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If your child is doing 11+ preparation, the first thing you need to know is the board that will administer the
test. When we talk about 11 plus exam boards, there are two main boards for that. Although the exam
formats are similar, they have certain differences that can affect your child’s preparations for the test.
Therefore, we will look at each of them in more detail and understand the difference between GL and CEM

GL Exam Board

GL or Granada Learning is the body that administers the test for most of the 11 Plus Exams. Earlier it was
known as NFER or the National Education Foundation for Educational Research – it still exists as a research
company today.

1. Subjects covered

The GL board covered up to 5 subjects at the 11 Plus level until 2016: English, Maths, Spatial reasoning,
verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. Grammar schools get to choose the combination of these
subjects for entry.

2. Exam format

The GL exams last 45 minutes and questions are asked in a multiple-choice format. However, some
authorities use a written format as well for verbal and maths tests. Questions are obtained from a
large question bank with a set number of question styles and types.

3. CEM Exam Board

Cambridge Assessment Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring introduced the CEM exam in 1999. This was
developed with the aim of reducing the transparency of 11 plus questions and creating a fairer assessment.

4. Subjects covered

The subjects covered in the CEM test are numerical reasoning, and verbal, and non-verbal reasoning. The
types of questions, as they claim, are common in nature with the national curriculum at the KS2 level.
The definition of verbal reasoning in CEM is broader than that in GL.

5. Exam format

CEM tests can have multiple-choice or standard formats or both. They usually have two test papers
consisting of shorter timed sections that integrate different subjects in mixed order. The exams have a strong emphasis on vocabulary, speed and problem-solving. However, the exact weightage of subjects
is not known beforehand.

Which board exam will your child give?

You should note that schools have different preferences regarding tests. Some schools even opt for a
combination of both GL and CEM. So, whichever test your child does, it is important to encourage them to
start developing their Maths and English skills from an early age. Moreover, learning the core concepts will be useful for the children throughout their education regardless of the test. We hope that this will help you understand the difference between GL and CEM 11 plus exam boards. For the finest 11 plus revision classes, you can always get to Prime Tuition. Our expert Maths English tutors London will help your child prepare to the best of their potential. We will prepare your kids for the specific exams and boards so that they are on the right path all throughout their preparation.


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