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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:20 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
This page will be up dated as and when new information comes to light.

updated September 2016


:: Test will be provided by CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University)

:: Children are eligible to be considered for admission to a Bucks Grammar school if they meet the qualifying score of 121 in the admission tests or have been deemed qualified by a selection review panel.

:: Test will be taken in September.

:: Test Comprise elements of Verbal, Numerical and Non Verbal ability.

:: There will be two tests of approximately 45 minutes duration, taken on the same day.

:: Will be Multiple Choice format (ranging from 4 to 10 possible answers)

:: The test will incorporate knowledge covered by the end of year 5 (but the child must be able to apply that knowledge)

:: Each child’s raw score in the two tests are added together and the resulting score is converted into an age standardised score thus setting all children on an equal footing regardless of when their birthday falls in the year.

:: Registration is automatic for children who attend Buckinghamshire primary school unless the parent expressly withdraws their child from testing.

:: In all other cases, including where children attend independent schools in Buckinghamshire, an application for testing should be made to the Testing Administrator (currently Bucks County Council)

Content of the Test

Verbal reasoning

Involves the manipulation of verbal representations and the solving of verbally presented problems. Orthographic, syntactic and semantic abilities, as well as logic and other problem solving skills are needed in verbal reasoning.

Verbal reasoning is Split into 3 main areas...

1] Comprehension tests the ability to make inferences as to meaning within and between phrases, sentences and paragraphs; to derive the ‘gist’ of the meaning from a text; understand the vocabulary, and extract accurate interpretations of the written language.

2]The ‘Cloze Test’ consists of several short passages of prose. It needs an overall understanding of the passage, but it requires closer attention to the grammatical and syntactic elements of written language than in the comprehension test. The candidate selects the most appropriate word from a choice of three at various points in the passage so as to make sense of the phrase and/or sentence.

3] Vocabulary Synonyms and Antonyms

Mathematical Sections:

Short mathematical questions will test ability in mental arithmetic and recognition of mathematical patterns (curriculum free as possible). A rigorous test of working memory skills with a speed element to this section. Not all the candidates will be expected to finish.

Longer mathematics problems explore numerical problem solving requiring more stages of processing with a greater verbal element involved than in the short maths questions. Some quick algebra questions have also appeared within the long maths section; usually a maximum of five questions.

Non-verbal reasoning

Eliminate cultural bias in intelligence testing and the possible bias against individuals who lack experience of a particular language or have difficulties with verbal elements.

My Regime ( a work in progress)

Although the test will contain verbal, non-verbal and numeracy the layout, the content and the time allowed within each of the disciplines will vary each year in order to make it “tutor proof.”

Be prepared for the unexpected.

At the moment I have split my tuition into 4 working areas. In all 4 areas variety will be the key.


Double Meaning Words

VR (not your normal VR style questions as previously used by Bucks)


Scofield and Sims KS2 Comprehension Book 3 - change the questions into multiple choice.
CGP 10-Minute Tests for 11+ Comprehension (Ages 10-11) - CEM Test

Cloze – Internet found/made up


A variety of vocabulary based VR questions

e.g. editing sentences: eliminate odd word from jumbled sentences, unscrambling mixed up sentences.


Cover the syllabus to the end of year 5, child must be able to apply their knowledge.

Word Problems/Problem Solving

Scofield and Sims Mental Arithmetic 4
10-Minute Tests for 11+ Maths: Word Problems (Ages 10-11) - CEM Test


CGP 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 9-10) for the CEM Test
CGP 10-Minute Tests for 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning (Ages 10-11)

Please feel free to contribute helpful advice on preparation.

Good Luck!


PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:50 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
A list of Vocabulary used in previous CEM tests...

abundance alert altitude antiquity apprehensive benefit bewildered clemency conclusion content contract covet coy debrief deliberate device din dismal drought emerge evaluation flamboyant frivolous gregarious helix humble inaugurate incision inferior nauseous nurseryman orthodontist passive perplexed physiotherapy pigment polarity pompous precarious rigid shrink subdued subterranean superfluous tranquil trivia trivial uniform unorthodox vicarious wound

With thanks to contributors to this forum


PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
I have asked DIY Mum to copy and paste her very informative post in this section.

Thank you DIY Mum!


PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8130
Location: Buckinghamshire
Indeed, many thanks to DIY Mum for her excellent advice.

