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CEM 11+ Exam Practice Papers

The CEM 11+ exam requires a child to have a good understanding of Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning. This requires a high level of English comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and strong skills in Mathematics. The CEM 11+ requires children to have a wide-ranging vocabulary and a very good understanding of all aspects of maths including shape and space and knowledge of number patterns.

Our titles provide practice papers in the following CEM 11+ subjects:-


What is CEM

What is the CEM 11+ and how does it differ from other versions of the 11+?

There are several different companies who produce an 11+ Exam for Local Authorities, individual schools or groups of schools.

If you search the internet you may well find regular references to the two main players in this market namely GL and CEM.

In 2007 NFER was purchased by Granada Learning and relaunched as GL Assessment - hence reference to the GL 11+ exam. GL provide schools with a range of products including English, maths and reading attainment tests.

CEM is short for the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring which is based at the University of Durham. The CEM centre at Durham University also produce a range of other products for schools as well as their 11+ papers.

Some schools and some Local Authorities were concerned that pupils were being too heavily tutored for the 11+ exam and that many of the questions were easily available to both tutors and parents. They felt that they needed a “tutor-proof” exam and the CEM 11+ exam was created in response to these concerns.

The CEM exam has been around for some years now and many of the questions and question types are in the public domain meaning that the exam is now no longer “tutor-proof”. CEM say that their 11+ exam is “tutor proof” however many would say that a "tutor proof" exam does not exist.

The CEM 11+ covers questions on English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, (also known as spatial awareness.)

CEM exam papers tend to combine different subjects in the same paper. For example, one paper might combine English and verbal reasoning skills, whilst another might have a selection of maths and non-verbal reasoning questions. The CEM test can be in standard or multiple -choice format. CEM exams align quite closely to KS2 National Curriculum. There are so many ways that these questions can be asked that sound preparation is important and this includes the basics of the core subjects of English and maths.


How can I help my child prepare for the CEM 11+ exam?

The CEM 11+ requires a child to have a strong and wide vocabulary, a strong ability in logic, good knowledge of maths and spelling skills. A well-balanced schooling with effort being placed on maths and English will help prepare your child for this difficult exam.


Additional preparation and support at home is often essential. Using suitable practice material in maths and English will help improve your child’s confidence in these two core subjects.

Verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning tend not to be taught in all schools and the questions set in both these two subjects can be unpredictable and random but attempting a variety of different question types will help to reduce anxiety for a child.

Many parents find that online practice and repetition can motivate your child and reduce the boredom factor.


(Please note that this information is liable to change at short notice as schools/Local Authorities change their supplier. Always check with your chosen school or Local Authority.)


CEM 11+ Exam Regions

Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wolverhampton.


Mixture of GL and CEM: Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford, Wiltshire, Wirral, Yorkshire.

NB: Please note that these lists were correct at the time of publication. Exam boards used by schools or regions can and do change, so please check with each grammar school that you are applying to in order to confirm what exam board it uses.

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