CEM 11 Plus

The eleven-plus (11-plus) or transfer test generally refers an examination taken by some children in England and Northern Ireland in their final year of primary school education, which determines whether they are admitted to a state grammar schools which use academic selection. The exam is taken in September of year 6 when most children are generally 10 years old. The term 11+ refers to the age of a child entering secondary education: 11 years+.

A Brief History of the Eleven-plus (11-plus) Exam & Grammar Schools

Many of the schools established after the 1870s were grammar schools, which offered places based of the results of an entrance test, dubbed the eleven plus. Places were highly sought after and viewed as offering a high chance of future success and prosperity. These schools were widely respected and became the foundations of the tier-structured education reforms of the 1940s. At the time secondary education was mainly the preserve of the middle classes. In 1938 a mere 13% of 13 year-old children from working class backgrounds were still in school.

The 1944 Butler Education Act and Education (Northern Ireland) Act 1947 radically overhauled the UK education system. Free secondary education was to become universally available coupled with financial assistance for poorer students. The act intended provide children with the type of education that most suited their abilities and needs. Children sat the exam, which determined which type of secondary school they would attend, and effectively their future.

The Tripartite System was established comprising of grammar schools; secondary technical schools and secondary modern schools which was in use prevalent from 1944 until 1976, by which time it as phased out because very few technical schools were established due to the lack of investment and a shortage of suitably qualified teachers. This undermined the reforms, as the tripartite system became a two-tier system with grammar schools for the academic students and secondary modern schools for the rest.

Grammar schools received most funding and were regarded as best schools, taking in 25% of students, whilst the secondary moderns were under-funded and suffered neglect. They soon gained a poor reputation and regarded as the bottom tier schools.

Until 1976, all children sat an exam during their final year at primary school aged between 10 and 11 years. The exam comprised of three papers: mathematical reasoning; general reasoning, and an essay. There was no official pass or fail, but ultimately with an effective two-tier system children who did not gain a place at a grammar school were regarded as failing the eleven plus. Those who "passed" the eleven plus were perceived to have gained a passport for success.

Different types of schools entered their students for different exams at age 16. Grammar school students took "O” levels and students at Secondary Moderns initially did not take any exams, until regional exam boards offered less demanding qualifications, comparable to CSEs which were established in 1965. These Secondary Moderns soon entered brighter children for “O" levels and fair number achieved grades comparable to grammar school students, which undermined selection using the eleven-plus and the Tripartite streaming at a young age.

Realistically only children who attended grammar schools had chance of going to university as most secondary moderns did not offer "A” levels and did not offer facilities to prepare students for Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams. Oxbridge was out of the question. As a result many people began to question whether grammar schools promoted social mobility or created a new elite and corresponding underclass.

Middle class children were much more likely enter grammar schools which fostered fears that society was being divided into a well-educated middle class elite with working class children trapped in the under-performing Secondary Modern schools with a poor outlook. To counteract this it was believed every child should attend the same type of school under a comprehensive system.

The Tripartite system was abandoned on 1958 after an experiment with comprehensive schools began in 1949. The abolition of selection and was thought to be beneficial to those entering comprehensive schools due to a mixture of the ability of the intake, which were often taught in streamed classes for selective subjects.

As eleven-plus tests became less subject to class bias an increasing proportion of middle class children ended up at secondary moderns and some middle class parents were annoyed that the social mobility worked against them.

By 1965 the Tripartite System was almost defunct, with the emergence of Comprehensive Schools. Funds began to be withheld from new non-comprehensives. The 1976 Education Act banned selection of pupils by ability, marking an end the Tripartite System. Grammars were closed and many children simply transferred to the private sector. However the ban on selection did not last long and was allowed in 1979.

There is currently a ban on new grammar schools opening, but expansion of existing schools is encouraged, resulting in an increase in pupils attending the remaining 164 state grammar schools in England. Controversially, satellite grammar schools are allowed, which is claimed to circumvent the ban on new schools.

