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CEM stands for the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.

The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring is a research group based at the School for Education, University of Durham. They produce 11 Plus entrance tests for schools and local authorities. Since 2013, many schools and regions have opted to use the CEM 11 Plus entrance test in place of GL Assessment tests, which have previously dominated the market.

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.

Example CEM 11 Plus question

Example CEM 11 Plus question

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 have 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.
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Over the last 15 years 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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