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CEM 11+

CEM 11+TM: Children's Educational Material for the 11+  

Visit:  - the CEM 11+ information site.

Children's Educational Material for the 11+

This site provides information about 11+ exams including those set by CEM Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring®
based at Durham University.®.


How to prepare for the 11+ tests

set by CEM Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.®


Visit for free information and familiarisation questions. Mock tests can be purchased from the shop.

Enrich vocabularly by reading. Enhance vocabulary; practice cloze passages; comprehension; jumbled sentences using

Get ahead in maths using

Download Free Sats papers from

Test dates are provided as well as free familiarisation papers and the shop contains word lists and practice mock papers.

The two leading suppliers for 11+ tests are GL Assessment and CEM Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring.®

What is the CEM 11 plus test or CEM 11 plus exam?

The CEM 11+ exam or CEM 11 plus is a selective test for admission in to secondary school aimed a children between 10 and 11 years of age. The test usually comprises of two 45 to 50 minute test, with a total of just over 200 questions in total. The subject matter covers English and Verbal Reasoning (comprehensions, synonyms, antonyms, cloze sentences, jumbled sentences), Numerical Reasoning and Data Processing (Maths) and Non-verbal Reasoning (NVR).

The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring
®, is a not-for-profit research group based at the Durham University® and is one of the largest independent providers of educational assessment and monitoring systems in the world and sets 11-plus tests for various regions, including, Birmingham; Walsall; Wolverhampton; Shropshire; Warwickshire, Henrietta Barnett; Buckinghamshire, Bexley; and CCHS, Essex.

Typical 11+ from CEM® Centre comprise of two 45-minute tests, which take around 60-minutes each to administer (the extra 15-minutes is due to examples and instructions). There is a break of up to 30 minutes between each of the papers, which are administered on the same day, during July of year 5 or September of year 6.

CEM® Centre 11 plus past papers are not released and there are no practice papers available. Two weeks before the test, applicants receive a sample sheet containing example questions. Uniquely, Buckinghamshire children undertake two 30 minute preparation tests, which are multiple choice based and answered on machine-readable answer sheets, Other regions have tests which are answered in booklets comprising of both multiple choice and written answers.

There are usually three sections:

1. Verbal reasoning: comprehension, cloze passages, synonyms, antonyms (approximately half of the test by time).
   The verbal reasoning section includes comprehension and reading skills. A wide knowledge of vocabulary is a distinct advantage.

2. Numeracy: Mathematics & data-processing (approximately two-thirds of the test, by time).
    The numerical section tests mental arithmetic and recognition of mathematical patterns. It explores problem solving with a greater reading element.

3. Nonverbal reasoning, NVR (up to one-third of the test, by time).
    This section eliminates cultural bias in testing and the possible bias against individuals who may have difficulty with verbal elements.

All three sections involve an element of speed. The 11+ tests are administered by Compact Disc in individually timed sections meaning a child cannot move forward or return to a section. They are effectively mini-tests.

Each paper consists of 3-4 sections. For example a paper may comprise of a 20-minute section on verbal reasoning, 10-minutes short maths, and 15-minutes comprehension followed by a second paper comprising of 15-minutes longer maths, 10-minutes data-processing, 10-minutes non-verbal reasoning and 10-minutes cloze passages (missing words in a paragraph).

The format of the papers can change from year to year, example numeracy may comprise of one 25-minute section and one 10-minute section.

Typically, each paper has between 100 and 125 questions and time pressure is immense. Many children will not finish all the questions.

The numeracy questions can vary from the easy, to very difficult. It is not uncommon for the average score in some CEM maths sections to be less than 25% in the most difficult tests. can help children for 11+ maths preparation and has a special CEM section comprising of CEM style maths questions. These should be attempted after Sats style maths questions have been completed as some questions are very difficult.


How to use CCK for 11+ Numeracy Preparation

1. Cover the year 4, 5 and 6 syllabus using the Lesson & Worksheet section.
    Download lesson notes, watch presentation and undertake worksheets.

2. Undertake the year 6 level 3-5 Sats style KS2 by subject (Revision) tests.


3. Undertake year 6 level 3-5 Sats style KS2 by year. Calculator papers can be undertaken without calculators.
    Only a few questions really require a calculator.

4. If you have time, undertake some of the 11+ & independent school entrance (Year 6) Exams.

5. If you have time, undertake some of the year 6 level 6 Sats style KS2 by year.

6. Undertake the CEM
® University of Durham® Style 11+ Style & Preparation.

Buckinghamshire children can skip points 4 and 5 and look at the easier questions in 6.

Further information and advice on Children's Educational Material for the 11 plus tests (CEM 11+TM) can be found at
For ElevenPlusExams practise makes perfect.

Free Sats papers are available to download at

Children'sEducatinalMaterial 11+

           The secret of success


Note: is website for 11+ information.The views expressed are those of The Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring® is an independent not-for-profit research group based at Durham University® and neither are associated with  All tradenames and trademarks are acknowledged.

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