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Cheltenham Ladies' College: 11 plus entry guide

School guide

Apr 13, 2023, 1:13 PM

Cheltenham Ladies' College, Gloucestershire

Are you considering Cheltenham Ladies' College for your daughter? We've collated everything you need to know about applying for a place in Year 7. Find out key dates, discover what's covered on the entrance exam, and get tips and resources to help your daughter prepare.


About Cheltenham Ladies' College

Cheltenham Ladies' College is a private day and boarding school for girls aged 11–18 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The school has been at the forefront of girls' education for nearly 170 years and is committed to putting girls first.

Around 80% of pupils board at Cheltenham College and enjoy a vibrant, diverse and tolerant community. The school's boarding houses are designed to be a home-from-home, where girls can develop lifelong friendships, get involved in a richly varied sports programme, and pursue a myriad of interests with over 160 co-curricular activities on offer.

Pupils at Cheltenham Ladies' College consistently achieve outstanding exam results and pursue degrees at the world's top universities and colleges. In 2022, the school was named the top boarding school in the country for students' results in the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) and was ranked first for all academic results out of schools in the southwest.

  • School type: private boarding, girls aged 11-18

  • Address: Bayshill Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3EP

  • Headteacher: Eve Jardine-Young

  • Number of pupils: 850+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 37

  • A level results: 93.6% A* - B

  • GCSE results: 92.2% 9-7

Key info for 11+ admissions

  • Admissions contact: online enquiry form or call 01242 520691

  • Places available at 11+ 75

  • 11+ registration opens: open now

  • 11+ registration closes: 1st May in Year 5 for bursary applicants and 1st July in Year 5 for all other applicants

  • Assessment date: 2nd-13th October 2023

  • Assessment type: written and online tests, group discussions and activities, and headteacher's reference

  • Open days: Saturday 10th June 2023 and experience day on Saturday 16th September 2023

Cheltenham Ladies' College term dates


Monday 4th September – Friday 15th December 2023

Fees and financial assistance at Cheltenham Ladies' College

For 2022–2023, the fees at Cheltenham Ladies' College are £9,340 per term for day pupils and £13,950 per term for boarding pupils. Fees include the cost of teaching, essential educational materials and textbooks, most curriculum trips, pastoral care, Personal Accident Insurance, meals and snacks, and activities included in the co-curricular and weekend programmes.

Cheltenham Ladies' College funded places

Cheltenham Ladies' College is able to provide means-tested financial assistance, known at the school as Beale Awards, to girls who perform well in the entrance process but whose families would not otherwise be able to afford the fees.

These awards are based on family income and provide full or partially-funded places. Over 70 girls currently receive financial support via a Beale Award, with a significant number of these students receiving support on 100% of their school fees. Pro-rated financial assistance can also be provided for the additional costs of attending school, such as co-curricular activities and school uniform.

Find out more about Beale Awards and learn how to apply on the school website.

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Cheltenham Ladies' College admissions process

Girls joining Cheltenham Ladies' College at 11 plus enter LC1 (Year 7). Approximately 75 girls (50 boarders and 25 day girls) join from schools across the UK and beyond.

If you are considering Cheltenham Ladies' College for your daughter, it's a good idea to visit the school on an open day first. Open events are an excellent opportunity to speak to staff and current pupils, look at the school and boarding facilities, and ultimately see if it would be the right fit for your child. A virtual tour is also available on the school website.

1. Register for 11 plus entry

Early registration to Cheltenham Ladies' College is encouraged but must be submitted no later than the 1st May in Year 5 for bursary applicants and 1st July in Year 5 for all other applicants.

To apply, complete the relevant application form on the school website. A non-refundable registration fee of £50 applies for bursary applicants, and £250 for non-bursary applicants.

2. Return an exam entry form

After you have registered your child for entry, you will be emailed a link to the online exam entry form. This must be submitted by 1st August before Year 6 to confirm that you would like your daughter to attend an assessment day at the school.

