Magdalen College School 13+ Interview Questions

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Overall Guide to Magdalen College School

Magdalen College School, established in 1480 by William Waynflete, is a renowned independent school located in Oxford. With its unique fusion of historic tradition and modern educational philosophy, the school stands as a beacon of academic rigour and holistic development.

The school’s commitment to scholarship is evident in its vigorous academic programme. The curriculum at Magdalen College School is crafted meticulously to stimulate intellectual exploration, instil a passion for knowledge, and inspire a curiosity that transcends classroom boundaries. At Magdalen, pupils are encouraged to think critically, question bravely, and engage deeply with their studies.

Beyond academia, the school’s ethos underlines the importance of a well-rounded education. A plethora of sports, clubs, and societies exist for pupils to engage in, nurturing not just physical abilities but also leadership, teamwork, and resilience. From theatre and music to debating and community service, the school’s vibrant extracurricular landscape promotes creativity and a spirit of collaboration.

Magdalen College School’s striking riverside location in the heart of Oxford complements the school’s emphasis on fostering an enriching and stimulating environment. Tradition and innovation intertwine here, with Gothic architecture housing state-of-the-art facilities.

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Magdalen College School Ranking & Results

Magdalen College School ranked 13th by A/A* grades at A Level in the most recent available data. It’s previously ranked as high as fourth in independent school listings.

What is the admission process at Magdalen College School?

Admissions is a mixture of 13+ entrance examinations and interviews for those who are in a state school, or interview & pre-test entrance examinations + Common Entrance for those at a prep school that continues to Year 8. Interviews are used to establish ability in maths, as well as interests (hobbies and extracurricular activities). They begin with a short reading task in which pupils must comment on a short passage, and with discussion around an object that they have brought in.

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What kind of 13+ Interview questions are asked at Magdalen College School?


  • Can you explain a maths concept or theorem that you find particularly interesting?
  • How do you approach problem-solving when faced with a challenging maths question?
  • Can you describe a real-world situation where you used maths outside of school?
  • How do you feel when you encounter a maths problem that you initially don’t know how to solve?
  • Have you ever helped a classmate understand a maths problem? If so, how did you go about it?
  • What strategies do you use when you’re stuck on a maths problem?
  • What part of your maths lessons do you look forward to the most?
  • Can you think of a career that heavily relies on maths? Why does that career interest you (or not)?
  • Can you name a mathematician that you admire and explain why?
  • How do you apply the logic you learn in maths to other situations?

Discussion Around an Object That the Pupil Has Brought In

  • Can you describe the object you’ve brought in today?
  • Why is this object significant to you?
  • What is a story or memory associated with this object?
  • If this object could talk, what might it say?
  • How does this object reflect your personality or interests?
  • How would your life be different without this object?
  • If you could give this object to anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
  • If this object could travel anywhere, where would you send it?
  • What are three words you would use to describe this object to someone who can’t see it?
  • If this object could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Hobbies & Extracurricular Activities

  • Can you describe a hobby or activity that you’re passionate about?
  • How did you first become interested in this hobby/activity?
  • What skills have you gained from participating in this hobby/activity?
  • Can you share an achievement or moment of progress related to your hobby/activity?
  • How does this hobby/activity influence your approach to school work or other aspects of your life?
  • Can you tell us about a challenge you’ve faced in this hobby/activity and how you overcame it?
  • Have you ever introduced this hobby/activity to a friend or family member? What was their reaction?
  • Are there any hobbies/activities you’d like to explore in the future?
  • How do you balance your time between this hobby/activity and your school work?
  • If you had unlimited resources, what would you do to further your interest in this hobby/activity?

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