The final sting in the tail for the middle class is priority for grammar school admission for pupil premium qualified children and a two-tier qualifying score. In many areas pupil premium children can gain entry at lower scores than others and can benefit from free tuition (for a so called "tutor-proof" test), via an outreach programme, from people who have seen actual eleven-plus tests, which are not released in to the public domain. This is despite a ban on eleven-plus preparation by state primary schools. This is once again driving the middle class in to private schools.

11+ Test Information

11+ Exams

There are numerous organisations that create entrance exams for secondary school admission. The main two players are CEM Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring®, at the University of Cambridge® and GL Assessment®.

CEM Centre is one of the largest independent providers of educational assessment and monitoring systems in the world and sets secondary school entrance assessments (widely referred to as selective entrance or 11+ exams) for various English grammar schools and regions, including Bexley; BirminghamBuckinghamshire; CCHS (Essex); Gloucestershire; Henrietta Barnett & LatymerReadingRedbridgeShropshire; Slough; WalsallWarwickshire; Wolverhampton; Trafford; Bexley; Torbay & DevonKent Shepway, and Medway .

GL Assessment
® (formally National Foundation for Educational Research®) is another supplier. Every year GL Assessment® constructs new, custom-made selection tests for many schools and Local Authorities. Although GL Assessment® is the copyright holder of the tests, it is the property of the commissioning school or Local Authority for the duration of use.

Both tests are easy to prepare for using WordBuilder.co.uk and CoolCleverKids.co.uk.


Score a qualifying score in a CEM 11+ test or your money back.

Just £750 for our 11+ preparation course with our money back guarantee.
Includes mock tests.

Purchase from the shop now.

We are so confident in our preparation material,
we put our money where our mouth is!
Does your tutor offer the same? Ask why not.

Both tests are easy to prepare for using WordBuilder.co.uk and CoolCleverKids.co.uk.

View our simple and fair T&Cs here.

Score a qualifying score in a 11+ test from C.E.M or your money back.

Purchase Mock Exams from the Shop

Past eleven plus papers set by CEM Centre® Cambridge University are not released and cannot be purchased. Usually, two weeks before the test, applicants receive a sample sheet containing example questions.

The new tests from GL Assessment® are similar in to tests from the University of Durham®  as far as content is concerned. The move is towards a rich vocabulary, curriculum maths (old level 5 and 6, now a score of 105+) and NVR. The difficulty is tailored for GL 11+ (Grade Level 11+).
Children`s Educational Material for the 11+ has constructed seven practice mock exams. These mock test packs consists of two 50-60 minute papers as well as answers and are available from the shop.

These are NOT endorsed or associated with CEM Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring® who do not provide preparation material. They are also suitable for the new GL Assessment® and ISEB selection tests.

Warwickshire and Birmingham Consortium

From 2016, Warwickshire shares Birmingham 11+ Consortium test, so 5000 Birmingham students and 2000 Warwickshire students can pass on content to late Warwickshire sitters. The shared test will now require students to mark answers on a separate answer sheet and no longer write answers in a booklet, increasing the chances of marking answers in the incorrect place as has occurred numerous times in other regions. If a test is shared, with other regions, always tick a box to share results with another areas as a backup plan. You have nothing to lose by doing so, and it could prove useful. You never know what may happen.

In 2013, the Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby unlawfully withdrew a place of a child days before the end of year 6 despite the local authority refusing to withdraw the place on four occasions. Luckily the child was offered a place at Schools in two different areas (Walsall and Birmingham) as opposed to be left unplaced because of serious failings of this school. Unfortunately, the child displaced other innocent children, through no fault of his own when he moved straight to the top of waiting lists and was offered places. Play safe and share results with other schools and areas even if you have no intention of taking up a place in other areas.