3. Assessment day

Your daughter will be invited to an assessment day at Cheltenham Ladies' College. Places will be allocated by the admissions department on a day during the weeks commencing 2nd October and 9th October 2023, for entry to Year 7 in 2024.

The day will include group discussions, activities, and written and online tests. We've included information on the exams below.

4. Offers

You will find out the outcome of your daughter's application in late November when she is in Year 6.

Places are offered based on your child's performance in the entrance exam, her engagement and participation in the group activities, and a reference requested from her current headteacher.

If your daughter is offered a place, you will have until the beginning of March in Year 6 to accept and pay an acceptance fee and deposit.

5. Scholarship day

If your daughter has performed particularly well in the entrance exams, she will be invited to participate in further assessments and interviews for an academic scholarship. Scholars do not receive any fee remission, but they will benefit from the school's bespoke scholarship programme.

Academic scholarship exams take place in February in Year 6. The assessment includes practical tasks, group tasks, and interviews with staff.

Cheltenham Ladies' College 11 plus entrance exam

Your daughter will take tests in English and maths, and online verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests, as part of the assessment day. The English and maths papers are aligned to the UK national curriculum at Key Stage 2.


The English exam is a written paper with a time limit of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The first 10 minutes should be spent reading the paper carefully.

There are two sections in the paper:

  • Section A: a reading comprehension task. Girls will be provided with a piece of text which they will need to read and answer questions to demonstrate their understanding.

  • Section B: a creative writing task with at least two prompts to choose from. Children will be marked on the accuracy and creativity of their writing, including spelling, punctuation, grammar, and structure.

Cheltenham Ladies' College provides an example English paper on the school website.


The maths test is a non-calculator paper. Girls will be assessed on their understanding and application of Key Stage 2 maths, and will need to understand and use the following terms: sum, difference, product, multiple, factor, prime, square, even, and odd.

There will also be a timed mental maths section at the beginning of the exam.


Candidates will also take online tests in verbal and non-verbal reasoning. These tests are adaptive, meaning the questions become more difficult depending on how your child is performing.

Verbal reasoning questions will assess how well your child can think, communicate, and solve problems using written information. Non-verbal reasoning questions will test your child's ability to analyse visual information and solve problems using shapes, diagrams, and pictures.

Both verbal and non-verbal reasoning need great attention to detail and the ability to solve problems and apply logic. These subjects are not taught on the school curriculum, so they will be unfamiliar to most children.

Free 11+ resources

The resources linked below include an explanation of question types, top tips, and downloadable worksheets for English, maths, and reasoning. These can all be used to help your child prepare for the entry process at Cheltenham Ladies' College.

How to prepare for entry to Cheltenham Ladies' College

Cheltenham Ladies' College is a high-performing school, and entry is competitive. Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your child for the selection process at 11 plus.

Preparation is key: familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential. Access to quality, unlimited practice material for independent school exams ensures confidence when tackling the exam.

Achieve mastery quickly: the 11 plus exam at Cheltenham Ladies' College assesses a huge amount of content. Children will be tested on the Key Stage 2 national curriculum plus verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Atom's adaptive algorithm creates your child's personalised learning journey specific to your target schools, with over 90,000 expert, teacher-created resources in all exam subjects to support your child to fully master each topic.

Access to instant support: learners need clarification to address any misconceptions and become truly secure in their understanding of a topic. Access to videos, help sheets and engaging examples for each question builds confidence and competence in all areas covered in the exam.

Engage with their progress: celebrate their improvements in their areas of challenge together! An accurate, ongoing assessment of your child’s strengths and development areas is instrumental for preparing efficiently. Atom's Parent Portal gives you data-driven insights into your child’s areas of strength and development.

Test your knowledge

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Atom's algorithm keeps children on their ideal learning path, tailored to their unique learning style and pace to keep them challenged and motivated.

11 plus mock tests

With Atom Nucleus you'll unlock online mock tests tailored to 11 plus exams, so your child will go into the exam knowing exactly what to expect.

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Prepare the smart way for Cheltenham Ladies' College

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Personalised support for you

We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about applying to Cheltenham Ladies' College or other selective schools.

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