CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) 11 plus exams are provided by the University of Durham.

CEM exams are currently used in Bexley, Birmingham, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire (Dame Alice Owen’s School), the South West Herts Schools Consortium, Reading, Slough, Wallsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wrekin and Wolverhampton. They are also used at The Henrietta Barnett School in Barnet and at Chelmsford County High School for Girls in Essex.

CEM exams are usually two exams (between 45 to 60 minutes in duration) containing questions on verbal reasoning, reading comprehension and literacy skills, mathematics (numerical reasoning) and non-verbal reasoning. Many of the questions are mutiple-choice, but in some areas of the country, some questions can also be in standard format (i.e. not multiple-choice and requiring a written input).

CEM 11+ exams are said to be ‘untutorable’ and ‘tutor-proof’ and no past papers are available. Analysing sample papers available from schools and local education authorities and analysing information available on internet forums, it is possible to draw the following conclusions about the English/Verbal Reasoning content of the papers:

The verbal reasoning questions are not the usual GL Assessment style verbal reasoning questions with the 21 GL Assessment question types, but are generally questions on English. They often require a good vocabulary and often test for synonyms and antonyms (i.e. words that mean the same – matching words – or words that mean the opposite – opposite words). There are also cloze tests. These tests contain sentences with words missing or letters of words removed, and the words or letters need to be filled in.

The reading comprehension questions are usually multiple-choice comprehension questions on English passages.

Visuteach sells CEM English/VR membership packages which help you prepare for the CEM 11+ exams. The tests are online only and cannot be printed out. The tests are short tests that focus on specific question types (e.g. synonyms, antonyms, cloze tests, jumbled sentences and comprehension) rather than tests which combine different question types into longer CEM style verbal reasoning tests. This means you can study for short periods of time and can focus on specific types of question.

For additional comprehension practice, we sell our Comprehension Packages.

CEM English/VR & Comprehension Package Demos

Demo 1:
This demo contains some synonym, antonym, cloze (missing words and missing letters) and jumbled sentence questions.

Demo 1

Demo 2:
This demo contains cloze tests with missing letters in words.

Demo 2

Demo 3:
This demo is a timed comprehension test (with answers at the end of the test).
Print out the passage and then run the demo test.


Demo 3


Each comprehension test can be run in two modes – automatic marking mode or manual marking mode.

In automatic marking mode, questions are displayed online, answers are filled in online, the test is marked automatically, and the answers are shown at the end of the test.

In manual marking mode, questions are displayed online, answers are filled in on paper, and the test is marked manually by comparing the filled in answers to the correct answers which are provided on a completed answer sheet.

Demo of an automatically marked test:
Print out the passage and run the test.


Demo Test

Demo of a test requiring manual marking:
Print out the passage and the blank answer sheet and write your answers on it. When you have completed the test, check your answers against the completed answer sheet.


Blank Answer Sheet

Demo Test

Completed Answer Sheet

CEM Regions, Schools & Sample Papers

Familiarisation Papers:
Bexley CEM Selection Test – Practice Paper 2013

Practice Paper Timings:
Comprehension 7 minutes
Missing Words 5 minutes
Matching Words 2 minutes
Non verbal 7 minutes
Numerical – Part A 7 minutes
Numerical – Part B 6 minutes

Bexley Council

Bexley Grammar School

Beths Grammar School

Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School

Townley Grammar School For Girls