Free Mock Exams

Taking a "free mock" will cost the school money. But one would expect financially astute schools to consider the financial implications of setting an early test date. Common sense dictates an earlier test is likely to be used as a "free mock" and this has been well known to occur for many years.

All regions can sit the Walsall; Wolverhampton, and Shropshire 11+. Apart from children in this consortium and in Warwickshire all children can sit the Birmingham 11+.

We recommend all children, where possible, register for the Warwickshire 11+.

CEM ® object to this strategy when it is a legal right. We cannot image why, as if the test is resistant to prepping, what difference would free mocks make?

We believe there is no evidence that any 11+ tests are resistant to prepping and practise will simply improve performance.

Regional and National 11+ Exams

We believe the Warwickshire's three test dates compromises their 11+ as questions and content are leaked to late sitters and tuition centres are known to recreate questions, often for their weaker students. Out of area children can sit the tests very late with knowledge of content and move straight to the top of waiting lists. No party can discover the confidential contents of test papers prior to them being used for the first time. Once taken, children will and do discuss content amongst themselves and with parents and tutors, so information enters the public domain and the test is immediately compromised. Content is available on many sites including file sharing sites. This is why Year 6 Sats, GCSE and `A` level exams are not reused after the main testing date.

The Warwickshire 11+ is the main "free mock" for all.

It seems a matter of time before a single national 11+ test will be held.


Non-verbal Reasoning

Prepare for different types of NVR questions  using


over 30 different types of NVR question examples
with explanations.

Available to download from the shop.

11+ Testing and Moray House
During the 21st century there has been a change in eleven-plus testing. The prominent suppliers of the 11+ tests were initially Moray house and NFER.

At the beginning of this century many schools used eleven plus verbal reasoning papers from Moray House (Edinburgh University). These were typically verbal reasoning questions.

Eight different papers that were supplied to schools and tests rotated every few years. This meant that the same tests were used in every few years.

However, these papers got in to the hand of private tutors who coached their students using the actual test papers. There were major scandals with accusations of organised cheating.

For example in 2017 a total of 123 children who sat the Warwickshire 11+ obtained perfect scores of 100 per cent - approximately one in eight of all candidates. This marked the beginning of the end for Moray House 11+ tests.
The Emergence of CEM & GL Assessment Tests

Then came CEM Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring. Many schools claimed they were sold CEM exams on the basis they were tutor proof, this without any evidence. CEM certainly did not undertake any research in to this claim.

These new tests comprised of two papers. Each 50-minute test comprised of short timed sections interchanging between comprehension; synonyms; antonyms; cloze tests; jumbled sentences; maths; data-processing and non-verbal reasoning.

Buckinghamshire County Council left their old supplier, signed up to CEM and after 5 years of admitting fewer poorer children, CEM were spectacularly dumped and tests reverted to GL Assessment (previously NFER). All CEM achieved was an explosion in tuition and growing controversy.

Due to succesful marketing of CEM tests GL Assessment revamped their offerings, providing two 60-minute papers. Paper 1 covers comprehension and maths. Paper 2 covered a wider range of verbal reasoning questions; including many similar to the old Moray House question types; maths, and non-verbal/spatial reasoning questions.

 Widespread Eleven Plus Cheating

Many of  the same 11+ tests are reused to test children who sit test late. This allows organised cheating. Tutors would solicit feedback from children who sat a test and then use this  information to  not only late sitters, but also future years. This forced children in to tuition as past papers are not released.

Many schools hold eleven plus tests on a Saturday. Many Jewish and Seven Heaven faith children claim they cannot sit an exam on a Saturday, due to religious reasons. These children sat the test on the following day - Sunday often with knowledge of content and specific questions.

Any sensible school would seek to prevent this by moving tests to a weekday, and perhaps declaring the day an inset day.

Cheating in Redbridge 11+

In 2011 there were allegations of organised cheating in Redbridge. A large number of children asked to take the exam on a Sunday, one day late.

