We are taking our response to this situation incredibly seriously and our priority is to support our customers and colleagues throughout this period of uncertainty.

We will we will continue to update the information on this page as the situation develops.

Using CEM Assessments

While your school remains open you can continue to assess your students as normal, and we have taken additional measures to ensure that your use of CEM assessments can run as smoothly as possible over the coming weeks and months.

Is there anything CEM can do to help me continue my student’s education remotely?

We want to continue to support teachers through this challenging period, and together with our colleagues at Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, we are looking at what else we can offer our customers during this period to support remote learning. We will provide a further update on this in due course.

  • Cambridge University Press is offering a 90-day free trial of their digital teaching and learning service Cambridge Elevate
  • Academic Publishing has made higher education textbooks free to access online. All 700 textbooks published and currently available in HTML format on Cambridge Core can now be accessed free until the end of May, regardless of whether they were previously purchased.
  • A great and insightful blog on Tips to deal with school closure with advice from teachers that have already experienced what happens.

Baseline assessment FAQs

Can I use CEM data to help me assign GCSE, IGCSE, A Level or IB grades to pupils?

For this summer’s awards, schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. Reviewing MidYIS, Yellis or Alis/CEMIBE data that you have for your students can help you take an informed and objective view when setting their grades.

For secondary systems, consider Chances Graphs, Predictions Spreadsheets for your cohort, and Individual Pupil Records. You should also look at your school value added report for subject-level information to take into consideration.

For post-16 students, consider Predictions Spreadsheets from both baseline assessment and average GCSE scores, Individual Pupil Reports and Chances Graphs. You should also look at and take into consideration your value-added summary report, which shows a three-year average for all subjects.

We’ve provided some further information about how Yellis and Alis data can help you when considering grade predictions this year.

I’d like to understand my value-added information for previous years, but I haven’t uploaded previous exam result data. Can I still do this?

Yes you can - just log in to your Secondary+ or Alis+ secure account for results upload guidance.

If you are uploading previous years’ exam results data, please also contact our customer support team (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) before you do so, so that we can make sure that everything runs smoothly for you.

Will teacher assessed grades be used to work out CEM’s value-added progress measures this year?

Yes. CEM products will use the grades awarded to students this year to calculate value-added progress measures.

Can I arrange for my students to take a CEM baseline assessment remotely?

No. We do not recommend that you attempt to assess students remotely.

The aim of a baseline assessment is to get an objective picture of a student’s skills in the core areas of vocabulary, maths and non-verbal skills (such as proofreading).

The information you get from our baseline assessments will only be a true reflection of a student’s abilities if the student does not receive any help when taking it. As it is extremely difficult to monitor the environment of the assessment remotely, we cannot guarantee the results would be an accurate reflection of their skills.

My school is closed and my students haven’t been assessed yet.
What should I do?

We appreciate that many schools will not be able to assess students at this time. It may be possible to extend your testing window for the 2019/20 assessments so that your students may sit the assessment when your school reopens.

If you require an extension please contact our team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I haven’t been able to complete my assessments as planned.
Can I get a refund?

We appreciate that many schools will not be able to assess students at this time. It may be possible to extend your testing window for the 2019/20 assessments so that your students may sit the assessment when your school reopens.

If you want to discuss your options further, please contact our team: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I’m worried that my school will close soon and I normally do my Primary CEM assessments in this period.
What should I do?

We have opened the testing windows early for Aspects, BASE and PIPS so that you may assess as many of your students possible while your school remains open.

You may wish to assess your students with InCAS while you are still open, if you have not already done so.

If you cannot use your primary assessments before your school closes, the testing window can be extended. Please email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I’m worried my school will close soon and I normally do my Secondary/Post 16 CEM assessments in this period.
What should I do?

The testing windows for the 2019/20 MidYIS, Yellis and Alis assessments can be extended. Please email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need an extension.

There is no direct impact expected on the standardisations if you opt to assess your students a couple of months earlier or later than expected.

If you would normally assess students in the early testing window, for 2020/21 assessments you will be able to assess your students as soon as you return to school.

I can’t do the end of year BASE assessment due to school closure.
How can I get a progress measure for my class?

We are opening the testing window for the BASE end of year assessment early so that you may assess as many of your students as possible while your school remains open.

If your school has closed before you are able to assess your students, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Entrance Assessments

Overseas testing?

We understand UK schools have concerns around their admissions process this year and may well have overseas applicants they would like to complete an entrance test in their home country.

We are working with Cambridge Assessment International Education to investigate using their approved centres, as well as the British Council. CEM would need to ensure the testing school/centre has appropriate testing environments, security for the CEM tests as well as staff to invigilate and administer the CEM tests.

We are pursuing this option in the hopes of having it available for Autumn 2020. However the complexity of ensuring security of the test and associated data, arranging centre contracts, along with the importance of providing a safe environment for applicants is causing the process to be a slow one.

Are the assessments going to be changed or adapted this year, as candidates will have not had the full Year 5 curriculum?

We are not planning to change the content of our admissions tests in light of the COVID-19 situation. Our assessments aim to measure underlying skills and aptitudes and are designed to be taken by learners with a wide range of ability. We are confident that our assessments will continue to be effective at differentiating learners, even in light of a gap in schooling. Developing new tests or making significant changes to the existing ones introduces considerably more risk. We would not be able to gather sufficient evidence to assure the quality of the new or revised assessment for differentiating learner ability.

I’ve purchased CEM Select and was intending to do this with a potential intake next month.
What are my options?

If you wish to extend the use of the assessments past July and conduct them when your school reopens, please let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If your school has not yet closed, please consider allowing your potential intake to sit the test as soon as possible.

What does this mean for my school's Entrance Assessments (paper assessments)?

We are working closely with our Entrance Assessment customers to look at next steps as the situation develops.

If you are an Entrance Assessment customer please email us in This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Can CEM Select be used remotely from home?

Our digital entrance tests are designed to be sat by candidates in a secure location on the contracted party’s computers. The reasons for this are:

  1. Schools can manage who is sitting the test
  2. It minimises the risk that the test and its content could be compromised

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are currently looking at alternatives that would allow the continuity of our CEM Select service from home, including the use of online proctoring platforms. We will keep customers updated with any news on developments and decisions.

General

How will this affect the GCSE/A-Level exams?

For this summer’s awards, schools and colleges are being asked to provide centre assessment grades for their students. You can find the official guidance from Ofqual here.

How will the standardisations be affected if I assess earlier or later than usual?

At this stage we do not anticipate that there will be a significant impact on the standardisations if you opt to assess your students slightly earlier or later than expected.

Contacting Us

As a protective measure for our staff, we are following the government’s advice and are working from home. Unfortunately, this does limit our capacity to receive and respond to your calls.

If you wish to get in touch during this time please email primary.support@cem.org or secondary.support@cem.org and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

If you are a school using our entrance assessments please email EAOperations@cem.org.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Contacting Us

Despite Covid-19 and the restrictions currently in place in the UK, we are open!

If you need to get in touch with us, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at +44 (0) 191 925 0000.

If you are a current customer and need our full contact list, please click here.

Learn more about our Covid-19 response.

 

Thank you and stay safe.

 

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