Welcome to our feature on the 11 Plus Exam Board Differences. How does the 11 Plus Exam Vary across 11+ exam types?

11 Plus Exam Board Differences

What are the CEM 11 plus and GL 11+ differences

Whilst CEM and GL Assessment exams broadly cover English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, there are a number of key differences.

GL Assessment 11 plus exam papers:

  • English, maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.
  • GL grammar schools therefore pick to administer all subjects, or a selection only.
  • GL Assessment exams can cover any of 21 different verbal reasoning skills, much more than seen in CEM examinations. However, CEM examinations require a much broader range of vocabulary.

GL 11 Plus

Firstly, the GL 11 Plus consists of these four 11 plus papers: English GL Assessment; Maths GL Assessment; Verbal Reasoning GL Assessment; and Non-verbal Reasoning GL Assessment.

  • The format of these papers does vary from region to region.
  • GL 11+ exams have an administration time of 45 mins. Individual grammar schools determine their own test times and the multiple-choice/standard 11 plus format.

GL exams are:

  • Split by subject (English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning).
  • 11 plus Questions are chosen from GL question banks.

Whereas 11 plus CEM exam papers

  • Do not separate subjects by paper.
  • Typically, a CEM 11 plus exam paper tests English and verbal reasoning skills. Then another tests maths and non-verbal reasoning skills.
  • CEM 11 plus exam papers are broken into varying sections of different question types.

Whereas CEM 11 plus exam papers:

  • CEM’s 11 plus exams include verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning.
  • Verbal reasoning includes many of the skills covered in a GL Assessment English test.
  • CEM’s numerical reasoning covers the main maths skills that would be tested in a GL maths exam.
  • CEM exams align much more closely to KS2 National Curriculum content than GL does.

Exam timing differs

  • GL’s 11 plus exams are typically 45 mins.
  • Whereas CEM 11 plus exams do not follow a specific format. CEM’s 11 plus exams therefore change from year to year. You are advised to check the current year’s format on the CEM 11 plus Website.

Free 11 plus practice YouTube video

The CEM 11+ examination:

  • is one of the most important moments in a student’s academic life studying, specifically in UK-based universities.
  •  consists of two papers, each further divided into different time sections. The paper focuses on a different skill or area of academic knowledge
  • one CEM 11+ exam combines English and verbal reasoning and another paper that includes maths and non-verbal reasoning.
  • The 11+ CEM mock paper 4 is yet another distinct section of the 11+ examinations, consisting of the 11+ mock paper 4 and the virtual mock paper of two parts.
  • CEM 11 plus exam duration is 110 minutes, among which each of the papers is provided a time to completion of 55 minutes.
  • The centre of evaluation and monitoring is a research group based at the School for Education and the University of Durham.
  • Each 11 plus CEM question paper is further grouped into sections, for example, moving from short math to different non-verbal questions and worded problems.
  • The CEM 11+ exam format is either traditional or multiple-choice questions
  • CEM 11+ maths paper consists of short math questions and long-solving exercises followed by logic puzzles.
  • There are different questions allocated for each question, and the applicant will need to carefully manage the time that is spent on each of the questions.
  •  It is also identified that the CEM exam board is utilised in Bexley, Walshall, Warwickshire, Medway, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Birmingham, Wirral, Wolverhampton and Shropshire.
  • developing a deep and rich vocabulary is key.

11 plus practice papers

  • Many 11+ practice papers are specifically for 11 plus non-verbal reasoning tests, 11 plus verbal reasoning, 11+ maths and 11 plus English.
  • Some grammar schools follow their style of examination: such as the 11+ GL assessment, 11+ CSSE, and CEM test papers.

11+ exam boards

  • Preparing your child for the 11+ exam just got a little more strategic.
  • It is important to be aware of the boards conducting these examinations so that you can assist your child in understanding the pattern in which the questions will come.
  • Knowing this detail will assist in making the exam a lot easier for the students.
  • 11+ exam preparation requires a lot of practice.
  • The exam format does not stay the same and changes every year, so it is required to check past papers as well. However, do not follow the pattern blindly.
  • There may be multiple-choice questions and the standard open-answer pattern in the current year.

How does the CEM 11 plus differ?

The CEM’s key features:

  • different sections, a combination of different subjects and comes with a time constraint.
  • covers different 11 plus subjects including 11 plus non-verbal reasoning alongside mathematics for the 11+ level.
  • 11 plus pupils must complete more complicated 11+ English questions, including grammar, sentence construction, paragraph, reading, vocabulary, etc.
  • mixed 11 plus question types so there are multiple exam combinations containing 11+ verbal reasoning, 11 plus mathematics and 11+ non-verbal reasoning questions.
  • follows a standard format, multiple choice, or a mix of both. The pattern usually depends on the grammar school and the local 11 plus region.
  • short 11+ mathematics questions with a longer 11+ problem-solving timeline and 11+ logical puzzles.
  • tutor-proof since CEM do not publish any kind of CEM 11+ Practice papers.

So, which grammar school regions take the CEM 11+?

  • CEM 11 plus regions are Devon, Berkshire, Wirral, Warwickshire, Walsall, Shropshire, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, etc.

Key features of the GL 11 Plus Exam

  • English 11+, Maths 11+, verbal reasoning 11+ and nonverbal reasoning 11+ test papers.
  • The GL test varies from region to region, and one can opt for different combinations of subjects for the entry-level 11+ exams.
  • Most of the GL 11+ examinations are traditional open 11+ questions, with the others being multiple-choice 11+ questions.

What are the GL 11+ test marking differences?

The most important 11 plus test type differences in 11+ marking for 11+ parents to know are:

  • Double marked by an English-based company named Granada Learning, which is well known for its high quality and rigorous checking.
  • Automated technology checks the paper to ensure accuracy and save time.
  • Alphanumeric marking criteria is used. That means, A, B1, B2, etc.
  • The first paper is the 11+ English paper which includes spelling questions, punctuation, comprehension and grammar.
  • The second GL paper (11+ verbal reasoning) has different timed sections. This 11+ paper alone accounts for 50% of the total 11+ marks.
  • The second paper is the 11+ math paper, non-verbal reasoning paper, and spatial reasoning. The paper usually has timed sections and forms 50% of the marks.
  • So then therefore applicants scoring 120 in English and 100 in math, receive 220 as a total combined score, which is how they will be rated in the exam.

Top FREE PRACTICE 11 plus past papers

We are very proud of School Entrance Tests’ popular City Kids magazine 11 Plus non-verbal reasoning tips article.