What Are CEM Tests – A Complete Guide For You!

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What Are CEM Tests

Are you someone who has recently found out about the CEM test? Have you been researching online what these CEM tests are and how difficult they are? If your answer to these two questions is yes, then you are in luck, friend!

In this article, we’ll be helping by telling you what CEM tests are and why they are so significant in the country of the United Kingdom. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Understanding CEM Tests

If you are among many individuals out there who are wondering what exactly CEM tests are? Then you have nothing to worry about. At its core, CEM tests are designed for selective independent schools and grammar institutions.

They fully enable children to show their academic skills through this test. Now it is highly likely that when you started doing the research of 11 plus exams, you stumbled upon two types of boards. One of them is the CEM board of education.

Many people out there do not know this, but the CEM board not only produces exams but also works to develop skills to sharpen their minds and critical thinking.

CEM board which stands for Centre of Evaluation and Monitoring, provides the following education services;

  • Fully monitored assessment that allows teachers to evaluate where their students are at in terms of academic levels
  • Baseline assessments that are associated with checking and monitoring the educational system

Which Schools Use CEM 11 Plus Tests?

Now you may be asking yourself the question; which schools out there use the CEM board to conduct tests? Well, the answer to that is an easy one.

Many schools, including grammar, independent, and bilateral or, also known as partially selective schools, use CEM for their entrance exams.

One thing worth mentioning is that schools can modify the test’s length, the number of questions, and sections to suit their selection process thanks to the flexibility of being able to select the test’s components.

Even though GL was formerly the most often given 11 plus, several locations have since switched to CEM. Depending on the school, some regions employ a combination of CEM and GL papers.

Below is the list of regions where CEM tests are conducted;








If you are someone who still does not know whether your school uses the center of evaluation and monitoring Board, you should send an email to the Education professionals. They will help you locate which areas are near you where your child can attend the test.

Paper Pattern Of CEM Tests

Many parents out there spend the majority of their time wondering what exactly is included in the CEM tests and how they are filled. It is important to know that Common CEM 11 plus assessments evaluate four key areas:

  1. English (reading comprehension)
  2. Maths (numerical reasoning)
  3. Verbal deduction
  4. Using nonverbal cues

Although subject pairings and durations differ by area and year, a CEM test generally consists of two papers with a 45-minute time limit each.

During this time, a student has to complete all the questions in a manner and order that is appropriate to the board and paper requirements. Moreover, each paper that students complete often combines two or more subjects.

For instance, arithmetic and non-verbal reasoning are frequently mixed in one exam, while English and verbal reasoning are combined in the other.

This allows students to not have to sit in four separate exams and can reduce the pressure and workload of learning the syllabus one by one. Furthermore, the papers are divided into smaller pieces that are timed independently.

On test day, an audio cassette will notify your kid when they have used up the time allotted in that part and to move on. Once a section’s time has expired, they are not permitted to go back to it.

The CEM test has example questions in each section but no practice questions. Your child will also get a test booklet and a separate answer sheet for the exam. The options for answers include multiple choice and “standard format,” which calls for your youngster to type their response in a little box.

Your kid should practice writing their answers clearly and legibly on the separate response sheet because the answers are computer-marked and do not allow for human interpretation.

The Difficulty Level Of CEM Tests

You might be asking yourself the question; how difficult are the CEM tests, and how many hours should a student dedicate to studying and practicing past paper questions?

The CEM’s timed subsections present one of the biggest difficulties for students taking it. Your child will need to abandon prior test strategies that may have encouraged them to return to challenging questions at the end since they cannot verify or amend their answers in earlier timed portions.

This skill is particularly difficult to get a hold of. That is why your youngster should practice until they feel confident completing tasks within the allotted time. If they feel that they are running out of time, it is in their favor that they skip and move on to another question.

Now we understand that it might be challenging to know what to anticipate because CEM only produces one familiarization brochure; however, with the proper understanding of knowledge and syllabus, one could easily ace the CEM tests.

CEM Verbal And Non-Verbal Reasoning

Now many people have difficulty understanding the difference between verbal and non-verbal reasoning and how the questions are divided.

In simple words, Verbal reasoning tests your child’s aptitude for recognizing patterns in both numbers and letters, drawing connections between pieces of information given on the paper, and rearranging letters to form new words that they are familiar or non-familiar with.

The CEM verbal reasoning component, however, is concentrated on evaluating your child’s vocabulary and how well they can use their critical thinking to make up a picture in their mind and answer the question.

On the other hand, solving spatial puzzles is a component of non-verbal reasoning. Students are evaluated on their comprehension and capability to use spatial awareness skills to process graphic information.

It can be said to a great extent that both verbal and nonverbal reasoning are designed in a way to test your child’s academic skills as well as problem-solving capacities.

The Takeaway

Now you know all the basics of CEM tests and why they are so important. It must be said that although the test may look difficult, with proper practice and support, one can easily master these tests.

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