Torbay/Colyton 11+ Examinations

In order to qualify for a place at a Torbay Grammar School a pupil must be successful in the chosen school’s 11+ examination. The tests take place on a Saturday in September. Children usually sit these at the school to which they intend to apply.

Saturday 14th SEPTEMBER  2019: TWO CEM tests; 

The CEM test was new to Torbay in 2015 but it has been used in London and the Home Counties for around 5 years now. We have tutored it for the past 5 years in North West London so we know what to expect. 

The CEM is the supposedly 'untutorable' test set by the University of Durham Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring. It includes aspects of Verbal Reasoning focussing mainly on vocabulary and meaning, Non VR (shapes and nets) and Mathematical Reasoning which usually takes the form of short but challenging questions.

Secure English and Maths is the key. Reading a huge variety of books for enjoyment is likely to put a pupil ahead. Excellent Mathematical skills and knowledge are also essential.

Each exam has a different selection of questions that are extremely hard to predict hence the claim that it is 'untutorable.' As no past papers are released, however, sections are said to be repeated in different areas. We have built a vocabulary bank from the South East CEM exams over the last few years.

Pass Mark: there is no set pass mark for the 11+. 

Pupils are ranked and the top ones are offered places.

The competitive nature of the exam means that the greater the number taking the exam, the higher the ‘Pass’ mark will probably be. 


September 2019

Apply directly to the school at which you wish to sit the 11+. Do this as early as possible. 

Deadline: Midday 6th September.

You will receive an email AFTER THIS DATE informing you of the exam arrangements and timings.


TBGS: Planned Admissions Number 2020: 168 pupils.

Apply here to sit the 11+ at TBGS 


TGGS: Planned Admissions Number 2020: 150 pupils

Open Day: Thursday 5th Sept

Apply here to sit the 11+at TGGS 


Churston: Planned Admissions Number 2020: 150 pupils

Apply here to sit the 11+ at Churston


Colyton Grammar: Planned Admissions Number 2020: 155 pupils

Apply here to sit the 11+ at Colyton Grammar

15th October 2019

You will receive a letter informing you of the outcome should you apply. This is in the format of a YES or NO next to each selective school in Torbay.

You must then apply for secondary schools using the CAF (Common Application Form) of your local authority. This is best done online although can be done on paper. You have 3 choices and can put more than one selective school. If you received a YES for your top choice you are likely to be successful.

Torbay Coucil CAF Apply here if you live in Trbay

Devon County Council CAF Apply here if you live in Teignbridge or Devon

The CAF deadline is October 31st

2nd March 2020

National Allocation day. You will receive an email telling you of your child’s allocated school.

You can only appeal after March 2nd.



11 +  Format Summary

Saturday 14th September:

CEM Papers 1 & 2: marks are combined.

  • 50 minutes each
  • Approximately 85 questions but each paper varies
  • Mixed format
  • Separate timed sections
  • Audio soundtrack for instructions and timing
For further information on the tests each school has a familiarisation booklet:

Torquay Boys’ Grammar Familiarisation Booklet

Torquay Girls’ Grammar Familiarisation Booklet

Churston Grammar Familiarisation Booklet

Colyton Grammar Familiarisation Booklet

Jane Powell BA(Hons) PGCE, Branstead, Higher Erith Road, Torquay, TQ1 2NQ

Telephone: 01803 299502 / 07961 611151 Email: © 2019 all rights reserved