CEM 11 Plus Verbal Reasoning question type 4- CLOZE synonym test
Synonym tests are common in pretty much every 11 Plus test , whether it is for a grammar school or an independent school.
CEM currently use a CLOZE based approach to this where they give you a word and then give you a partial synonym next to it (a word with letters missing). The challenge is to fill in the gaps. Of course given time most children could score highly by trial and error, however these tests are strictly time limited which limits the opportunity to try out different options.
Children who succeed in these tests will have a very wide vocabulary and very good spelling skills. They will also be not overly stressed or worried on the day. Children who have been through a high pressure and stressed preparation are likely on the day to suffer something like a 10-30% degrade in their ability to recall vocabulary. Vocabulary questions such as this tend to be very difficult for children who have been placed under too much pressure through their preparation.
Obviously doing lots of these tests will expose to children to new words but really won’t help them to perform better unless the words they come across are properly learnt. So again doing test after test is not going to be a sustainable performance improvement activity. Children need to work to develop excellent vocabulary and spelling skills and then they can apply those skills to the tests.
One technique which does help in these situations is to think ACTIVELY. The mistake most children make is to just freeze and stare at the page, they need to work actively if the answer is to emerge , they cannot just hope it will come to them.
We have included below an example of a CLOZE synonym questions. There’s no guarantee that CEM will ask the questions in the same way every year so we have also included two other synonym exercises to show you the variety of ways in which children can prepare.