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Merchant Taylors’ Interview Questions and Key Information

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Overall Guide to Merchant Taylors’

Merchant Taylors’ was founded in 1561, and since then has been ‘widely-regarded as one of the best schools in England, providing an all-round education of the highest quality.’ It is one of the Clarendon Schools, also known as the ‘Great Nine’ – a list that includes Charterhouse, Eton, Harrow, Merchant Taylors’, Rugby, Shrewsbury, St Paul’s, Westminster and Winchester. The school is set on a 280 acre campus, with lakes and countryside to enjoy, although also just 30 minutes from central London. The school emphasises the importance of independent thought, and the ‘enjoyment of conversation and debate in the search for explanations and solutions.’ The school achieves outstanding results year upon year, something that it puts down to encouragement and inspiration. The most recent report on the school found that it provides an ‘exceptional’ education and had a rich educational vision. It stated that’ Achievement is exceptional. The curriculum offers choice at all stages. It fully meets the needs of academically able pupils and is enriched by an outstanding range of societies and clubs. The extra-curricular provision is exceptional, and pupils’ achievement within it is excellent.’ The school is eager to avoid the idea that it’s a hot house, and rather wishes to be seen as somewhere that focuses on each boy independently, allowing them to grow.

Merchant Taylors Ranking & Results

Merchant Taylors’ is consistently near the top of league tables although it states that its focus is on more than this – it also wishes to promote the ‘moral, physical, social and spiritual development’ of its boys. In the most recent available A Level results, 86.5% of grades were A* or A. For GCSE, 81.5% of grades were A*, and 94.2% of grades were A* or A.

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Merchant Taylors Curriculum

A Level Subjects offered at Merchant Taylors’ include :
Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Design Technology, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, German, Government and Politics, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics + Further Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Physical Education, Psychology, Religious Studies, Spanish, Theatre Studies, and the Extended Project Qualification.

GCSE & IGCSE subjects offered include: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, three Sciences (compulsory for all); and choices between French, Latin, Greek, German, Spanish, Design Technology (Resistant Materials and Electronics), Art and Design, History, Geography, Music, Religious Studies, Computing, Drama and Academic Physical Education.

All pupils have PSHCE and PE.

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What is the admission process at Merchant Taylors?

Exams are taken in December of Year 6 and consist of

  • English (1 hour)
  • Mathematics (1 hour)
  • MTS General Paper (1 hour)

 Successful candidates are then called to interview at Merchant Taylors’ in late January or early February. Interviews are one-on-one with a member of staff and will take around 25 minutes. The interviews are designed to assess four areas – communication; intellectual curiosity; reasoning and extra-curricular commitment. In mid-February students will hear back as to whether they have a place, an offer of a place on the waiting list, or have unfortunately not received a place.

What kind of questions are asked at interview at Merchant Taylors?

Communication
What would you say to a friend who was sad or struggling?
Do you find it easy to lead others?
Are you good at communicating information to others?
Do you do drama, or anything else that requires you to speak in front of others?

Intellectual Curiosity
What’s your favourite subject? Do you read up on it outside of class?
What subjects do you find interesting that you haven’t yet had a chance to study at school?
What books do you like reading?
What websites or newspapers do you like to read?

Extra-Curriculars
What’s your favourite sport to play?
Are you in any teams at your current school?
Do you like team sports or solo sports more?
Do you play any musical instruments?
How do you think you will be able to give back to the school?

Reasoning
Why do you think that some objects are so important to us?
You buy a sweatshirt and a pair of shoes for £150. The shoes cost £100 more than the sweatshirt. How much does each item cost?
Can you think of two different words that are spelled the same? For example, ‘tie’ can mean to knot something, or an item of clothing.

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