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CEM? GL Assessment?

CEM? GL Assessment?

Key questions asked:

1.What are they? 

GL = Granada Learning (Formerly known as NEFR)

         They provide papers in Maths, English, Verbal and Non-               

         Verbal Reasoning.

CEM = Written by the University of Durham

             Content of papers unpredictable making the test resistant

            to teaching, it is claimed.       

2. Surely they cover the same topics?

GL covers: 

  • English
  • Maths
  • Verbal Reasoning 
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning/Spatial awareness

       Depending on the area, schools will use all or a combination of these. 

       Tests are specific to the subject. 

CEM covers: 

  • Maths ( Reasoning and skills)
  • Verbal Reasoning ( Comprehension, Antonyms, Synonyms, Shuffled sentences and  Cloze Passage)
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

Depending on the area, schools may choose to have one or two papers and the      combination of subjects they will be testing. 

3. What are the formats? 

GL = Longer 45 minute papers or smaller individual half hour papers. 

CEM = Exam consists of one or two papers; 45 minutes each.

            Each paper is sectioned, individually  timed with a combination of 


            (For example, one paper may have a combination of comprehension, 

            vocabulary , shuffled sentences, maths skills and NVR questions)

            Your child will need the skills and understanding required to switch

            from one subject to the next, quickly. 

As schools, at their discretion, have the right to choose their exam format, it’s best to look at the individual websites of the schools you are considering for your child. Note the exams they will be using and any familiarization papers they have posted. Also note that not all schools, within an area, will follow the same exam format. 

4. What skills does my child need? 

  • Develop your child’s vocabulary. ( SmartStepZ has a blog for that!)
  • Encourage your child to read regularly.  ( SmartStepZ has a blog for that!)
  • Help your child manage their journey by structuring their learning time.


  1. Give your child a timed test
  2. Mark the paper immediately upon completion
  3. Child does corrections while still fresh in their mind.
  4. Mark corrections immediately
  5. Questions still not correct are the gaps identified and need to be taught. 
  • Don’t take away all of your child’s clubs or sporting activities; it’s how they stay grounded and your stay sane!
  • CEM has a lot of crossover with the KS2 curriculum and requires a good understanding of text and vocabulary.
  • GL covers similar topics as CEM but differs in the Verbal Reasoning with regard to the questions asked; once strategies for these questions are learned, speed follows. 

Reading with understanding is the foundation and key to success in these exams and, indeed, the future. If your child understands what they are reading, the process of preparing for the 11+ becomes a journey of relative ease.

5. Where can I find papers for CEM AND GL

SmartStepZ has spent a lot of time creating learning courses that are geared for exams taken in the Bexley, Kent and Medway areas. 

Have a look at our sample questions and complete the contact form for our sample pack. 

We hope this information has answered some of your questions. Should you have any queries, we at SmartStepZ, are happy to help. 

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