CEM 11+ exams

All about the CEM grammar test

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 examinations for schools and local authorities. Many regions use the CEM 11 Plus entrance examination.

CEM exams cover verbal, non-verbal and numerical reasoning. Past CEM papers are never provided and it is impossible to get hold of past papers. CEM do not publish practice papers or endose any eleven plus resurce companies. Typically the weighting for each section is as follows:

50% for verbal ability 25% for numerical ability 25% for non-verbal ability.

Each paper is approximately 50 minutes in duration and will be divided into timed sections, and instructions will be given on an audio soundtrack. Most questions are multiple choice and all answers are marked on a separate machine-readable answer sheet. There will be a short break between the two test papers.

Feedback from past students over the last seven years indicates that the content of CEM mathematics section of the exam closely relates to the current Numeracy National Curriculum. However, certain topics and question types that have appeared in the CEM examinations are not covered in state primary schools.

Topics tested in a CEM 11+ test

Word recognition
Cloze exercises in various formats
General mathematics
Mental arithmetic
Non-verbal reasoning

CEM 11 plus exam papers are mixed. There are two papers of around 50 minutes in length each. Questions include both multiple-choice and standardised questions.

Timings are allocated to each section.

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