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City of London School for Boys


City of London School for Boys (CLS), situated close to St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of London, is an independent day school for boys aged 10 to 18 years. It was voted “London Independent Secondary School of the Year” by The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide in 2020. With 82% A*- A at A-level and 95% 9 - 7 at GCSE, City of London School is one of the top performing schools in the country.


The main entry points to the school are as follows:

  • 10+, or Year 6 (40 - 45 places)
  • 11+, or Year 7 (55 - 60 places)
  • 13+, or Year 9 (around 45 places)
  • 11+ Admissions

    The admissions process for 11+ starts in Year 6, and registration is typically at least one year prior to entry.

    Candidates applying for a means-tested bursary are required to take a computerised reasoning test in December before the main entrance exam. Only candidates who are successful in this qualifying test will proceed to the main 11+ entrance exam in January.

    The first stage of selection is the entrance exam held in January of the year of entry, which all candidates must sit. The exam consists of papers in English, maths and reasoning. Based on performance in the exam, the second stage invites selected candidates for an individual interview.

    A confidential report from the head teacher of the candidate’s current school will also be requested to help with the selection process.

    13+ Admissions

    Candidates seeking entry at 13+ are required to sit the ISEB Pre-test in the Autumn Term when they are in Year 6, followed by short written assessments (at the time of interview) for candidates who are called back for an individual interview. Candidates also have to reach the required standard in Common Entrance examinations or City of London School Scholarship or other qualifying examinations in Year 8 (the required standard is 70% minimum in each subject).

    Please note CLS is not currently accepting registrations for 13+ 2024 and beyond.

    Open Days

    The school holds two open events in late September each year for prospective students and their parents. The dates are confirmed around Easter and bookings can be made via the school website. These events provide an opportunity to have a taster of the school prior to registration.

    You can view a brief insight into what life at City of London is like in their school video.


How to apply

To be considered for a place in year 7 at City of London School, parents must register their son online by November of Year 6. There is a non-refundable registration fee of £160. Registration runs from early in the year prior to entry until mid-November. Exact dates are published on the school’s website once confirmed.

11+ Exam Information

Exam Date.

Bursary candidates: sit the qualifying computerised test before the main entrance exam in December of Year 6.

All candidates: the entrance examination is held in January of Year 6.

Exam Board

City of London’s 11+ test uses the school's own examination.

Exam Format

The City of London School entrance exam consists of papers in:

  • English (1 hour) – reading comprehension (multiple-choice) and creative writing
  • Mathematics (1 hour) – arithmetic and problem solving
  • Reasoning – verbal and non-verbal reasoning

How to prepare for the City of London exams

On the assessment day, the test will cover Maths, English, and Reasoning. The English test will include a multiple-choice comprehension component, as well as a written component including creative writing.

The best way to prepare for the test is to firstly ensure that you have a firm grasp of the KS2 curriculum in Maths and English. The campaign area of Atom Nucleus will help to ensure you have spent the optimal amount of time in each subject and close any gaps in knowledge. For the reasoning components, it is crucial to become familiar with the styles of questions required. Atom Nucleus allows you to do unlimited practice questions, and is packed with high quality videos and helpsheets to help develop your understanding. This is a powerful tool, proven to significantly improve performance in VR and NVR. Atom Nucleus also allows you to take unlimited practice tests - these will help you to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses so they can use their time as effectively as possible in revision.

To learn how to get the most from Atom Nucleus, you can book a free place on a Nucleus Webinar here.

Atom’s Education Advisory team holds free parent webinars throughout the year specifically on 11+ admissions and exam preparation, including information on City of London School. Click here if you wish to be notified of our free parent webinars.

Atom Learning also hosts specialist clubs over the holidays to cover exam preparation, including the ISEB Pre-Test, masterclasses in English, maths and reasoning, and creative writing workshops to help prepare candidates for the entrance examination and interview process.

If you have any queries on the City of London School 11+ admissions process or exams, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of Admissions and Schools experts at [email protected]


Students who do well in the written exams (or, in the case of 13+ applications, the ISEB Pre-Test) will be invited into the school for an interview in late January or early February of Year 6.

Candidates who show promise in the written papers (or, in the case of 13+ applications, the ISEB Pre-Test) will be invited to attend for an interview (and, in the case of 13+ applications, short written assessments) at the City of London School after the examination. The interview, which lasts for about 20 minutes, is a friendly affair and provides the candidate a further opportunity to give evidence of strengths, not only in the academic field but also in other areas where he might offer a contribution to the wider life of the School.


Offers are sent out in mid-February and the acceptance deadline is in early March.

Once the offer is accepted, the school will send out a welcome pack as well as an invitation for your child to come and meet their new class in the summer.

You can contact the school directly with any queries with the details below:

[email protected]

020 3680 6300

Bursaries and Scholarships

The School offers a number of bursaries to assist academically bright pupils who otherwise could not consider private education. Bursaries are competitive and limited by the financial resources of the School.

Bursaries are available to pupils joining the School at all normal entry points and are awarded on the basis of performance in the academic entrance examinations and financial means testing of both parents’ income and assets.

You can find more detailed information on CLS’s bursaries here.

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