They claimed to unable to sit the test on a Saturday for religious reasons or because of illness. The common excuse.

It is alleged children who sat the test on the Saturday were contacted after the test by their tutors to solicit test information.

After discussing the exam, the tutors are then alleged to have passed the test content to other children due to take the exam the next day.

A FOIA request revealed the 29% of Sunday sitters “passed” compared to 14% of the Saturday cohort.

Cheating in Warwickshire 11+

Warwickshire Schools go one step further. They reuse exactly the same 11+ test for up to 2 years for entry in to year 7. They have multiple sittings and have failed to implement a sensible testing system. Freedom of Information Requests to Warwickshire County Council showed those sitting the test on the Sunday had a means score that was up to 10% higher compared to the Saturday.

Warwickshire County Council's official stance is that children do not recall content that can make a difference to late sitters. Yet, in 2013 they applied for an ex-parte High Court super-injunction to prevent a website publishing information gleaned from children. It remains unexplained why an injunction is required when the claim is children do not recall content that can advantage late sitters.

How are Children Gaming & Cheating in the Eleven-Plus?
The weakness of Eleven Plus testing is reuse of the same test for late sitters. Late sitting is simply not permitted for GCSEs or "A" levels, so why for Eleven Plus test?
Widespread cheating is still on going in the 11-plus using a variety of methods. For example, children sit the test late, armed with content of the papers gleaned from children who have already sat the same test, especially friends. Another method is for older children to sit the test, pretending to be their younger sibling.
Tutor focused cheating is widespread.

1. Tutors send groups of children to sit the eleven-plus who have no intention of applying to the grammar school. Their task is to recall as much as they can in a particular section of the paper. Some children have been armed with special spy pens that can take videos, stored on a micro-SD card. Some visit the toilet during the test to write down what they recall.
2. Tutors run post-test parties to glean content from children who have sat the tests. A bright child can recall vast amounts of test information. Not only the topics, but also specific question types and vocabulary, providing a great advantage.
3. Tutors run after-test tuition for late sitters, armed with content.
4. Tutors sell a summary of the test content to late sitters.
5. Websites are available on the "Dark Web" offering questions for sale.
6. Tutors register as invigilators so they can view the entire paper and they use this information to tutor late sitters.
7. Tutors pay invigilators to pass on content to them.
8. Websites encourage parents to glean test information from children. This is collated and published when the test can still be reused.
9. Websites collate content and then use it to publish their own preparation material.

A number of websites collate content and use the material in their systems for online preparation knowing questions are reused in different tests in different years. Although this can provide a clear advantage, given tests are not released to the public, it is not actually cheating.
11+ Exam Dates

Gloucestershire Consortium; London Borough of Redbridge; Reading & Slough Consortium;
Chelmsford County High School (CCHS); Heckmondwike School
and the Trafford Consortium

2022 Entry
Test Date: Saturday 11th September, 2021
Monday 13th September, 2021
and Monday 20th September, 2021

SATURDAY 11th September 2021
Gloucestershire 11+         
High School for Girls; Marling School; Pate`s Grammar School; Ribston Hall High School; Stroud High School; The Crypt School
Register 1st June 2021 - noon 30th June 2021. Results: 12 October 2021.
Slough Consortium 11+
Herschel Grammar School; Langley Grammar School; St Bernard`s Convent School, and Upton Court Grammar School
Reading Consortium 11+
Kendrick School and Reading School
London Borough of Redbridge 11+
Ilford County High School; Woodford County High School
Other Individual Schools
Chelsmford County High  School for Girls   (CCHS)

Compromised test - questions known from above)
Test Date 13th September, 2021

BHP Consortium

Heckmondwike Grammar School, Backup & Rawtenstall Grammar & Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith
Trafford Consortium 
Altrinham Grammar School, Sale Grammar School, Stetford Grammar School & Urmston Grammar School

  Always tick the box to share results with all regions

Dame Alice Owen's School
Wednesday 1st September 2021 TBC
(Verbal Reasoning only)


South West Herts 11+ Consortium  (SWHC)
Saturday 4th September, 2021

2022 Entry

South West Herts Consortium Schools
GL Assessment Test
Bushey Meads School

Parmiter`s School

Queen School

Rickmansworth School

St Clement`s Dane`s School

Watford Grammar School for Boys

Watford Grammar School for Girls.

