Academic Scholarships

Abingdon School 13+ Scholarship Examination for entry in September 2019

Key Dates  
Entry forms deadline
(online form to be completed by your son's school)
Friday 30 November 2018
Academic Scholarship Monday 4 March to Thursday 7 March 2019

Summary of Papers and Interviews

The papers and interviews listed below, except for Greek, are compulsory. Some candidates from certain preparatory schools, however, negotiate a dispensation from Latin.

Where a pupil has a special talent or interest which he would like to be taken into account in the award of a scholarship, such as knowledge of a different language (though not if he is a native speaker), we are always prepared to set an additional paper, or arrange for an extra interview, to assess his potential.

General Paper
(1hr 30 mins)
Comprehension on a passage, plus one essay, selected from a wide range of titles.
The interview (15 mins) may make reference to the general paper, as well as including questions on a piece of poetry (which will be given to candidates shortly before the interview) and a piece of art.
(1hr 30 mins)
Q1. ‘Found’ Poetry: candidates will be given a piece of prose and asked to bring out its poetic features by arranging it as a poem on the page. They will then have to explain their choices in a piece of continuous writing. 
Q2. Essay: one selected from a choice of tasks covering descriptive writing, narrative writing and persuasive writing.
Mathematics (1hr 30 mins) The questions are based on the extended common entrance syllabus (papers 2 and 4), and designed to test mathematical intuition and potential. The paper is divided into two sections in order to assist candidates with their timing. They are advised to spend 50 minutes on Section A, and 40 minutes on Section B, which contains some more challenging questions.
(1hr 30 mins)
All questions must be attempted, and there will be equal weighting between Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Based on the Common Entrance syllabus (national curriculum level 6).
(1hr 30 mins)

A. Comprehension
B. Unseen Translation
C. Either sentences from English to Latin or a harder comprehension including linguistic questions

The grammar and vocabulary tested will be the same as those in the syllabus of the scholarship paper of Common Entrance Latin.

Listening comprehension
(30 mins)
Passages on tape/CD: questions in French.
Reading comprehension
(30 mins)
Some questions in English, some in French.
Essay and grammar
(45 mins)
Choice of one of two essays of 150 words based on a picture stimulus, or instructions given in English or French, depending on the task.
(10 mins)

General conversation. Topics chosen by the examiner from the following list: (a) home, family and friends; (b) school; (c) leisure; (d) holidays and travel; (e) town; (f) pocket money.

We are looking for candidates who show potential as linguists, who have a wide range of vocabulary, and who can manipulate the language they have learnt with imagination and confidence in any situation. Very good knowledge of Present, Future (all forms) and Perfect tenses is essential. Candidates must be able to manipulate these tenses with confidence. Outline knowledge of the Imperfect and Conditional tenses is desirable but not essential. Candidates will be expected to use articles, adjectives and pronouns with a high degree of accuracy and will be expected to make good use of a range of opinions and justifications.

(2 hrs)

Each candidate answers questions from two of the three sections only. In Geography and History, there is one compulsory question, and one essay selected from a wide range. The compulsory question in History is a comprehension exercise, in Geography a map question. In RS, each candidate has to write answers to two essay questions from a wide choice.

Section A: Geography
Section B: History
Section C: Religious Studies

(1hr 30 mins)

A. Greek to English sentences
B. Unseen translation
C. Harder unseen
D. Either sentences from English to Greek or a comprehension including linguistic questions

In Greek, questions are in ascending order of difficulty and candidates are allowed to complete as much of the examination as they can, depending on how long they have been learning Greek. The first two sections are based on the syllabus of Common Entrance level 1; sections C and D are based on the syllabus for level 2.

For further information please contact the Admissions Officer (Events) on 01235 849041 or email

The Third Year 2019/20 academic scholarship exams will take place from Monday 4 March until Thursday 7 March 2019. The deadline for applications is Friday 30 November 2018.

Following the award of the new Neil Coulbeck scholarship for the first time in 2013, this will again be given to a successful candidate for the academic scholarship who also excels as an all-rounder. There is no requirement for a separate application as all the academic scholars will automatically be considered for this award.