CEM’s admissions tests and the 11+:
Information for parents and students
What is CEM?
We are the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), part of Cambridge University Press and Assessment.
We provide schools with a range of formative assessments for children of all ages, from early years to higher education. We also provide entrance (admissions) assessments to help enable students to demonstrate their academic potential, encouraging a fair schools admissions process.
Admissions and entrance assessments
We provide two types of entrance assessments to schools and local authorities:
The 11+: This is a paper-based assessment run by some Local Education Authorities in England, for entry into Grammar schools only. CEM produces this examination for some local authorities and school groups.
CEM Select: This is a computer-based entrance assessment used by selective independent schools in the UK and other international schools. Schools use our CEM Select Evaluate, Challenge and Mid-Year transfer assessments to support student entry into Years 7, 8, 9 &10. The CEM Select assessments help students demonstrate their academic potential, encouraging a fair school admissions process.
Our admissions assessments all aim to enable students to demonstrate their academic potential, encouraging a fair school admissions process.
11+ paper-based assessments – what to expect
Generally, students will sit the 11+ in the Autumn term of their final year in primary school. Your school or local authority will provide you with all the information you need about the 11+ in your area.
The 11+ is a paper-based assessment, administered by a local authority or school. It is taken under exam conditions, usually in a school environment. It contains questions to test maths, vocabulary and non-verbal skills and ability.
Your school or local authority will provide you with standard familiarisation materials.
We don’t make any practice papers or past papers commercially available – this is to help maintain fairness of access for students taking the assessment.
The pass marks for entry are defined by the individual schools and local authorities. Any query related to results should be directed to the school or local authority. Our customer support team are unable to answer questions about students’ entrance assessment results.
Computer-based CEM Select admissions assessments – what to expect
Our computer-based admissions tests are taken in exam conditions. Each student completes the assessment independently, working at a computer and guided by on-screen instructions. The organisation and set up of these is done by the school to which you are applying and will vary depending on the school's computer facilities and capacity.
Some schools use a CEM Select computer-based assessment as one part of their admissions process – which may also include an interview and paper-based exams.
The school will provide you with standard familiarisation materials, so that you can approach the assessment with confidence.
Questions in the CEM Select assessments are developed independently from other CEM assessments. There are no advantages for students who have previously taken a CEM InCAS (now evolved into Cambridge Primary Insight), MidYIS or Yellis assessment. The questions are designed to assess genuine understanding rather than learning through repetition.
Results from the assessment are shared with the school. The school to which you are applying defines the pass mark for entrance. Any query related to results should be directed to the school. Our customer support team are unable to answer questions about students’ entrance assessment results.