Kent Grammar Schools Shepway Test

(CEM Select
computer based test)
and English written test

2022 Entry

Register 9am Monday 30th May 2021
to 4pm Monday 5th July 2021

Test Date Saturday 11th September, 2021

Dover Grammar School

Folkstone Grammar School 

Harvey Grammar School

Mayfield Grammar School

Results 7th October 2021

Note many Kent schools use tests from GL Assessment ®

Birmingham Consortium 11+  &
Warwickshire Consortium 11+

2022 Entry

Test Date: Saturday 11th Sept, 2021.  Supplementary Date: Sun 12th Sept 2021
 (for Jewish & Seven Heavens faiths who object to Saturday testing and those unable to sit on the first date).

Additional Dates for Warwickshire: Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st Sept, 2021, 
and week commencing 3 Jan 2022 and 1st March 2022

Grammar Schools In Birmingham

Bishop Vesey`s Grammar School;  Handsworth Grammar School; King Edward VI Aston School; King Edward VI Camp Hill Boys School; King Edward VI Camp Hill Girl`s School; King Edward VI Five Ways School;  King Edward VI Handsworth School and Sutton Coldfield Girl`s School    
Warwickshire Grammar Schools

Alcester Grammar School ; King Edward VI Camp Grammar School; Stratford-Upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls; Lawrence Sheriff School; Rugby High School; Ashlawn Selective School (bilateral school) *

* Has a separate Modern Foreign Language Test. MFL test is not an 11+ test, but a route in to the grammar stream.

Registration: 4th May 2020 to 25th June 2021 (noon)
Results: 11th October, 2021
Always tick the box to share results with both regions.

London Borough of Bexley 11+

2022 Entry

Test Date: Tuesday 14th September, 2021 morning &
afternoon for non-Bexley primary school children

Wednesday, 15th September, 2021 morning for Bexley primary school children

Registration Dates: 4th May 2021 to 9th July 2021

Beths Grammar School

Bexley Grammar School

Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School

Townley Grammar School

Buckinghamshire Transfer Test (Bucks 11+)

2022 Entry  is a GL Assessment Test

Registration: 3pm, 4th May 2021 to 3pm,
24th June 2021
(for children outside Bucks only).
 Bucks children do not need to register)

Preparation Test: Tuesday 7th September, 2021

Transfer Test Date: 9th September, 2021

Results: Wednesday 15th October, 2021

Aylesbury Grammar School; Aylesbury High School; Beconsfield High School; Burham Grammar School; Dr Challoner`s Grammar School; Dr Challoner`s High School; Chesham Grammar School ; John Hampden Grammar School; Royal Grammar School; Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School;
Sir William Borlase`s Grammar; The Royal Latin School & Wycombe High School

Bucks have now moved back to

GL Assessment tests

Ashlawn Selective (Warwickshire)

Aptitude Test for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

*** NOT an 11+ selective test ***

2022 Entry

A back door route as children are taught alongside the selective stream.
High KS2 SATs scores are also a backdoor route in to the selective stream.

Note: once you are in the grammar stream, you can be removed from the stream in some subjects so there is no guarantee of a grammar school education. Some people do not consider this bilateral school providing a "real" grammar school education for this reason.

