Free CEM 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Sample Exam Questions
When we spoke to Lessons in the Post about including these materials they asked us to emphasise that the nature of CEM Exams is unpredictable. While CEM indicate what sort of questions might be included, they can these at any time. It is also true that the difficulty of CEM tests can vary around the country. So as an example at the time of writing this there appear to be no plans to include punctuation questions within CEM exams, but this could change without notice and punctuation questions have been included before. The best advice is to do a thorough preparation on core English skills.
Overview of the CEM 11 PLUS Verbal Reasoning Test Elements
As we know this Verbal Reasoning test is very different to a traditional Verbal Reasoning test and is more akin to an English test. The current core questions could be:
A comprehension exercise (the type of comprehension test you’d find in most 11 Plus English tests)
A CLOZE vocabulary test based on a passage of text .You will be given a passage of text with letters within words missing, the task is to use the context to find what the words are and fill in the missing letters.
A CLOZE use of English test based on a passage of text. You will be given a passage of text. In several places you will find a choice of three or four words to include. The task is to choose the correct one. There could be a variety of misleading aspects to this such as present/past/future tenses, common spelling mistakes, common mistakes made in use of English.
A synonyms test which could be CLOZE or could be in a more traditional verbal reasoning format – choose the word closest in meaning.
An opposites test which could be CLOZE or could be in a more traditional verbal reasoning format- choose the word closest in meaning.
Jumbled sentences. In these tests the words in sentences are mixed up and children could either be asked to order them correctly or they could be asked to identify one word which doesn’t belong in the sentence.
We know that the secret of a good preparation for CEM 11 Plus Verbal reasoning exams is to have a broad based core English skills focus, particularly on vocabulary. It is also useful though to prepare flexibly (do lots of different styles of questions) and extend learning to new types. To this end Lessons in the Post have also kindly offered us two examples of typical extensions (which could come up – you never know).
Extension 1 – Jumbled paragraphs. Essentially this requires the same skills as jumbled sentences but they may throw a child who has not prepared flexibly if they come up.
Extension 2 – Anagrams. You will need a clear head and good technique to be able to answer anagram questions quickly.
Other extensions might include crosswords as an example.
One thing you will recognise from all these tests is that while there is a little useful technique you can learn for some of them which does help, essentially they require very sound core English skills with a particularly wide vocabulary and the ability to work quickly (which isn’t easy under pressure). Children without very good core English skills, a very wide vocabulary and who have been placed under too much stress in their preparation won’t do well. Because of the nature of the questions, it also doesn’t help to do paper after paper for a prolonged period.
We will be adding other sample questions from other publishers as they become available.