, those joining in Year 7 and Year 8 should meet IELTS level 4.0; those joining in Year 9 and Year 10 should meet IELTS level 5.0; and those joining in the Sixth Form should meet IELTS level 6.0 standard.
We sometimes place students in a year below their normal school year, to more appropriately reflect their ability in, and comprehension of, the English language.
Subject to their assessment performance, applicants are interviewed by a member of the Senior Leadership Team, either in person at the school or via Skype.
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 are interested to learn more about each student's academic interests or achievements, extra-curricular pursuits such as sport, music and community service, plus any future aims, including university or apprenticeship aspirations – particularly if applying for A Levels at our Sixth Form.
A copy of the applicants latest school report will be requested, and students will need to have strong speaking, written, reading and listening skills to be able to communicate clearly, fluently and confidently in English. This is to ensure the girls are able to access the curriculum, engage in dialogue in class with their teachers, work collaboratively in groups with their peers and ensure success in public examinations. References may also be requested from previous schools.