Candidates can also take the Warwickshire 11+

Saturday 18th Sept, 2021

Register by 7th June 2021 to 11th July 2021

No free mocks for the MFL test

But, take the Warwickshire 11+ on 11th September, 2021

Shropshire, Walsall & Wolverhampton 11+ Consortium

Torbay & Devon 11+ Consortium

Bishop Wordsworth's School (Wiltshire)

2022 Entry

Bishop Wordsworth's School (Wiltshire): Saturday 11 September 2021

Shropshire, Walsall & Wolverhampton Consortium: Monday 13 September 2021
Adams Grammar School; Newport Girls' High School;
Queen Mary's Grammar; School Queen Marys High School,
Wolverhampton Girls' High School

Torbay & Devon 11+ Consortium: Saturday 18 September 2021

Churston Ferrers Grammar; Torquay Boys' Grammar; Torquay Girls' Grammar,
and Colyton Grammar School

Always tick the box to share results with both regions.

Medway 11+ CEM Consortium

Mathematics & Verbal Reasoning
(NVR is not tested)

2021 Entry

Holcombe Grammar School for Boys; Chatham Grammar School for Girls; Fort Pitt Grammar School (for Girls); Rainham Mark Grammar School (Gillingham - Mixed); Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School (Rochester, Boys); The Howard School (Rainham, Boys); The Rochester Grammar School (Girls)

Tuesday 15th, Wednesday 16th and Saturday 19th, September 2020

11+ Maths and NVR

Cool Clever Kids CCK CEM 11+ The Maths site with NVR (Non-verbal reasoning) for Sats and 11+ preparation. Ideal for primary school education and selective school exams. Maths lesson notes; worksheets; presentations; games, & tests auto marked with explanations.

11+ English & VR

WordBuilder WB CEM 11+Verbal reasoning and English for the 11+, Sats and private/independent school entrance exams as well as primary school. Spellings; definitions; meanings; synonyms; antonyms; cloze passages; jumbled sentences & comprehension.

Sats Papers
Year 2-6 & 11+
SATs Papers

Information relating to Sats Tests. Free downloads of Sats papers covering Year 2 to 6 with no registration. Prepare for Year 6 level 3-5, level 6 & 11+ tests. Download the latest phonics tests.
ATA React
Free Android App
Google Play
Alpha-Tek Associates CEM 11+

Fun FREE Android App to test your thinking and reaction speed. Four fun games: colours; shapes; numbers and next letter. Stores score history. Ideal for Sats & 11+ fun whilst you prepare. Download from Google Play.


Download FREE SATs papers. No registration & no annoying popup adverts.
11+ English (Verbal Reasoning)
online preparation with

Spellings; Vocabulary; Synonyms; Antomyms; Conundrums; Cloze Passages; Comprehension, and Jumbled up sentences. Ideal for 11+ tests set at the CEM Centre, at Durham University®.
11+ Maths (Numerical Reasoning)
and NVR online preparation with

Free maths question generator
Lesson notes; presentations (videos); worksheets; games; Sats style tests from Year 2 to 6 including mental maths audio tests; private school 11+ tests, and CEM style past questions.
Now includes Non-verbal Reasoning.
Ideal for 11+ tests set at the CEM Centre, at Durham University®.

The 11+ information site
Helping children pass the 11+
Free advice and resources with
recommendations for preparation.

Children’s Educational Material 11+
Tel: +44 (0) 24 7641 6970 
Email: cemelevenplus@gmail.com
© 2013-2021. CEM11plus.com group of websites. All rights reserved. Children's Educational Material for the 11+. CEM11plus.com group websites provide information helping children pass the eleven plus. CEM Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring® is an independent not-for-profit research group now owned by Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press® and neither are associated with CEM11plus.com group websites. GL Assessment ® has no connection with CEM11plus.com group websites. The views expressed are those of CEM11plus.com. All trade names and trade marks are acknowledged. This website is secured with a SSL certificate provided to the parent group website, CEM11plus.com, and data is encrypted using 256 bit keys & TLS 1.2.


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