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Exams, Papers, Patterns


Grammar schools in the UK select students based on the Eleven Plus exams, but they mostly use question papers set by two test providers — GL Assessment and Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM).

GL Assessment commissions its papers from National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). It dominated the market for more than 20 years. However, around 2013, many schools and regions chose to use CEM 11+ entrance test. This was because GL Assessment papers were said to be ‘predictable’ and based on set patterns. GL Assessment’s model papers are available in their official website, and there are also several online resources and question banks for GL Assessment papers. This ‘predictability’ factor made many grammar schools opt for CEM papers, which were promoted as being ‘unpredictable’, as they have no set weightage pattern.

Composition and Timing of Question Papers

GL Assessment exam papers are based on set patterns. They have four major subjects: English, mathematics, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. Under these, questions would be from topics such as vocabulary, logic, arithmetic, and spelling. Generally, GL papers last for 45 minutes, but it can also vary depending on schools or regions.

CEM exam papers are unpredictable and mixed. Papers are usually broadly classified into English and verbal reasoning, mathematics and non-verbal reasoning. Time management is crucial for CEM exams, as kids get more number of questions than can be answered in the given time.

Regions and Tests?

Schools in different regions of the UK use different test papers. Regions which use CEM papers: Berkshire, Bexley, Birmingham, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Walsall, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Wolverhampton, and Wrekin Regions which use GL Assessment: Bromley, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Kent, Lancashire and Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Medway, Northern Ireland Regions where schools use GL and CEM: Devon, Essex, Hertfordshire, Trafford, Wirral, Yorkshire

Question Paper Patterns

Though GL Assessment and CEM papers are the two dominant test providers,the test paper pattern differs between regions and also between grammar schools. In addition to questions given by the test providers, some schools may also add their own questions to their papers. It is reported that some schools frame their own question papers, and in some areas, schools form a syndicate of teachers who, in turns, frame English and/or mathematics papers based on the levels they look for, while using GL Assessment’s verbal reasoning and/or non-verbal reasoning papers.

Prestigious Independent/Private schools –competition –also conduct GL or CEM- Century tech website

Regions –which schools which assessment