CEM Verbal Reasoning Test

VR Test Format - Introdcued in May 2015


CEM – Centre of Excellence and Monitoring – Part of Durham University

The familiarisation papers on the S W Herts Consortium School website indicate that this year’s Verbal Reasoning test will differ to previous years and will be provided by the Centre of Excellence and Monitoring (CEM) part of Durham University.  (Previous years they were provided by Moray House in Edinburgh).



The format of the CEM VR papers would appear to be in line with papers used in other areas of the country, consisting of a mixture of comprehension using either multiple choice or  standard format where the child completes the answer in a booklet.


The new VR format is less reliant on the variety of VR techniques previously used, and appears to be more focused on comprehension skills and an awareness of a wider vocabulary.


The paper will consist of several individually timed sections. Examples will be given at the start of each section to aid children. However the most significant difference from previous years is children will NOT be able to revisit previous sections if they missed a question. Therefore there is more pressure on answering as many questions as quickly as possible in the time provided.


There will still be two tests, a maths test of 50 questions in 50 minutes (This test has not changed at present) and a verbal reasoning test which will last approximately one hour.


While there is a familiarisation paper on the S W Herts Consortium website, the format of the actual test is not being made available in the public domain. CEM does not publish papers and may alter the test year on year to reduce the opportunity to over prepare children for the test.



This reinforces the importance of regular reading, ideally with a variety of reading materials,  eg fiction / non fiction books, newspapers. Children should record any words they are unsure of, check the definition and learn these words. Read it – Log it – Learn it…


Mock Transfer Tests

MTT updated all our material, study guides and mock test papers to ensure they reflect and support the CEM  VR format, based on the information available.