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Sarah Beswick 11+ Tuition & Mock Exams

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Which Mock Exam is the right one for you?

Compare the CEM and GL 11+ Exams

Click on the headings below to expand


GL 50 minute paper for 50 questions
CEM Shorter timed sections
GL 33% of the total mark in Salisbury
CEM 25% of total mark in Salisbury
GL multiple choice 

CEM sometimes you write the number as well as using multiple choice 


All Key Stage 2 Maths topics.
Questions are presented in a problem-based format. Core skills need to be razor sharp, the daily maths sheet on my website will keep these up to scratch.
You are not expected to finish.
You will need written workings which will not be marked. You need to be fast and accurate 


GL 50 minute paper for 80 questions in Verbal Reasoning and 45 minutes for about 50-60ish questions in the English (the number of questions varies tremendously) 
CEM Shorter timed sections
GL 66% of mark in Salisbury (but closer to 50% when you remove the abstract thinking element)

CEM 50% of mark in Salisbury 


Both exam boards will have a comprehension. 
Both exam boards require a good and broad vocabulary. 
Both exam boards look for good spelling.
Both exam boards want good punctuation.
Both exam boards use cloze tests
Both exam boards require experience of different written styles. 

Both exam boards want a good grasp of grammar. 


GL A couple of Non-Verbal questions will usually turn up in the Maths Paper. Mostly, abstract thinking is tested using letter codes and will appear in the Verbal Paper. Give or take, these account for about 15% - 20% of the overall mark in Salisbury 

CEM use Non-Verbal questions. They will have their own sections called “pictures”. These will make up 25% of the mark in Salisbury. 


The children need to be able to follow procedure and complete these questions quickly and not spend ages inventing an original method for each question. Then they also need to be flexible enough that they can apply their learnt techniques to new situations. This requires practice at being out of their comfort zone. 
The skills required for both picture puzzles and letter puzzles are:

Recognising patterns of movement and accumulation Systematic use of workings and elimination. 


GL To concentrate for long periods

CEM To break concentration

GL instructions given by a person

CEM instructions given by a CD 


To read carefully.
To exhibit flexible thinking.
Listen and follow instructions accurately.
Interpret information.
To be able to process a question and move on with a clear mind. 


GL girls at South Wilts: 3 papers

CEM boys at Bishops: 2 papers 


Both schools have been unfailingly kind year after year. Both schools use many rooms.
Both schools go out of their way to accommodate the different needs of children who may need extra consideration. 

The children have to:
Do as they are told.
Check and/or write their names.
Mark answer boxes as instructed.
Wear whatever they like.
Take in writing equipment and a drink and snacks Both schools have 160 places. 


Sickness happens! 


Both schools actively discourage the children from taking the exam when ill and make provision for them at a later date, as appropriate. 




The 11+ is not an exact science and as such, both schools have a robust appeals process to act as a safety net.

In Salisbury, Bishop Wordsworth School for boys uses CEM to administer their 11+ and South Wilts Grammar School for girls uses GL.

Therefore girls should only do the CEM style if they are preparing for a school that uses it, outside of Salisbury.

For boys the decision is less clear: the CEM-style mock has been very predictive of the actual 11+ score in previous years and gives the boys an idea of what the exam feels like. However, they have been having short timed passages every week in every class since they started. Our normal mock has Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning papers (in the GL style of delivery) and then a Non-Verbal section after, using the CEM style of delivery. It is a much longer exam but gives us double the feedback and therefore gives us twice as many opportunities to fix things before the real exam. Given that one question can be the difference between pass and fail, this might be the more useful option.

Our usual mock, and the CEM-style one have completely different questions, so the really keen-beans can do both papers without repetition.

Why don’t I provide CEM mock exams earlier in the year? Commercially these would be popular but I have had boys do these elsewhere who have scored high marks, been given false confidence and stopped working and consequently went on to fail the real 11+.

The basic content of the regular and the CEM-style mock is the same: it is all Keystage 2 work and there are things that regularly turn up.

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