• Eton College is the alma mater of well-known figures including Princes William and Harry, author George Orwell, actor Eddie Redmayne, and 20 UK prime ministers.
  • Every year, the prestigious British boarding school awards fourteen 13-year-old with financial grants, also known as King's Scholarships.
  • To get these scholarships, the school gives a series of tests which include subjects English, mathematics, and foreign languages.
  • Scroll down to see ten actual questions on past King's Scholarship exams, and see how well you do.
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Eton College, the prestigious British boarding school, is the alma mater of high-profile figures from Princes William and Harry, to author George Orwell, to actor Eddie Redmayne, to 20 UK prime ministers.

Being a part of the school requires an elite pedigree, intelligence, or both. Every year Eton recruits students through entrance exams, which include subjects like English, mathematics, and foreign languages.

Some of the most elite students there are the King's Scholars, who receive financial grants that fund them throughout their education. Eton recruits 14 such scholars every year, creating a total of 70 scholars at the school at any given point.

The school also offers a maximum of 12 scholarships named the Orwell Awards for boys entering the Sixth Form, the UK equivalent of the 12th grade.

King's Scholars are chosen from a pool of 13-year-olds, who have to take a series of particularly difficult tests to be considered every year. They include questions on science, religion, and philosophy - many of which seem nigh impossible.

Scroll down to see ten actual questions on past King's Scholarship exams, and see how well you do. Many of the questions are essay-based so don't have definitive answers, but on the ones that do, we've included the answers at the end of this post.


If today is Friday, what is the day that follows the day that comes after the day that precedes the day before yesterday?

Answer: Thursday

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2011


How many even numbers are there from 100 to 1000 inclusive?

Answer: 451 Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2015


It's 2040, and you're the UK Prime Minister. Explain why it was "both necessary and moral" for you to employ the Army to fight — and kill — violent protesters in London.

This question, which appears in a 2011 scholarship exam for 13-year-olds, cites Italian statesman Niccolò Machiavelli's "The Prince" and asks them to imagine being Prime Minister. Twitter user Alan Ferrier first resurfaced this question in September.

Here's the full question:

The year is 2040. There have been riots in the streets of London after Britain has run out of petrol because of an oil crisis in the Middle East. Protesters have attacked public buildings. Several policemen have died.

Consequently, the Government has deployed the Army to curb the protests. After two days the protests have been stopped but twenty-five protesters have been killed by the Army.

You are the Prime Minister. Write the script for a speech to be broadcast to the nation in which you explain why employing the Army against violent protesters was the only option available to you and one which was both necessary and moral.

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2011


As a judge, decide whether a property owner should pay compensation to someone who walked through her field and got attacked by a bull.

Here's the scenario:

A woman called Cinderella took a short cut to her local railway station across a field owned by Snow White. Members of the public had been crossing Snow White's field to get to the railway station for 35 years.

Snow White had made attempts to prevent people from doing so but had never taken any serious action because some of the people stopped at her house to buy milk that she sold there and she was pleased to be able to sell it.

One day, when crossing the field, Cinderella was attacked by a bull which had been placed in the field by Snow White. The bull had been in the field for many months. Cinderella knew it was there and had regularly cross the field before when it was present.

You can read the full question, and some guidance on how to answer it, here.

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2008


Geography is fundamentally about the study of places. What is the most important place in the world, and why?

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2017


Many past papers also include a section containing several phrases written in a made-up language, and ask students to work out what they meant, and write their own sentences in the made-up language.

Warner Bros.

Click on the links below to try your hand at translations in:


Fill in the blanks to create an oxymoron.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines apparently contradictory words for special effect, like "hot ice" and "wise fool."

Fill in the blanks to create oxymorons:

  • "I like a smuggler. He is the only ___ thief."
  • "I am a ___ superficial person."
  • He belongs to the ___ dead."

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2009


"Wet and windy with occasional sunny spells" (summary weather forecast, 16th January 2015). To what extent could this statement be applied equally to the UK's climate?

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2015


"A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past." How far do you agree with this statement?

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2015


Write a response of no more than 700 words, in whatever style seems appropriate, on: The Future.

Kirsty Wigglesworth-Pool / Getty Images

That's literally the entire question.

Source: Eton College King's Scholarship Examination 2017


Answers:

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

1. Thursday 2. 451

7. Honest, genuinely, living

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