CEM 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning Exam Preparation Year 5

A list of schools/areas this advice applies to is at the bottom of the page.

CEM VR Preparation Year 5 11 Plus Guide

Skills Development and Exam Preparation – Year 5

If preparing at home you have a choice between:

1. Using a structured course

2. Using books

In summary, if you choose a structured course all the planning is done for you, everything is included and you just have to print it out and do it. On the other hand, if you choose to buy books you would need to do the planning yourself and decide what to do when.

Please download our FREE 11 Plus CEM Verbal Reasoning preparation guide which gives detailed explanations of how to structure a preparation programme at home and how to use the resources we have recommended below.

1. Using Structured Courses For Preparation

ⓘ Editor’s Pick – Learning Street’s Complete 11 Plus Programme offers excellent coverage of all elements needed for the 11 Plus exam. They also provide a version covering just the Vocabulary and Verbal Reasoning elements of the complete programme if you do not need coverage of maths and non-verbal reasoning.

If you have less time available before the exam, try the medium length course (approximately 20 weeks) or the short course (approximately 10 weeks).  


2. Using Books for Preparation

Step One (see guide) – Skills development and practice

CEM Verbal Reasoning tests are effectively a combination of traditional Verbal Reasoning plus material you might find in an English exam. A great deal of work will need to be done developing core skills in the following areas.

General English skills

Bond – No Nonsense English 9 – 10 (answers included)

Bond – No Nonsense English 10 – 11 (answers included)


Schofield and Sims – English Skills 5   (answer book can be bought separately)

Schofield and Sims – English Skills 6   (answer book can be bought separately)

Additional English 

Use both books

Schofield and Sims – Springboard 7

Schofield and Sims – Springboard 8 (excellent books but no answers available)

Grammar and Punctuation

Letts – Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (answers included)

Vocabulary and Spelling

ⓘ Editor’s Pick- Learning Street- Complete Vocabulary Course or Vocabulary Enhance or Vocabulary Boost 

Use all CGP books plus the additional spelling list if required

CGP KS2 English Spelling Question Book Year 4 (answer book can be bought separately)

CGP KS2 English Spelling Question Book Year 5 (answer book can be bought separately)

AND CGP KS2 English Spelling Question Book Year 6 (answer book can be bought separately)

Kit’s Educational Publishing – Complete Graded Spelling Lists years one to six


Use both books

Schofield and Sims – Comprehension Book 3

Schofield and Sims – Comprehension Book 4

Schofield and Sims – Comprehension Teachers Guide

Step Two (see guide) – Exam technique development and practice

CGP CEM Verbal-Reasoning Study Book

CGP CEM Verbal-Reasoning 10 Minute Tests

Step Three (see guide) – Exam skills development using 11 Plus standard tests

ⓘ Editor’s Pick- CGP 11 Plus Practice Papers – Pack 1 and Practice Papers – Pack 2 and Practice Papers – Pack 3


Bond – 11 Plus Practice Test Papers for CEM

Step Four (see guide – for those with additional time) – Add More Flexibility

 IPS – Verbal Reasoning Daily Practice Tests Book 2 and Book 3

Schools/areas this advice applies to:

Essex- Chelmsford County High School for Girls

Greater Manchester- Sale Grammar School

London Bexley – all schools

Wirral and Liverpool- Calday Grange, West Kirby, Wirral Grammar School for Boys and Wirral Grammar School for Girls.

Wolverhampton, Shropshire, Walsall – all schools

Yorkshire Kirklees – all schools