The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) is part of the Cambridge Assessment. They produce 11 Plus entrance tests for schools and local authorities. Until recently, CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) was a main provider of grammar school 11 plus exams.

In late 2022, CEM announced they were switching to online exams and no longer providing standard 11 plus exams. GL (Granada Learning) has once again become the main provider of admissions testing for UK grammar schools. If your child is sitting an entrance exam for grammar school be sure to take a look at our GL 11 Plus exam information too.

11 Plus CEM exams cover verbal, non-verbal and numerical reasoning. However, a syllabus and full practice papers are not published for these exams. CEM has stated this is a deliberate step in an effort to prevent children from preparing for an exam that should test their innate level of intelligence.

11 Plus CEM exams - what's likely to be on the test

Feedback over the last few years shows that the content of CEM exams maps closely to the National Curriculum and topics tested fall into the following areas:

  • Word recognition

  • Word decoding

  • Comprehension

  • Spelling

  • General mathematics

  • Mental arithmetic

  • Non-verbal reasoning

CEM has no set system for their exams. They can change from year to year or between schools.

Some examples of features in previous years have been:

  • Mixed content in multiple papers e.g. one exam combines English and verbal reasoning and the other combines maths and non-verbal reasoning.

  • Schools selecting to cover just one discipline.

  • Four papers each covering a separate subject.

  • Both multiple-choice and standardised questions.

  • Timings allocated to each section, so children need to carefully manage the time they spend on each section.

11 Plus CEM example question

Here’s an example of the type of question that may appear on the CEM 11 Plus exam:

An example of a question from an 11 Plus CEM exam.

Preparing for the 11 Plus CEM exam

Although CEM doesn’t publish practice papers, at Explore Learning we still believe that regular revision and practice are the best tools to succeed in the 11 Plus exam. We provide practice papers mapped to the national curriculum and online activities as part of their 11 Plus tuition. We also provide tailored maths and English tuition to develop their core skills. We give children the confidence to succeed in the 11 Plus and in their new school.

Explore Learning has developed an 11 Plus and Entrance Exam offering that is tailored to suit the schools in the local area. Whether your child is sitting a CEM, GL Assessment, Bond, Avery or local school entrance paper we adapt our tools and advice to prepare for the exam.

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