top of page

CEMs - MidYIS and Yellis Help Desk (MYP 1 to 5)

Please first look at the parent slideshow presentation from the Parent Coffee on Tuesday 14th November 2023.


CEMs have tests for 4-year-olds up and we have decided to run them for MYP1 to 5 to give us an external snapshot of specific areas that are not directly connected to the curriculum.  They are quick and straightforward for students to take, about 1 hour on a computer.


CEMs collect results from many thousands of students over many years and have built up data that correlates and so are able to predict grades.  

For example, a student who has a specific score in a particular CEMs block and/or overall test score usually goes on to achieve at a specific level with GCSEs, in certain subjects - GENERALLY!


A low score doesn’t necessarily mean the student is low in that subject's related area but the result needs to be put into the context of other results in that subject as CEMs tests very specific things.  An example would be a low Vocab score doesn’t necessarily mean low in English.  


So please see these results as just one piece of the puzzle.  REMEMBER - learning continues to develop and these scores can and will change over time.

In General…

  • Data raises questions as much as giving answers.  We don’t have all the answers the moment a question is asked but can look into it further!


  • Report grades are our official school results - the CEMs results are a snapshot to add a different piece of the puzzle to help us have further ideas about our students.


  • The results will help parents track their children year-to-year by looking at these results over time.


  • The results help us as a school see a bigger picture of year groups across time and so over the next few years, these results will help us build up a picture and assist our continued development.


  • The results should mostly support what we already know. 

    • If there are some lower scores but report grades are fine, there is nothing to be concerned about

    • If CEMs results are higher than report grades, the school will look more closely at this

  • Next year when we have a 2nd set of results, we will have more confidence in what these results show and don’t show so please expect more conclusions in the future.

Final - Check out this page for CEMS general overview… ABC’s of CEM

Please look at these FAQs…


  • What do these test results mean?

    • These tests only show specific areas (Vocabulary - tests synonyms of a specific given word…  Maths is fast recall of Maths questions without a calculator… Non-verbal closely resembles aspects of more modern version of an IQ test).  They cannot be used as a standalone assessment and we look at them in relation to other assessments.


  • What are the confidence errors on the graph?

    • These arrows, on either side of the diamond show us what the student may have achieved on any particular day based on variables that might affect the student whilst taking the test.  Therefore a student might have scored below on this day but their arrow reaches the 100 average score.  So the student is not significantly below and so not something to consider. 


  • When should I be concerned about the results?

    • You should not be concerned until you fully understand the context of the results so you may need to ask further questions.  For any situation that is raised by these assessments that the school feels needs further explaining, the school will contact you, so if you do not here directly from us about this, there are no major concerns.  But of course contact us to clarify anything specific.

    • Remember…These are a snapshot of specific areas and mostly support what we already know about the student.  Report grades are the school's official system and go on official documents.  If you wish for further information/clarification then please email Mr. Benzie directly as your first point of contact (


  • What is a standardised Score?

    • A standardised score compares a student’s performance to those of all students in the relevant student population.
      For example, a year 7 nationally-standardised score compares a year 7 student to the national population of year 7 students. Normally standardised scores are based on a mean score of 100 and a standard deviation of 15.


  • How many students have CEM assessments been standarised on?

    • CEMS standardisation is based on 600,000 students, using data from schools over the last five years.


  • What is Non-verbal ability?

    • It is the ability to analyse information and solve problems using reasoning. In a CEM assessment, this is tested using shape and pattern-related visual questions to test visual and spatial skills.


  • Why don’t you test Science?

    • All CEM assessments measure the core skills that research shows are linked to future academic attainment in any subject, in any curriculum. This makes the assessments quicker to run, and they provide robust and reliable predictions to all subjects (including the sciences) without having to test subject-specific knowledge.

bottom of page