Senior School Admissions

Entry to the Senior School is by examination and interview. Examinations are held in January of each year and, following a review of the examination results, a significant number of girls will be invited for interview in the three to four weeks following the examination day.

The Senior School Examinations for entry into Year 7 (Third Form) are for girls aged not less than 10 years 6 months and under the age of 12 years on 31st August in the year of entry. Papers are taken in English, Mathematics and Verbal Reasoning. Places do become available in other Years and interested parents should contact our Admissions Officer, Ms Jane Ellis, on or 0161 249 3371, for further information.

For more information about admissions, fees and bursaries click here.

For information about our Open Events please follow this link.

Entrance Examinations

Current information about the entrance examinations process is on the main Entrance Examinations page.

We are aware that this will be the first experience of a formal examination situation for many girls and we aim to make the whole experience as unthreatening as possible. Some pupils actually say they enjoyed the day!

On the Day
The Entrance Examination usually takes place in early January. Candidates may arrive from 8.15 am at the main entrance on Wellington Road.

Girls sit the examinations in classrooms, in groups of 25, which we hope is less daunting than a large hall.

The girls are shown to the rooms in which they are to take the examinations by pupils in the current Year 7 and there are puzzles and activities to do if any waiting is involved. The teachers who invigilate the examinations deal with any questions or problems. There is a short break between each paper and in the middle of the morning refreshments are served.

The examinations finish at approximately 1.15 pm and girls may be collected from this time.

The current pattern of the morning is:

 English Comprehension:  45 minutes
 English Essay:  35 minutes
 Short Break  (Refreshments are provided)
 Mathematics Paper 1:  30 minutes
 Mathematics Paper 2:  40 minutes
 Short Break  (Refreshments are provided)
 Verbal Reasoning test  50 minutes

Past Papers

Please follow this link to download English and Mathematics papers from recent years. These papers are available without charge. We do not publish past verbal reasoning papers.

We do not penalise wrong answers so girls are encouraged to have a go, even when they are unsure. We try to make sure the girls are as relaxed as possible on the day and we hope they will enjoy the challenge and the experience.


Interviews take the form of an informal chat with the Headmistress and one other senior member of staff. Your daughter may be asked about her responses in the examination papers or she may be asked more general questions about her interests, things she enjoys at school or any other relevant topics. There is no particular ‘type’ of girl we are looking for at Withington, and certainly there are no ‘correct’ answers to most of the interview questions; the qualities we hope to see are a genuine enthusiasm for learning, a curiosity about the world and an ability to think about issues in depth. These qualities may display themselves in many different ways. At the end of the interview, parents are invited to join the conversation. This is not part of the selection procedure but an opportunity to ask any unanswered questions.

After the Examination and Interview

The results for all Greater Manchester Consortium Schools are posted on the same day, allowing parents and candidates who have taken other entrance examinations to make an informed choice about the school that would suit them best.

On the agreed day we will email and/or post, first class, a letter to all the candidates who have been called for interview.  The letter will:

*contain an offer of a place, or
*contain an offer of a place on the reserve list, or
*indicate that we are unable to offer a place.

The date for parents to accept or reject any offer is also one agreed by all the Greater Manchester Consortium Schools; this is usually around two weeks after the offer letters are posted.

Entry into Years 8 to 10

The assessment process for new girls joining Year groups further up the School is slightly different and no sample papers are available. Please contact 0161 249 3371 for further information.

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