CEM 11 Plus

Key revision for 2021 for CEM 11+ tests

Prepare for factual text and poetry for comprehension.

Key vocabulary for synonyms and antonyms:

animate; attribute; interrogate; adequate; auxiliary; unanimous; unequivocal; implode; superfluous; abridge; insidious; magnanimous; indispensable; underhand; penitence; autocratic; propaganda; oppressed; surreal; intricate; laborious; inconsequential; arbitrate; oscillate; decipher; peninsula; preposterous; superficial; succinct; hysteria; surreptitious; methodical; ostentatious; disburse; curator; subsidise; pugnacious; jeopardise; justify; vehement; undulate; fallible; diligent; integrity; rudimentary; vigorous; interpretation; quintessential, rapturous.

Key maths include ratio and proportion and percentages.
Ensure you can answer questions of the type;

a) A computer was priced at £500, but the shop had a 20% sale. What was the new price?
    Use the fact 10% of £500 = £50, so 20% = £100. Price is £500 - £100 = £400

b) A computer cost £300 after a 20% sale. What was the original price?
    Use the fact the £300 represents 80% of the price, so 80% = £300.  So find 100% (i.e.  £300/80 x 100 = £375)

Unequal sharing

a) John and Mary had £25 between them. John had £5 more than Mary, how much did each have?
    £25 - £5 = £20    £20/2 = £10.   Mary had £10 and John had £10 + £5 =£15.

b) Fractions and decimals

c) Ensure you can read timetables and work out durations.

For the longer maths questions in the second paper revise:

  • Timetables e.g. train routes.
  • Flight time calculations
  • Height/distance difference calculations involving addition and subtraction logic
  • Area questions e.g. tiling a floor or wall.
  • Ratio and proportion questions, e.g. recipes or cost to produce goods.
  • Price calculations and best deals.

Be prepared for cloze sentences and even jumbled sentences

NVR: revise sequences and 3x3 grids and paper folding.

Birmingham and Warwickshire 11+ 2017

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) appear to be compromising the 2017 test by refusing to allow many children who live outside the area to take the test on the main test date of 9th September 2017. They are setting another date of 20th September 2017, thereby resulting in the grammar schools breaching their admissions polices, which states the testing date is 9th September, 2017. There will clearly be discussions about content. WCC consider children discussing content with their parents and parents recording this information and sending it to WCC is a breach of confidence. They appear to want to stop people proving children remember content as they know they run a flawed testing system.

Birmingham and Warwickshire 11+ 2015

We have been led to believe the contents of the shared Birmingham Warwickshire 11+ will be published on external websites unconnected to this site soon after the first sitting. If you look hard enough you may find it. Rumours are that questions will be sold for £1000 to late sitters with tuition centres joining in and preparing late sitters, armed with content. These are likely to appear on the dark web, yet Warwickshire still insist in using the same tests repeatedly. Some tutors will be offering coaching for late sitters armed with content gained from children.

We confirm we are not responsible for disclosing the content and have offered no encouragement to parties involved. We have written to grammar schools in the area to alert them of this possibility. Despite attempting to alert them Warwickshire County Council wilfully failed to change the supplementary dates of the tests to minimise content being passed on to late sitters. We have serious concerns relating to the competence of WCC to coordinate a secure 11+ exam.

Freedom of Information requests show children in Warwickshire sitting the test on the second sitting score on average 9% higher scores than those in the first sitting. It is well known tuition centres obtain content from first sitters and can pass information on.  Example 2013:  Mean score first sitting = 199. Second sitting 217.

Warwickshire & Birmingham 2015 Test

An injunction prevents publication on this site. However a detailed analysis is available on other sites rendering the injunction totally useless.

Warwickshire County Council are aware of publication on other sites but take no action for removal yet threaten this site if exactly the same content is revealed.


Warwickshire 11+ 2013 content gained from feed back from children and parents (this was previously subject to an expired injunction).


(Warwickshire's injunction has expired and they no longer own any rights to the content).

Remember, CEM and WCC officially claim children cannot remember content to make a difference.


Paper 1

A.  Comprehension regarding Lemurs in Madagascar. Around 2 pages of text and just over 20 questions. Easy enough to finish. The first question asked where Lemurs came from!

B. Quicker maths questions. Perhaps 15 minutes. Enough time to finish.

C. Cloze passage - select one word out of 4 options about a family with a dog. A dog tried to open a thick envelope and there was an argument about who opened it (boy or girl). The mother rarely won competitions, yet won a holiday to Africa. The boy and girl did a lot of research about animals in Africa and could not wait to see them. They travelled by aeroplane and when they landed they said buffaloes and thought this would be the best holiday ever. (Perhaps 8 mins). Enough time to finish.

D. 24 NVR questions with one box missing - perhaps 8 mins. Many may not finish the test.

Paper 2

A. Longer maths. 4 long sections with subsections (perhaps 15 minutes).

i) A question relating to luggage dimensions and time differences: London and Hong Kong.
ii) Cinema tickets,  time calculations and prices.
iiii) Prices of items in a sale, including original prices. Eg Price was £4.85 after a 75% discount. What was the original price?
iv) Swimming questions - swimming lengths in a certain time. Required conversions and ratio/proportion knowledge.

Some questions were difficult and many may not have completed the questions.

B. Synonyms (words included thrifty and frugal). Enough time to complete the questions.

C. Cloze passage, missing letters. The passage was about a Swiss train adventure, describing the train and the scenery. Perhaps 8 minutes. Some words were difficult to find, so many may not have finished.

D. NVR sequences. Perhaps 7 minutes. Many may not have finished all the questions.

Note: Depending upon the section, children were told when there were 5 minutes or 1 minute left.

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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)
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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.
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Ideal for 11+ tests set at the CEM Centre, at Durham University®.

The 11+ information site
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Free advice and resources with
recommendations for preparation.

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