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We offer Common Entrance (CE) mathematics examinations at 11+ and 13+, as well as a scholarship exam (CASE) at 13+. Our mathematics specification is designed by a team of setters made up of experienced Heads of Department from both prep and senior schools, and approved by ISEB’s Academic Committee for Mathematics and Sciences.

Our mathematics syllabus aims to develop fluency in mathematical skills and reasoning, promote investigative thinking and application of mathematical knowledge to unfamiliar problems.

Mathematics for CE at 11+

At 11+, candidates will sit one paper which begins with approximately eight straightforward, 1-mark questions testing basic numeracy. Marks will be awarded for the correct answer and working need not be shown. This section is followed by worded questions which require working to be shown. 

Mathematics for CE at 13+

At 13+, we offer the CE mathematics examination at three levels. These are Foundation (Non-Calculator and Calculator papers), Core (Non-Calculator and Calculator papers) and Additional. All candidates take either Foundation or Core papers, and some candidates who take Core may also take the Additional paper. All candidates are expected to sit the mental arithmetic test, no matter which level they are taking. 

We advise prep schools to liaise with senior schools about the levels at which pupils should sit the exam, and ensure that each candidate is registered for the appropriate level so that they receive the correct papers for the exam.

Mathematics for CASE at 13+

The CASE assessment for mathematics is based on the Core/Additional sections of the 13+ mathematics specification, and is designed to challenge the most able candidates. Candidates taking CASE mathematics will sit one paper, divided into two sections. In Section A, candidates are expected to answer all the questions. Section B is more demanding and candidates will be told to attempt as many questions as they can. 

Please see the mathematics specification below for more details.


New Mathematics CE/CASE specification (for first teaching from September 2021)

PDF 1.56 MB

Mathematics CE at 13+ specimen papers

ZIP 5.4 MB

CPD: Mathematics CE at 13+ Twilight Session (2021)

PDF 1.89 MB

New Mathematics CE/CASE specification - What's in, What's out?

PDF 169.96 KB

Thinking Mathematically Poster

PDF 177.71 KB

New CE Mathematics Explanation

PDF 393.02 KB


Our Continuing Professional Development programme is a valuable resource for schools and teachers, with experienced subject experts providing friendly, comprehensive guidance on all aspects of CE 11+, 13+ and CASE through regular, interactive webinars.

Join us in May and June for the next series or catch-up with our previous webinars below.

Visit our Events page to find out more about upcoming events.

Thursday 15 June – Spring/Summer Common Entrance (CE) 2023

CE Mathematics subject expert Barbara Langford explores incorporating past papers in the teaching of problem-solving beyond the exam setting.

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    Registration for CE 13+ is closed. Contact ISEB about late entries or changes. CASE registration is still open.


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