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Stratford Girls' Grammar School

Entrance exams are built under the CEM framework. CEM is one of two big players in the 11+ market, facing off to GL (Granada Learning) papers.

Originally developed by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at the University of Durham, and now part of the Cambridge University Press, CEM papers are designed to be less predictable in their format and question style than their GL equivalents. That said, it is very possible to prepare for CEM entrance exams and there are commonalities that can be observed.

Most CEM exams cover Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. However, unlike most other exams, the subjects are not always split into different papers. It is common to find Maths and Non-Verbal Reasoning, for example, in the same paper.

Let's look at what we know

  • Most CEM entrance exams cover Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning

  • There are usually two papers of roughly 45 – 50 minutes each, sat on the same day

  • Maths is often tested alongside Non-Verbal Reasoning, while English is regularly paired with Verbal Reasoning

  • Most questions are multiple choice, although there are often small amounts of open answer questions, particularly in English tests

  • Multiple choice answers are recorded on separate answer sheets. This is an important habit to practise when preparing for entrance exams

  • CEM is more likely to have time-weighted questions, where the points available for certain questions are higher or lower and therefore command more time. Again, this is a key area to practise as it’s easy to slip and either waste time on low value questions or not have enough time left for the high value ones.

Choosing the right papers

Basic preparation:

Practise timed and time-weighted multiple choice questions across all relevant subjects, identifying strengths and learning opportunities.

  • Multiple Choice - English & Grammar

  • Multiple Choice – Maths & Numeracy

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

Advanced preparation:

Practise timed, open answer papers with time-weighted questions that help prepare for open answer questions on the big day.

  • Open Answers – English & Grammar

  • Open Answers – Maths & Numeracy

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Stratford Girls' Grammar School

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