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Information & Help with the Northern Ireland Transfer Test

AQE - Common Entrance Assessment (CEA)

Contact AQE

Phone: (028) 90224002

Key dates (2016/17)

3rd May 2016: Registration Opens
9th Sep 2016: Registration Closes
Sat 12th Nov 2016: 1st Assessment
Sat 26th Nov 2016: 2nd Assessment
Sat 3rd Dec 2016: 3rd Assessment
Sat 28th Jan 2017: Results

More Key Dates

AQE Practice Papers are available to buy from our shop.


Association for Quality Education

AQE is an alliance of parents, principals, governors and teachers, who believe that the future of post-primary education in Northern Ireland should be based on our excellent secondary and grammar schools and not on imposition of the failed one-size-fits-all comprehensive model.

AQE oppose a system in which schools would be forced to select pupils on the basis of postcode, advocating instead that schools be given the freedom to develop academic, technical and vocational pathways to ensure that all children have the opportunity to attend a school which will cater for their interests and accommodate their needs and abilities.

Common Entrance Assessment (CEA)

All AQE schools (listed below) will be using the Common Entrance Assessment.

The Common Entrance Assessment test is based on the NICCEA (Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) specification for the 2007/2008 Transfer Tests.

The difference between the CEA and the old transfer test is that this new test will not include any of the Science or Technology elements.

Essentially this new Common Entrance Assessment is the Mathematics and English sections of the old transfer test.
Format of the CEA (pdf)
Specification of the CEA (pdf)

  • Tests are held in participating grammar schools
  • The test does not necessarily need to be taken at the school you wish your child to attend. During the application you list three schools in order of preference and based on availability you will be notified which school your child will sit the test at.
  • The CEA is based on three one-hour exams, best two marks count.
  • A child only has to do two of the three papers if they wish.
  • No supplementary paper.

CEA: A Guide for Parents (pdf)

2016/17 AQE Registration & Information

Below are links to download the AQE documents for the 2016/17 cycle.

AQE Timetable

Download the AQE 2016/17 Timetable (pdf)

Registration Form

Access Arrangements

Information is available on the AQE's Access Arrangements page.

Special Circumstances and Special Provision

Information, guides & the forms are available from the Special Circumstances and Special Provision page.

AQE Past Papers & Free Samples

AQE (CEA) Past Papers
AQE Past Assessment Papers are available to purchase from the AQE website.

AQE (CEA) Sample Paper, Questions & Answers
An AQE Sample Assessment Paper, as well as questions and answers, are available to download from the CEA: Sample Test Items page. Practice Papers & Free Samples
To purchase our AQE style practice papers or download our free product samples please visit our shop page.


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