There are several different 11+ companies who produce an elevenplus exam for Local Authorities, individual schools or groups of schools.
If you search the internet you may well find regular references to the two main players in this market namely GL and CEM.
In 2007 NFER was purchased by Granada Learning and relaunched as GL Assessment - hence reference to the GL 11+ exam. GL provide schools with a range of products including English, maths and reading attainment tests.
CEM is short for the Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring which is based at the University of Durham. As with GL the CEM centre at Durham University also produce a range of other products for schools.
Some schools and some Local Authorities were concerned that pupils were being too heavily tutored for the 11+ exam and that many of the questions were easily available to both tutors and parents. They felt that they needed a “tutor-proof” exam and the CEM 11+ exam was created in response to these concerns.
The CEM exam has been around for some years now and many of the questions and question types are in the public domain meaning that the exam is now no longer “tutor-proof”. CEM offer this advice however many would say that a "tutor proof" exam does not exist.
Both versions of the exam cover more or less the same 11+ topics – English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, (also known as spatial awareness.) There is only so many ways that these questions can be asked and so sound preparation is important.
Both exam versions of th exam require a strong and wide vocabulary, a strong ability in logic, good knowledge of maths and spelling skills. A well-balanced schooling with effort being placed on maths and English will help prepare your child for this difficult exam. Additional preparation and support at home is often essential. Using suitable practice material in maths and English will help improve your child’s confidence in these two core subjects. Verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning tend not to be taught in all schools and the questions set in both these two subjects can be unpredictable and random but attempting a variety of different question types will help to reduce any anxiety for your child.
Many parents find that online practice and repetition can motivate your child and reduce the boredom factor.
Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wirral, Wolverhampton.
Dorset, Kent, Lancashire & Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Medway, Northern Ireland, Wiltshire.
Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford, Yorkshire.
(Please note that this information is liable to change at short notice as schools/Local Authorities change their supplier. Always check with your chosen school or Local Authority.)
The GL 11+ exam covers the standard four 11+ subjects namely English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning/spatial awareness. Schools and Local Authorities can select any combination of these 4 exam areas. So, some may use verbal and non-verbal reasoning only while others may add English into this mix.
The CEM 11+ covers verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. In reality, the CEM verbal reasoning content is similar to the GL verbal reasoning but may be more English based eg synonyms or vocabulary based. The CEM 11+ is said to be more closely related to the National Curriculum in both English and maths. As with the GL version of the elevenplus schools and Local Authorities can mix and match from the exam papers on offer.
Both the GL version and the CEM version of the exam can be presented in multiple choice format or standard format where the child writes their answer in a space on the page. Sometimes a combination of both multiple choice and standard format exams are set. One of the main differences is that the CEM test papers tend to be "combination papers." One paper may have English/verbal reasoning questions while another paper may have a combination of Non-verbal reasoning and maths.
Learning Together offer additional practice tests in
Schools and regions may change exam boards, so it always prudent to check the content of the exam with each grammar school that you applied to for your child. These practice tests reflect the type of 11+ questions set by CEM in previous 11+ exams but we cannot guarantee that the 11+ exam your child takes will have the same layout or content as these practice tests.