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11+ Entrance Exams | 4 Key Similarities and Differences between GL and CEM Exams

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

There are two main 11+ exam boards in the UK: GL and CEM. If you are entering your child for an 11+ exam, it is important to find out which exam board to prepare for. Below we have listed the key similarities and differences between GL and CEM.



CEM covers three areas of verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. Within verbal reasoning, students will be tested on grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and comprehension.

GL covers four areas of English, maths, non-verbal reasoning and verbal reasoning.


Exam formats can vary for both exam boards. Students may find standard questions, multiple choice questions or both.


You can expect each exam paper to last approximately 45 minutes. However, this may vary depending on the school you are applying to.



The 11+ GL exam is split into 4 exam papers. Students will sit one paper for each subject.

The 11+ CEM exam is split into 2 papers. Each paper contains a mixture of subjects. Specific timings are allocated to each subject.

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