11+ Papers (inc. CEM)

What is the 11+?

Does the 11+ still exist?

How can I enter my child for an 11 Plus exam?

How can I prepare my child for their 11 Plus exam?

Are sample 11 Plus papers available?

Some of the grammar schools publish sample 11 Plus papers and make them available for download.

Remember, some or all of these papers may not be relevant to your child's 11 Plus exam.

  • St. Olave's offers sample 11 Plus papers in English and Maths.
  • Haberdasher's Askes School offers several sample 11 Plus papers in English and Maths
  • Dulwich College offers sample 11 Plus papers for English and Maths.
  • Emmanuel School offers sample 11 Plus papers for English and Maths.
  • King's School offers sample 11 Plus papers in English and Maths.

CGP offer some fabulous 11 Plus practice papers to buy but they also very kindly offer some that are free to download:

Subject Question Paper Answer Paper Marking Scheme
Verbal Reasoning 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers
Non-Verbal Reasoning 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers
Maths 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers
English 11+ Paper 11+ Answer Sheet 11+ Answers

CEM? What is the CEM 11 Plus Exam?

CEM is a provider of 11 Plus entrance exams for several grammar schools including Bexley, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. CEM stands for Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring and it's part of the University of Durham. There are several other providers including NFER and GL Assessment.

What's in the CEM 11 Plus Exam?

If only everyone knew! The CEM 11 Plus is (in most cases) made up of two tests, each take 45 minutes to complete and both include English, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning.

The English sections of the test include reading comprehension exercises, cloze tests (a more concise, detailed and intense reading comprehension exercise that may include 'filling in the blanks') and more standard Verbal Reasoning questions.

Non-Verbal Reasoning questions are well known from other providers of 11 Plus tests and aim to assess pupils by removing as much of what they could have previously learned as possible. These are the questions that often include rotating patterns or shapes.

Numerical Reasoning questions test mental arithmetic, pattern recognition and problem solving. Calculators are not allowed.

Both tests are designed such that they are time pressured and many children don't finish all the questions before the end of the test.

Some areas will allocate a different weighting of marks towards different subject areas. For example, Birmingham awards half of the marks to Verbal Reasoning whilst Warwickshire awards marks equally among all three.

In some areas pupils may take practice 11 Plus CEM tests. These will take place before the real CEM 11 Plus exam (normally in June or July) and the marks will not be formally taken into consideration. They are a practice exercise that's marked internally and whose marks are not recorded externally from the school.

Are there past CEM 11 Plus papers?

No. Past CEM 11 Plus papers are not distributed after their respective assessment day. CEM insist that by restricting the amount of available preparation material to only what primary schools provide (familiarisation with the format and structure of the tests) it makes the test fairer for all.

CGP offer some fabulous 11 Plus practice papers to buy but they also very kindly offer some that are free to download:

Subject Question Paper Answer Paper Marking Scheme
Non-Verbal Reasoning 11+ CEM Paper 11+ Answer CEM Sheet 11+ CEM Answers
Maths 11+ CEM Paper 11+ Answer CEM Sheet 11+ CEM Answers
English 11+ CEM Paper 11+ Answer CEM Sheet 11+ CEM Answers

How can I prepare my child for the CEM 11 Plus?

CEM say that they devise their tests such that they "reduce any disadvantage between children who are tutored for tests and those who are not." They also state that they "do not believe that children should be tutored for [the CEM] selection assessments as they are designed to enable all children to demonstrate their natural ability and achievement without excessive preparation".

However, the unique nature of Verbal Reasoning questions means that provided it leads to greater confidence rather than attempting to memorise the questions, prior practice can be a great advantage. The important point here is that it does not lead to pupils attempting to guess answers based on prior experience.

CGP offer some very good resources for the CEM 11 Plus that provide a great deal of help. Bond also offer some more freely available.

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