Why have the new CEM 11+ Tests been developed?

The aim of CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring) based at Durham University is to provide standardised 11+ assessments which allow all children to ‘demonstrate their natural ability and achievement without excessive preparation’.

In a Market Research Review we conducted in 2013, looking at Journalistic reports, sector commentary, academic work and what parents were saying online, we found a lot of concern amongst academics, teachers and parents that some 11+ testing regimes were perceived as ‘unfair’ on many levels.

The concerns from academics and teachers was that some children had only passed the exam because they had been coached; meaning the Grammar schools were not necessarily selecting the children most suitable for a grammar school education. These children would have possibly done really well at Secondary schools, Comprehensive schools or at Academies but being placed in the wrong educational context might be psychologically damaging to them in the long-term. In other words, the impact on a child’s perspective of their abilities, if they could not perform as well as their more academically gifted peers, might seriously affect their level of self-esteem.

Parents also expressed concerns about the ‘fairness’ relating to those who could afford to pay for extra tuition and those who could not. This could potentially disadvantage children who have the ‘natural’ ability to pass the tests but, because they were not ‘coached’ prior to the test, could not achieve as high a mark as other children who had received coaching.

The CEM tests are allegedly a means to address these concerns and make it ‘impossible’ for children to be coached specifically to pass the test.

So is it possible to build on your child’s ‘natural ability’ without excessive coaching? The answer is yes! We believe in imparting ‘how-to’ skills to children through our books. Children learn the technique and methodology across all subjects, in order to improve and build on their ‘natural ability’.

If children have reached the required level of attainment and honed their ‘natural ability’ they will be more confident in tackling the various questions in the testing situation. No amount of ‘coaching’ or psychological counselling will give them that.



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