CEM 11 Plus Guidance

All across the country, Year 6 pupils will need to make the tough decision of choosing where to continue their education. Selecting the right secondary school will have a huge impact on the rest of their academic life, therefore this choice needs to be the right one for your child.

The first big decision that you and your child will need to make is whether or not they wish to attend a grammar or comprehensive school. If you intend to apply for a grammar school placement, then there are a few things that you need to know.

This ultimate free CEM resource will guide you through the entire process of applying to a grammar school. This resource will answer some of the most common questions concerning the 11+, and make the transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3, and beyond, much easier.

Don’t forget to download your Free CEM Practice Papers at the end of this resource.

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CEM Test Information and Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CEM 11 Plus?

If your child wishes to apply to a grammar school then they will be required to sit a grammar school entry test.

The 11+ assessment is an optional exam taken by some pupils in their last year of primary school to gain a placement in a grammar school.

The CEM 11+ is used for schools situated all over the UK, including but not limited to:

  • Berkshire
  • Bexley
  • Birmingham
  • Gloucestershire
  • Medway
  • Shropshire
  • Walsall
  • Warwickshire
  • Wirral
  • Wolverhampton

Registering for the CEM 11 Plus is relatively easy. For details on how to register for the Eleven Plus, please visit the government website in your local area.

If your child passes the CEM 11+ exam, any grammar school in your immediate area will consider your child’s application.

However, we cannot stress this enough – just because your child passes the test, does not automatically guarantee them a place at their desired grammar school.

You should consider the following when applying to grammar schools:

  • How close do you live to that grammar school?
  • What are the grammar school’s admission requirements?
  • Does any of your other children attend the same grammar school?
How is the CEM 11+ assessed?

The CEM 11 plus is an examination used to filter through students who show the skills and qualities required for a grammar school placement.

By using an entry exam, this allows grammar schools to implement a thorough selection process, and determine which students meet the standard requirements of a grammar school pupil.

The exam is made up of the following assessments:




The Grammar School Entry Test process is used to:

  • Provide pupils with equal opportunities of passing the entry test;
  • Assess pupil’s knowledge in regards to English, Maths, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning; as well as a short written exercise to examine their communication and creative skills;
  • Determine which primary school pupils show the required skills which are favoured by grammar school placements;
  • Utilise the skills and knowledge gained in primary school and demonstrate this knowledge in pressurised situations.

The tests are all multiple-choice and will assess different skills and qualities for each area of the assessment.

This is a great question. The 11+ exam is not to be taken light-heartedly. Of course, the complexity of the process will depend largely on a number of things:

  • Has your child prepared for each part of the test?
  • Have you ensured that your child is feeling confident about the exam?
  • Do you know what to expect before, during, and after the test?

As with any exam, there is a great deal of pressure to do well. The 11+ is designed to assess whether children should be awarded a grammar school placement, in order to continue their education.

There are cases every year whereby pupils are only a few marks off from achieving the requirements needed for a grammar school placement. If you (the parent(s)) have viable reasons, you may be able to appeal the result.

Here’s a few reasons which make you viable for grammar school appeals:

  • Your child passed the assessment, but the grammar school is full;
  • Your child has not passed the assessment, but the grammar school has spaces available.
  • Your child failed the assessment by a very slim margin.

If you are unhappy with the schools that have been offered to your child, you do have the right to appeal against this.

Although you may want to appeal, sometimes it is best to accept the place your child has been offered. This won’t go against you in the appeal, but it will guarantee your child has a secondary school placement, in case the appeal doesn’t go in your favour.

For details on the process of appealing your child’s school, visit the government website.

As mentioned earlier, there are three areas of assessment.

Your child will be assessed on the following:

  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

Scroll down to grab yourself FREE CEM 11 Plus Practice Papers (PDF), including sample questions and answers.

Looking for more practice questions and answers? Check out our CEM 11+ Practice Papers Workbook.

CEM 11 Plus Practice Papers

For a FREE CEM practice paper, signup to our newsletter below and you’ll be sent a real 11+ Mock Practice Paper which has been developed by us to help your child prepare for the real Eleven Plus exam:

CEM Test Practice Papers PDF
  • Maths Practice Questions & Answers;
  • English Practice Questions & Answers;
  • Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions & Answers;
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions & Answers.

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The below revision videos have been made to help your child revise for areas of the CEM 11 Plus exam including; Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.