The national curriculum in the UK is constructed in five key stages. Key Stage 3 covers Years 7, 8 and 9 for pupils aged 11 – 14.

Key Stage 3 is a crucial period of study for primary school pupils transitioning to secondary school education. Courses in this stage are more complex and challenging. English, Mathematics and Science are the three core subjects in this stage, but students also need to study the following nine subjects. 



Modern Foreign Languages

Art and Design


Design and Technology

Physical Education (Swimming is compulsory)



In addition, religious studies and sex education are also included in the curriculum.

In the UK, a majority of girls embark on their secondary school education in Year 7, whereas most boys enter secondary school in Year 9. Therefore, independent senior girls’ schools admit their main school population in Year 7, whereas admissions to senior boys’ schools start in Year 9. However, a large number of pupils enter coeducational senior schools at the age of 11.


The 13+ examination is used by Senior Schools as part of their selection process for admissions with a focus on testing pupils’ ability in English, Mathematics, Science, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning questions. Each independent senior school sets its own 13+ exam papers and entrance criteria for international applicants. 

The 13+ Common Entrance Examination is taken by British pupils usually when they are in Year 8. These exam papers are set by Independent Schools Examinations Board. English, Mathematics and Science are the core subjects to be tested. In addition, candidates may also sit papers in French, History, Geography, Spanish, Latin, as well as Theology, Philosophy and Religion.

A large number of UK top-tier Independent Schools give a provisional offer to prospecting candidates when they score well in the 11+ exams. Successfully passing the Common Entrance Examination in Year 8 is usually a condition to secure their offers.

How can we help you?

Our KS3 professional tutors have an extensive knowledge of the curriculum and assessment criteria. Whether you are an overseas student or studying in the UK, you can get all the benefits of one-to-one tutoring from our well-experienced tutors.

Our 13+ professional tutors have an in-depth knowledge of the 13+ assessment objectives and entrance requirements from a variety of independent schools. A tutor will be recommended to you based on your child’s academic performance and goals for future studies. We will provide you with easy access to our online database of past papers and 13+ practice papers. These materials can be used to train your child’s exam technique and get a boost when they approach the test dates. We have a proven track record of success in assisting students to gain entrance to a 13+ place at some of the most prestigious senior schools in England, such as Eton College, Harrow School, Winchester College, Tonbridge School, Charterhouse School, Radley College, Rugby School, Shrewsbury School, Oundle School and Wellington College.

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√  Based in London, we have an in-depth knowledge of British education

√  Professional teachers who put students interests first

√  Good connections with renowned UK schools and strong track records

√  Tailored school plans and training that suits individual's needs

√  Authorised school test centres offering convenience for overseas families