We administered a short mixed CEM style paper today, sticking to the section by section timings. We know all our students very well now and they have different attitudes to formal testing:

Mature, competitive children who view formal tests as a necessary evil on their 11+ journey  and take the session seriously and try their hardest.

Students who again view timed tests as an evil and don’t try their best as they are aware that it’s not the real thing but they will simply ‘pull it out of the bag’ on the day!

Children who view the event as a social occasion and don’t take them seriously, generally achieving lower scores which don’t reflect their true ability.

The above accounts for some surprising scores when we mark the papers!

Before the test we gave the following advice:

Synonyms: Avoid words that kind of look the same: see below – faithful/factual

Comprehension question types that ask whether statements are true:

In question 10 for example, students need to check if option 1 is true, if it is, they can immediately eliminate answers B and D. Then from the remaining options, they don’t need to check option 3 as it appears in both remaining answers. They just need to check if option 2 is correct and they will then have the right answer! 

Maths 1 – remember that the 11+ is about finding the answer as quickly as you can, the correct answer is right in front of you. In lots of cases it may just be a question of finding the last digit of a calculation and then you have your answer:

Pictures 1: Remember to concentrate on one aspect and then you can usually eliminate quite a few options, before focusing on a different aspect of the pictures:


Scores ranged from 88% down to 36%, average was 54%