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St Paul's School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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St Paul's School Overview

St Paul’s School in London offers a dynamic and enriching environment for young men joining the Sixth Form, also known as Years 12 and 13 or Lower and Upper Eighth at St Paul’s. The school prides itself on fostering a culture where students are motivated, engaged, and driven towards academic excellence.

St Paul's School 16+ Application Process & Interview Format.

The application process for 16+ entry at St Paul’s School is structured and involves several key stages:

  • Online Registration: The registration process for entry begins a year in advance. For instance, for entry in 2024, the registration opened in early June 2023.
  • Application Deadline: Candidates must submit their applications, including IELTS results if applicable, by a specified date in September.
  • Entrance Examinations: Applicants are invited to sit entrance examinations in their chosen subjects, typically scheduled for early November. These exams are designed to assess analytical skills and problem-solving abilities more than factual recall, reflecting the school’s commitment to identifying candidates with a strong aptitude for critical thinking.
  • Interviews: Following the entrance exams, candidates who perform strongly are invited to interviews with the Heads of Department for their chosen A Levels. These interviews typically take place in mid-November and are an essential component of the selection process.
  • Offers: Successful candidates receive offers by early December. These offers are contingent on the candidate’s performance in the entrance exams and interviews.
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St Paul's School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join St Paul's School?

Joining St Paul’s School presents a unique opportunity to be part of a prestigious institution with a rich history dating back to 1509. Renowned for its academic excellence, the school offers an intellectually stimulating environment where I can be challenged and inspired. With its strong emphasis on a broad and liberal education, I would gain a well-rounded learning experience that extends beyond traditional academic subjects. The school’s diverse extracurricular activities, from sports to arts, align with my interests and would allow me to develop holistically. Furthermore, being part of a community that has produced notable alumni provides an inspiring atmosphere for personal and academic growth. Ultimately, St Paul’s commitment to nurturing talents and potential aligns with my educational goals and aspirations.

What is the history of St Paul's School?

St Paul’s School, founded in 1509 by John Colet, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, is one of London’s oldest and most prestigious schools. Initially located in St Paul’s Churchyard, the school was established to provide free education to 153 children, a number symbolising the miraculous draught of fishes in the Gospel of John. Early in its history, the school became a pioneer in teaching Greek, reflecting the humanist interests of its founder. Throughout its history, St Paul’s has been at the forefront of educational innovation and excellence. The school was a day school for much of its history and remained so even after the Public Schools Act of 1868, which reformed many of Britain’s public schools. In the 20th century, the school relocated to its current site in Barnes, London, and continues to uphold its tradition of academic rigour and all-round education.

What are some notable features of St Paul's School?

St Paul’s School is distinguished by its commitment to providing a broad and liberal education. The school offers a wide range of subjects, across the humanities, sciences, modern languages and classics, with facilities that provide university-standard laboratories and resources. The school is also known for its extensive extracurricular program, which includes a strong emphasis on arts and sports. St Paul’s has a rich tradition in sports, especially in rugby and rowing, and has contributed to the development of these sports at the national level. The school’s location by the Thames in London adds to its historic charm and provides a picturesque setting for its campus. Additionally, St Paul’s is known for its diverse student body and its efforts to offer financial assistance through bursaries, making it accessible to talented students from various backgrounds.

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St Paul's School 16+ Past Interview Questions

Academic Proficiency

  • Describe a recent academic project or paper you found particularly challenging and how you approached it.
  • How do you apply the concepts you learn in your favourite subject to real-world situations?
  • Discuss a topic you’ve recently studied that has changed the way you view a particular issue or subject.
  • Explain a complex concept from one of your chosen A Level subjects in simple terms.


Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Present your thoughts on a significant current event and how it might impact your field of interest.
  • How would you approach solving a complex problem in [a chosen subject] that has multiple possible solutions?
  • Discuss a time when you had to analyse data or information to make a decision. What was the outcome?
  • If you could conduct research on any topic, what would it be and why? How would you approach this research?


Personal Attributes and Goals

  • Why are you interested in joining St Paul’s School, and what do you believe you can contribute to our community?
  • Describe a personal achievement that you’re proud of and what it says about your character and abilities.

For more questions like this, all with model answers, see our 16+ Online Course.

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