The CEM test is now being used in a number of areas, some for the first time this year. We will obviously trawl posts in those areas for information and post it here when possible, but it is worth Bucks people keeping an eye on those sections as well. At present the list is:

Bexley (new)
Essex - Chelmsford County High School (new)
L.B. Enfield/Barnet - Latymer School & Henrietta Barnett School (new)
Kent - Strong rumours of the CEM being adopted there, although possibly not until 2014

The test has been used in Birmingham for several years and there is a considerable amount of information on past test content here: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/school ... er-content

It should be emphasised though that the test can be tailored/specified for each area, and therefore the type of content found in one area will not necessarily be found in another area. Despite that, I feel sure that there will be considerable similarities in the overall feel of the papers and the general style of questions.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:08 pm
Posts: 708
Location: Not in a hole in the ground but in a land where once they dwelt-the Beormingas
Done... :)

CEM test: Maths, NVR and VR


Bond 9-10, 10-11 (Books 1 & 2)
Schofield and Sims Progress Papers Maths 1, 2, 3.
Junior Maths Book 2 and 3 (for percentages q’s and conversions).
So you really want to learn Maths Prep Bk: 2, 3 (especially good for data questions and problem solving).
Challenge Your Pupils: Using Problem Solving Questions Taken from the Primary Mathematics Challenge
Heinemaan Maths—word problems, time speed questions.
BBC Bitesize and Skillswise online
Independent School Papers
11+ papers.

NVR: I know other dps say that variety is the key, but this is an area that we spent the least on so please add to it.

Bond NVR
Alpha Series

VR: 4 elements but the first hasn’t been used for many years.

Proof Reading
Synonyms and Antonyms
Cloze tests

Proof Readingany punctuation book will do but we used:

Be the Teacher bk 2 by Violet Brand
Handling Punctuation by Jim Davis

Vocabulary: usually in the form of testing Synonyms and Antonyms

Schonell Essential Spelling books 1, 2 and 3.
Free Rice online
Vocab CD available on this forum
Wordshark cd
Word games and reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction text on a regular basis

Cloze: So far, 2 types of cloze– missing letters or a missing word (choose 1 from 4). But last year's KE sample sheet also detailed a new type of cloze where it combined it with synonyms and antonyms as 'one worders'. This has yet to appear on an actual exam paper so practice all types.

DIY your own from magazines (like Discovery, National Geo, Aquila, Calliope, How it works etc); newspapers (e.g. the i, Guardian, the Independent etc), and also, KS3 comprehension texts.
Contemporary Cloze by George Moore
Cloze in on language (upper and extension) by George Moore
Schonell Essential Bk 1, 2 and 3

See also for free material on multiple choice type of cloze, see here - Bristol house.


Bond Assessment papers (9-10 and over)
Schofield and Sims bk 3 and 4
Nonfiction Comprehension Test Practice: Grade 4, 5 and 6 (Nonfiction Resources with Content from Time for Kids)
A variety of 11+ papers (hard to find but very good: R & S Alpha Series: English Pack 1 and 2, Multiple Choice)
Independent School Past Papers

Best wishes,

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:38 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:11 pm
Posts: 20
Hi All,

Thank you for all your valuable information. May I please ask if the '21 types' of old VR paper is no longer necessary to introduce to my child, or is it still necessary?


PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:17 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6938
Location: East Kent
from what I have read they are no longer necessary. There are quite a few threads about this on Bucks and Birmingham sections of you want more info. There is a search facility ( top right of page)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:02 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:07 pm
Posts: 2660
Hi mumof2SD

If you already have the material (used for younger siblings perhaps) then you can use/look at the similar/opposite/double meaning words together with the Zs (word problems with one answer)

If not then the 21 type papers/tests are of no help.

Look at the material posted above.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:14 pm
Posts: 619
I'm still using parts of traditional VR which are relevant - vocab, logic and numerical reasoning types as these are part of what needs to be done.

I am giving my students all 21 types to familiarize them with all types in case CEM does bring in some for a change - better not to be sorry or am I being too paranoid?

Most of the children are doing them all as part of their prep for other schools but it's the ones applying to Latymer only are the ones I'm talking about.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:28 pm
Posts: 950
Location: Bucks
Hi there! Some may recall me from a few years ago, thought I'd prepare a little earlier than last time so looked up on here yesterday to be met with complete shock that the testing has completely changed!! :o

Still not sure how its all to be done, I ordered a ss comprehension bk2' a bond nvr 4th paper and spelling book?

I haven't a clue how to go about timing etc, am I right to read that each section is now timed instead of just the set time to finish the whole test? What timings would I need to work on in each section?
Are there test papers for comprehension,spelling etc?


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