11+ exam boards

In this article, we provide an overview of the CEM and GL 11+ Exam Boards. The 11+ exam is used to assess a student’s academic ability.

It’s important for parents and students to understand the contents and format to prepare effectively so whether you are just starting the 11+ journey or trying to understand a little more as the exam dates gets closer, you’re in the right place!

The CEM 11+ exam is an entrance exam used by a number of selective grammar schools in the UK to determine a child’s eligibility for admission. The test assesses a child’s abilities in a number of areas including:

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Non-Verbal Reasoning
  3. Numerical Reasoning

Here’s a more detailed look at what each of these areas covers:

Verbal Reasoning: This section assesses a child’s ability to understand and manipulate language. Questions may include:

  • Analogies: A word is given, and the child must choose the word that has the same relationship to another word as the first word has to a third word.
  • Word Groups: A group of words is given, and the child must choose the word that doesn’t belong in the group.
  • Missing Words: A sentence with a missing word is given, and the child must choose the word that best completes the sentence.

Non-Verbal Reasoning: This section assesses a child’s ability to understand and manipulate visual information. Questions may include:

  • Series Completion: A series of shapes is given, and the child must choose the shape that comes next in the series.
  • Matrix: A grid of shapes is given, and the child must choose the shape that would come next in the sequence.
  • Paper Folding: A piece of paper is shown as if it were being folded, and the child must choose what the resulting shape would look like.

Numerical Reasoning: Designed to assess a student’s ability to perform basic arithmetic operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division whilst also covering numerical concepts such as fractions, decimals, and percentages.

In this part of the exam, students may be presented with a variety of question types, including:

  • Basic arithmetic: Students may be asked to perform basic arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These questions may include simple calculations, as well as more complex multi-step problems.
  • Word problems: Students may be presented with mathematical problems presented in word format. They will need to read the problem carefully, identify the relevant information, and then perform the necessary calculations to find the solution.
  • Fractions, decimals, and percentages: Students may be asked questions about these concepts, including converting between fractions, decimals, and percentages, and solving problems involving these concepts.
  • Ratio and proportion: Students may be asked to understand and use ratios and proportions in a variety of contexts, including solving problems involving scale and comparison.
  • Measurements: Students may be asked questions about measurements, such as length, weight, and volume, and may need to perform conversions between different units of measurement.

The 11+ GL exam is designed to assess overall academic ability, including skills in verbal and non-verbal reasoning, English, and mathematics.

The GL exam typically consists of four sections: Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, English, and Mathematics.

Verbal Reasoning tests understanding of language and a child’s ability to work with words. Questions might ask the student to find the word that doesn’t belong in a group or complete a sentence with a missing word

Non-Verbal Reasoning tests a student’s ability to understand and work with visual information. Questions might ask the student to predict what a shape will look like after it’s folded, choose the next shape in a series or pick the next shape in a grid.

The English section tests a student’s understanding of English grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension. Questions may include sentence completion, word matching and reading comprehension.

The Maths section tests a student’s mathematical ability and may include basic arithmetic operations including fractions, decimals, percentages and word problems.

It’s important to remember that 11+ exam can be different from school to school, so it’s a good idea to check to see what will be on the test for the specific school you are targeting.

To prepare for the exam your child can practice using past papers and work on improving their language, visual and maths skills.

Encourage your child to read widely and to write in different styles and practice solving arithmetic problems and word problems in mathematics. This will help them to become more confident and prepared for the test.