Information for parents

The questions below are designed to answer some of the queries that CEM receives from parents. Please note that due to the contract signed between CEM and each school for whom we provide assessments, CEM is unable to provide any specific information on test items.

Each year, items for the CEM entrance assessments are selected from an increasing pool of well-trialled and analysed questions. CEM offers schools entrance assessments in core English skills, core mathematical skills and reasoning skills. Results are provided to the school that contracts the analysis.

From our travels throughout New Zealand and from discussion with schools using the CEM entrance assessments, it is clear that the CEM entrance assessments form only a part of any selection process. In addition to entrance assessment results, schools gather information about a child from the previous school, previous assessment results and parent/child interviews.

A productive way for your child to prepare for the CEM entrance assessments is to encourage your child to complete all homework set by the current school, by reading and making sure that they understand what they are reading.

Children should also, wherever possible, be encouraged to try to solve problems and use investigative skills by looking things up for themselves. In New Zealand, there are commercially available study guides in most bookshops that are useful for practice in the curriculum.

Current and historical test papers are not made available to the public. Test papers/items are not made available to parents. Reasons for withholding are outlined within the Official Information Act section 9 (2) ‘Other reasons for withholding official information’, and in particular in reference to preventing the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage, and to protect the commercial position of CEM. Please contact records@canterbury.ac.nz for further information.

Schools are provided with information on the test format and some of this information is readily available on the CEM website.

If you have any questions, please contact the school concerned. Your school may or may not choose not to do all the CEM assessment tests and a few schools choose to supplement entrance assessments with their own additional assessment(s).

CEM aims to reduce any disadvantage created by children who are tutored for their tests and those who are not. CEM firmly believes that children should not be tutored for our CEM entrance assessments which are designed to enable all children to demonstrate their natural ability without the need for excessive preparation.

The school contracts CEM to provide the tests and, under the contract, only the school concerned may receive these results. It is not the role of CEM to provide parents or other interested parties with any results. Release of CEM entrance assessment results is a decision by the school and any queries to CEM by parents will be directed back to the school concerned.