Information for students

What is CEM?

We are the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), part of Cambridge University Press and Assessment.

We offer a range of formative assessments for children of all ages, from early years to higher education.

Formative assessments help your teachers identify how you are doing before and during a course of learning. They can be baseline assessments (taken at the start of a course of study to help your teacher get a clear picture of where you are in your learning) or diagnostic assessments (used to identify any specific strengths or weaknesses to help your teachers best support you).

We also provide admissions assessments to schools to aid them in student selection. Find information about our CEM Select admissions assessments here.

Our assessments give your teachers insight into your strengths, potential, and areas for improvement – so they can best support you to reach your full academic potential.


Part of Cambridge University Press & Assessment



Over 480,000 students assessed each year


Computer-based, takes just one lesson

About the assessments

Most of our assessments are computer-based. They are all set up and run by your school. You will be given instructions from your teachers before sitting the test.

Our InCAS (now Cambridge Primary Insight), MidYIS, Yellis and Alis/CEM IBE assessments are taken independently – once the computer is set up, you will take the assessment without any help from your teacher or classmates. The assessment will normally take you between 45 and 60 minutes.

Our computer-based assessments (apart from our entrance tests) are adaptive – they use your answers to decide whether to progress to more challenging questions, or to return to easier ones. The assessment automatically adapts to your ability. You won’t see if you have answered the questions correctly or not as you take the test.

Each assessment measures a range of verbal, non-verbal and mathematical skills. Your teacher will then receive a report showing how you scored overall and in each section. Some of our assessments for older students also offer reports showing the likelihood of achieving different grades in exams including GCSE, (I)GCSE, A Level and the IB Diploma.

Your school will choose if and how they share the results with you and your parent(s). Many schools use the CEM assessment reports to support discussions about goal setting, areas of support needed, and how to help you reach your full academic potential.



Frequently asked questions

More information

Find out more about CEM assessments and how they work.