Firstly, we have a look at the different types of 11 Plus tests independent schools use for school entrance. The different exam boards, where you still find 11 Plus and content covered by each.
Key 11 Plus Exam Board Differences
CEM, GL and CSSE 11 Plus exams
CSSE type of 11 plus exams is however for those that want to apply for one of the 10 Grammar schools in the consortium of selective schools in Essex.
Areas that still use 11 Plus tests:
Essex and South-End-on Sea
Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Kingston upon the Thames, Redbridge, Surrey, Sutton
Calderdale, Kirklees, North Yorkshire
North Western England
Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool, Trafford, Wirral
South Eastern England
Buckinghamshire, Kent, Medway Towns, Reading, Slough
South Western England
Bournemouth, Devon, Gloucestershire, Plymouth, Poole, Torbay, Wiltshire
Birmingham, Stoke on Trent, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton, The Wrekin
Also known as the Transfer Test, it consisted only of Verbal Reasoning for many years. However, the test now includes English and Maths.
There are 2 bodies managing the Transfer Test: The Association Of Quality Education (AQE) set 3 standard format papers while the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) set 2 multiple choice papers.
The test is usually taken on a Saturday in November / December at one of Northern Ireland’s Grammar Schools.
More information on each grammar school exam can be found on the website of the grammar school, AQE or PPTC
CEM 11 Plus
CEM type of 11 Plus exams typically covers numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and abstract (or non-verbal) reasoning. They may be multiple choice or standard format – or a mixture of the two. Usually made up of two papers, CEM exams have a mixture of separately timed numerical, verbal and abstract sections. They claim to be “tutor proof” in order to ensure fairness.
- Firstly, each consists of two papers; divided into separately timed sections.
- The mixed paper format combines two of these into one test.
- Thus, the CEM English and the CEM verbal reasoning tests are combined.
- Secondly, the CEM maths test and the CEM non-verbal reasoning test are combined.
- CEM 11 plus timings are given per section.
The following regions use CEM 11-plus tests:
For more information on the CEM 11 Plus tests, have a look at What does CEM stand for or CEM 11+ for a full list of Grammar schools using CEM
GL 11 Plus
Firstly, the GL 11 Plus consists of these four 11 plus papers: English GL Assessment; Maths GL Assessment; Verbal Reasoning GL Assessment; and Non-verbal Reasoning GL Assessment.
- The format of these papers does vary from region to region.
- GL 11+ exams have an administration time of 45 mins. Individual grammar schools determine their own test times and the multiple-choice/standard 11 plus format.
Areas using GL 11 Plus:
- Buckinghamshire has only just moved to GL Assessments from the 2019 intake.
- Dorset has 4 grammar schools and one with an expressly academic stream. This academic stream school, Poole High School admits 32 pupils on the basis of their school entrance test results. They all use the GL Assessment primarily, with some internal tests set.
- Kent has the most grammar schools in the UK. There are 35 grammar schools in Kent all using the same test. GL Assessment sets the Kent Test. It is different every year in order to make it difficult to predict. Visit our page Kent GL Plus for more information on the Kent 11 GL 11 Plus
- Lancashire has 4 grammar schools, all using GL Assessment.
- Cumbria has only one grammar school, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith. They use the GL Assessment.
- Lincolnshire has 16 grammar schools of which 15 are part of the Lincolnshire Consortium of Grammar Schools. These Consortium schools make use of the GL Assessment. Caistor Grammar School (mixed) is not part of the Consortium and sets their own exam papers.
- Wiltshire has only 2 grammar schools. The one, Bishop Wordsworth’s (Boys) uses CEM and the other, South Wilts Grammar School (Girls) GL assessments.
- Kent is the area with the most grammar schools. If you want entrance into any of the 35 grammar schools your child would need to write the Kent test. The Kent entrance exam is set by GL Assessment. It is different every year to make it more difficult to predict.
Make sure to have a look at our page, Grammars using GL Assessments, for more information and practice papers
CSSE 11 Plus (for the Essex consortium of grammar schools)
The CSSE 11 Plus consists of two tests:
- Firstly the CSSE English test with a creative writing section (lasting about 60 minutes with 10 minutes reading time.)
- Secondly, the CSSE Maths paper (60 minutes in total).
Each paper is worth 50%, or equally weighted. A child’s score on each paper is standardized.
Main differences between CEM and GL
GL Assessment and CEM set most 11+ exams across the UK. Thus, each 11+ provider sets several regional 11 Plus exams. Check individual grammar school websites so that you can confirm whether your child is to sit the CEM 11 Plus, the GL 11 Plus, or some combination of both 11 Plus test formats. GL Assessment partners are also published on the GL Assessment website. For further information on Grammars using CEM, visit our page CEM 11+ Grammars.
CEM exams group the Verbal Reasoning 11+ and the English 11+ tests together. CEM exams are also divided into separately timed sections. It’s therefore important that children learn how to manage their time correctly as it’s not possible to return to sections once completed.
Nevertheless, the CEM entrance tests cover the same subject areas (Maths, English, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning) as the GL Assessment tests. They also have the same standardized pass-mark (121).
Don’t miss out on these
Practising this online test will help you to become familiar with taking online 11 Plus tests.
When time is limited make use of our very handy 10-minute quizzes,
including a free Ten-Minute Maths Test for 11Plus and a range of very reasonably priced 10-minute quizzes: