Everything a Parent Should Know About the 8 Plus Exam

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Last Update Date: 26 July 2022

In terms of private school entrance examinations, parents in the UK have a lot of options to choose from. As each entrance exam has its own procedures and conditions, most of the time, parents need a good amount of information to decide which one fits best for their child’s academic ability, age, and skills.

In this blog, you will find general information about the 8 plus exam, how it differs from the 7 plus exam, and how you should prepare your kids. Sounds exciting, right? Then, keep reading!

What Is the 8 Plus Exam?

The 8 plus exam is a non-compulsory, selective school entrance exam testing kids' maths, English, and reasoning skills for entry to some of the UK’s best independent schools.

These entrance examinations can be taken by kids at the age of 8 towards the end of Year 4. Although the exact dates might vary from school to school, kids typically sit for the 8 plus exam in January, and the kids who pass this exam enter school the following September.

Whether your kid enters a 7 plus, 11 plus, or 8 plus exam, with the right exercises, every exam is achievable!

Would you like to improve your kid's academic skills with fun and educational exercises to get them ready for the 8 plus exam? Then, you can check out MentalUP’s brain exercises to improve your kid's learning ability and cognitive skills. 🚀


What Is the Difference Between the 7 and 8 Plus Exam Papers?

When it comes to the 8 plus and 7 plus exams, parents feel confused as these two entrance examinations have very similar structures.

Both 8 plus and 7 plus exams consist of maths and English exam papers to evaluate academic ability and skills. In addition, both the 7 and 8 plus entrance exams include interviews and social activities to test kids' ability to work independently and communicate with others.

Even though these exams are similar in terms of structure and context, the main difference comes from their level of difficulty as the 8 plus papers include harder maths and English exam questions.

In addition, the number of schools administering the 8 plus exam is less than the 7 plus exam. Here is a list of schools that offer 8 plus exams:

  • Kings College Wimbledon
  • Latymer Prep
  • Harrodian
  • Colet Court
  • Westminster Cathedral Choir School
  • Westminster Under
  • Dulwich Prep

What Is the Context of the 8 Plus Exam?

In the 8 plus exam process, most independent schools invite kids to sit paper-based maths and English assessments to test their academic skills. In the following process, kids who pass these 8 plus exam papers can be invited for the interview and classroom-based assessment activities.

8 Plus Maths Exam Question Types 8 Plus English Exam Question Types
Basic numbering questions English comprehension
Mental arithmetic questions including money, time, and change questions Creative writing
Problem-solving questions including measurement, shapes, and multi-step worded problems Spelling and grammar tasks
Reading and writing

Some of the administering private schools and prep schools also include reasoning assessments in the 8 plus exam process. These reasoning assessments include questions that test kids' verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills.

8 Plus Verbal Reasoning Question Types 8 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Question Types
Analogy and series completion questions Figure counting questions
Puzzle tests Series and classification questions
Arithmetical reasoning questions Similarity and differences questions
Missing character, shape, or object questions Cube and dice tasks

It is obvious that 8 plus exam papers include a variety of question types that kids need to practice and get used to before taking the exam.

By including MentalUP’s brain training games in your child’s study program for only 20 minutes daily, you can ensure that they will recognize all of these question types.


How to Prepare Your Child for the 8 Plus Exam

Preparing for the 8 plus exam might be challenging for both parents and kids. To overcome this process successfully, you need to start preparing with your child a few months before the entrance exam.

In the following part of this blog, you will find all the information you need to know about how to prepare your kid for the 8 exam. Here we go!

Make Learning Fun with MentalUP

According to a survey conducted by OnePoll and Sphero, 84% of the surveyed parents believe that their kids would have gotten better grades if school subjects had been more interactive or fun.

This means that kids need to have fun while studying to learn better. Thus, the first thing you should do to prepare your kid for the 8 plus exam is make studying enjoyable for them. To achieve this, you can add fun and educational games or exercises to your kid's daily studying plans.

MentalUP is here to help you with making this process more enjoyable for your kids with its scientific education platform, including more than 150 brain training games to test and expand their academic skills. With MentalUP, you can train your kids anytime, anywhere to improve their intelligence and discover their potential. 🏆


Practice with 8 Plus Exam Papers

The 8 plus exam papers mostly match up with the UK’s national curriculum’s English and maths syllabus. So the most important tip that we can give you about the 8 exam preparation process is to include 8 plus exam papers covering both key stage one curriculum and stage two curriculum in your kid's study plan.

Luckily, there are a lot of options to choose from for 8 plus sample papers. You can find these 8 plus exam papers free online and add them to your child’s daily study routine. Also, if you think that they aren’t enough, you can always use Math Kangaroo problems to practice.

Reduce Your Kid's Stress

Sitting in an entrance exam might be a stress factor by itself for both kids and parents. This can be a problem for your kids in the 8 plus exam preparation process because when kids are stressed, it quickly affects their development.

The best way to reduce stress for kids is to keep them both physically and mentally active. So along with exam practices, you should also provide some activities for your kid to support their mental health.

Also, if you wonder about other exams such as the Math Kangaroo. You can check our posts to learn more and have an answer to the question “What is Math Kangaroo?

If you are looking for fun exercises to reduce your kid's stress, we have good news for you!

MentalUP recently released its fitness feature, including more than 240 exercises to support your kid's physical development and mental health. 💪

With MentalUP’s fun fitness exercises, you can reduce the negative effects of your kid's stress factors and create a stress-free environment for them. 🎉