What’s the difference between a Numerical reasoning paper and more normal Maths papers?

Don’t let a name confuse the issue. Numerical Reasoning is the name given to their Maths questions by those areas which use the CEM tests designed by Durham University.

In its purest form Numerical Reasoning would ask the pupil to apply logic to a question to get to an answer rather than just giving them a calculation. For instance you might be asked to find the perimeter of a complicated shape but without knowing what all the edges measure. You would have to work out the missing values and only then could you work out the perimeter. Normally the actual Maths should not be complicated, it is using logic to find the information necessary to answer the question which requires logic skills.

In practice however 11 Plus Numerical Reasoning tests as presented so far by CEM are not a great deal different from a standard maths tests. You’ll find some more complicated word questions which require some logic to solve the puzzle but there normally are also some straight calculation based questions.

If you are going to do either a more normal school set or GL set Maths paper or a CEM numerical type paper then we would recommend that you do the same basic preparation and not get caught with individual question types. A broad preparation will give children the best foundations and then giving them a variety of different papers will expose them to different questions and get their brains working in a flexible way.

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