What does CEM stand for? is the focus of this blog article. We hope you find it useful.

What does CEM stand for?

CEM stands for the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring. It is an independent research centre based at Durham University that provides learning assessment for children of all ages. Since 1999, it has been creating 11-plus selection exams.

CEM 11-plus exams typically cover 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. Their exams aim to identify academic potential without favouring children who can afford coaching. CEM exams assess a child’s vocabulary, speed and problem solving. The questions on CEM exams are similar to those a child will have encountered in KS2.

Who uses the CEM test?

About a third of the UK’s grammar schools use CEM tests to select for entrance. The following regions use CEM 11-plus tests:

  • Berkshire
  • Bexley
  • Birmingham
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Devon
  • Gloucestershire
  • Shropshire
  • Walsall
  • Warwickshire
  • Wirral
  • Wolverhampton

Each region has different types of questions and even different subjects. Most 11-Plus exams incorporate verbal reasoning (word puzzles), Maths and English (comprehension and/or creative writing). Some also include non-verbal reasoning (picture puzzles) and Science. Some are multiple choice, others require candidates to write the answers.

What does CEM stand for?… Different types of 11-Plus test

There are several companies which provide 11-Plus exam papers. However, the main two are GL Assessment and Durham’s CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring). Although GL Assessment still remains the biggest supplier of 11-Plus papers for schools and local authorities, Durham CEM’s papers are gaining in popularity because they claim to be more ‘tutor-proof’. According to its website “CEM aims to reduce any disadvantage created between children who are tutored for tests and those who are not.” It continues: “Our assessments are designed to enable all children to demonstrate their academic potential without the need for excessive preparation.”

In addition to these two companies, 10 grammar schools in the Essex area have their own 11-Plus exam. In Northern Ireland, candidates take a separate exam called the Northern Ireland Transfer Test.

Grammar schools using the CEM Entrance Test.

 –  –  –     Here’s a list of grammar schools using the CEM Entrance Test. –  –  –

Grammar schools using the CEM Entrance Test.

 –  –  –     Here’s a list of grammar schools using the GL Assessment test.  –  –  –

Differences between CEM and GL Assessment tests

CEM exams group the Verbal Reasoning 11+ and the English 11+ tests together. CEM exams are also divided into separate 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).

CSSE test is used in Essex

The CSSE test in Essex is a little different comprising only English (including creative writing) and Maths papers. The English paper is 60 minutes + 10 minutes reading time, and the Maths paper is 60 minutes in total. Further information on the CSSE test.

 

 

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School Entrance Tests 11+ Blog – Other useful 11+ articles in addition to What does CEM stand for?

School Open Days /  How do I excel at the 11+ Verbal Reasoning Test?  /   Percentage pass marks for the 11-plus?   /  11+ English Papers Practice  / Some last minute 11 Plus Strategies  /  Taking it to the Next 11 Plus Exam  /  School stress /Video interview tips / Literacy Skills