Unlock your Students’ Potential with Cambridge CEM Baseline Assessments

At Cambridge CEM, we're here to give you the powerful insight you need to unlock your students' potential and improve the outcomes of all learners. Our baseline assessments give you a profile of each student's aptitudes and abilities and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

Find out more about our baseline assessments and how they can help you to build on your understanding of your students' abilities and skills.

Teacher and Student at Laptop


What is a baseline assessment?

Cambridge CEM's baseline assessments help you determine what your students, your class and your year group already know and can do, while supporting you in deciding the best next steps.

Using a baseline assessment helps you get to know your students quickly. It focuses on your students' starting point and enables you to measure each student's aptitude for learning and their potential.

Why is a good baseline assessment important?

A good baseline assessment can show you a student's starting point and give you and your students feedback. It helps you understand who is in the classroom, what they know and what skills they have yet to learn.

You can use the baseline assessment feedback to:


Ask the right questions.


Make good decisions.


Develop the best teaching and learning plans.


Strategically set goals and targets.


Drive student motivation and future teaching and learning.


Baseline assessment examples

The following questions are examples for students aged 11 – 16. They show a wide range of varying difficulty and are indicative of the style and presentation of questions in the MidYIS and Yellis assessments.

Vocabulary: word fluency and understanding



Maths: Mental arithmetic, logical thinking, manipulating numbers and numerical concepts



Non-verbal ability: recognising shapes, matching patterns, and applying spatial awareness and visual intuition



Which assessments are suitable for you?

Our CEM baseline assessments are based on extensive research and created to complement the stages of child development. There is a CEM baseline assessment for every education phase.

We also provide the Cambridge Wellbeing Check, a student-led assessment for students aged 7-18 that helps you understand how your students feel and where they need support.

See what teachers are saying about CEM baseline assessments

Whether you belong to a state, independent or international school, our assessments help thousands of teachers in empowering their students to realise their true potential.

“We use CEM because it gives so much information about the students that supports both teachers and leadership. … CEM assessments are an ideal tool – we use them for lots of different purposes”
Andrew Lennie
Head of Secondary at Cairo English School. Egypt
“We use CEM assessments because they help us to make judgements that will inform teaching and learning, and give us objective data that will help us to improve the education that our students receive.”
Alexandra Holland
Curriculum Development Manager, Aga Khan Academies
“It has been a vital tool with so many benefits, from setting standards and raising expectations, to helping us support students and staff, to measuring school performance”
Rukaiya Salman
Head of School, The Cedar School. Pakistan

Why use a baseline assessment?



  • Adaptive, personalised and tailored assessment
  • Formative and diagnostic feedback to inform learning
  • Used with groups of students or with individuals
  • Information at student, class, subject, school level



  • An objective measure of students' strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify what students can and cannot do before you teach them
  • diagnose learning gaps
  • indicators to grades at GCSE, IGCSE, A Level and IB Diploma



  • Set students up for success
  • Raise expectations
  • Set realistic and challenging targets
  • Plan early interventions



  • Data supports professional judgement
  • Helps target resources effectively
  • Shape your teaching to meet your students' learning needs
  • Track progress



  • Examine student outcomes
  • Monitor school performance over time
  • Measure the impact of your teaching
  • Share best practice

About Cambridge CEM:

We’re a not-for-profit organisation on a mission to unlock every student’s potential with the very best learning and research solutions. We’re part of Cambridge University Press & Assessment, and we’ve been helping teachers clearly see what’s happening in the classroom for 40 years, empowering millions of students in over 120 countries to achieve ever-greater things.

Find out more:




What is a baseline assessment? Video with Kate Bailey (3 mins, 21 secs)


What are the benefits of using a baseline assessment Testimonial video from Cedar School, Pakistan (1 min, 29 secs)


Benefits of using baseline assessments Testimonial video from The English College in Prague (2 mins, 35 secs)