CEM Frequently Asked Questions
Developed by the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring at the University of Durham, the CEM 11+ exam was created in response to fears from some grammar schools that the existing 11+ exam system had become too transparent. The exam was designed to address concerns over ‘teaching to the test’.
CEM covers verbal, non-verbal and numerical reasoning. Verbal reasoning includes many of the skills covered in a GL Assessment English test and numerical reasoning covers the main maths skills that would be tested in a GL maths exam.
CEM exam papers do not separate subjects by paper. Commonly one paper tests English and verbal reasoning skills, whilst the other tests maths and non-verbal reasoning skills. Exam papers are broken into sections which may, for example, move from short maths to non-verbal questions to worded problems. Questions can be either standard, or more commonly, multiple choice, with answers being written in a separate answer book.
CEM exams consist of two 45-minute papers. A short break is normally given between the two papers. Each paper has a mix of topics covering English, verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and maths (numerical reasoning). The papers are spilt into sections, with varying numbers of questions and timings. Often more questions are provided than are likely to be answered. Children are only given a set amount of time to answer a section and cannot move forward until told to proceed.
Results will be available online during October time for the common application form by 31st October. As papers are externally marked, a specific date cannot be given for publication of the results.
The 11+ entrance exam is designed to identify pupils who would be suited to a grammar school education and as such does not refer to a ‘pass’ mark. A score of 111 or greater means that a pupil is eligible to be considered for a place in a grammar school if they applied.