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CEM Test – What are CEM Tests?

The S2 Curriculum-based assessments offer a comprehensive pupil profiling system that measures pupil progress through assessment in Reading, Science, and Maths. The assessments are administered via the computer during an assessment window usually in April/May each year. The assessments themselves are adaptive which means that pupils are presented with items suited to their ability and hence makes for a more efficient and pleasant experience.


The Assessments

1. The Reading Assessment

There are four parts to the reading section. Each part requires pupils to answer multiple-choice questions and is individually timed. Once a part has been completed students should proceed to the next stage of the assessment. Students will be shown examples of how to answer.

Please note: Pupils are NOT allowed to take notes during the reading assessment.


Part 1: Passage Comprehension

The student is presented with scrollable text under which a question is displayed. Once the student answers a question and clicks on the ‘Next’ button, a new question about the same passage will appear. There are four passages and a time limit of 18 minutes.


Part 2: Text Comprehension

The student must choose the most appropriate words to complete the missing gaps in the paragraph displayed. Students will be shown two paragraphs of text with 5 minutes to attempt each paragraph.

Please note that the pupil can only advance to the next section if they have attempted everyoption presented to them (or they have run out of time).


Part 3: Speed Reading

The pupil is presented with a short passage for a limited time, after which the pupil must answer a series of multiple-choice questions. Pupils will see 5 texts in total. Having chosen an option, the pupil must click on the ‘Next’ button to continue to the following question or passage.


Part 4: Analysing and Evaluating Information

The pupil is informed that they will be presented with a ‘mock up’ webpage. Firstly, an example question on the topic of ‘food’ is displayed. The actual question does not appear until the pupil has reviewed all of the text. On successfully answering the question they move onto a webpage on the topic of ‘sleep’. They have 5 minutes in which to answer 13 questions. The pupil will only view the first question of this section when they have viewed all the text.


2. The Science Assessment

The assessment is broken up into three sub-assessments: Living Things, Earth and Space, and Energy and Forces. Each sub-section is 12 minutes long, and pupils can pause between them. They will be shown examples at the start of the assessments.

After these sub-sections, pupils will see a questionnaire on attitudes to science, which has no time limit (except for your school period length), but here they can go back and alter any responses. There are no right or wrong answers.


3. The Maths Assessment

Pupils are allowed to take notes and do rough working on paper, pupils are not allowed to use a calculator(except the one provided onscreen when appropriate).

The pupil will be presented with a mixture of multiple choice and free entry questions, which will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.


Key Elements

  • ·         School and students’ test performance are compared to a nationally representative sample
  • ·         Assessment data from the tests provides school and pupil data to inform teaching and learning
  • ·         Predictive data includes future potential performance, to inform target setting and subsequent monitoring




Please contact Mrs H Cameron (Depute Rector) should you wish to discuss the S2 CEM assessments in more detail

Contact Us

  • By Post: 
    Denny High School
    Herbertshire Park
    FK6 6EE
  • By Telephone:
    01324 827440
  • By Fax:
    01324 827441
  • By Email:
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