Transfer Test Information

The Academic Selection Process in Northern Ireland has drastically changed over the past few years. Until November 2008, the 11 plus transfer test administered by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment(CCEA) was the method of transfer between primary and post primary schools.
With the abolishment of the 11 plus exam, grammar schools have now commissioned their own entrance exams in English and Mathematics, with Science no longer being tested. These schools fall into two groups, the Association for Quality Education (AQE) and The Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC). Both tests are based on the Northern Ireland Key Stage 2 Revised Curriculum however, they are very different in structure, style and format.

Key Points of AQE Testing

  • All AQE schools will be using the Common Entrance Assessment
  • Tests are held in participating grammar schools.
  • Three schools may be listed in order of preference on your registration form.
  • The CEA is based on three one-hour exams with the best two marks taken.
  • A child can choose to sit only two of the three papers.
  • There is no supplementary paper.
  • 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.
  • Science and Technology is not tested.
  • Existing Transfer Test practice materials can be used to prepare for the Common Entrance Assessment.

Key Points of PPTC Testing

  • All PPTC Schools will be using the GL Assessment.
  • Tests are held in the participating grammar schools.
  • Schools should be listed in order of preference on your registration form.
  • The GL Assessment will consist of two papers both taken on the same day.
  • Pupils are given a short break between the two assessment papers.
  • The GL Assessment papers are in multiple choice format.
  • Paper One will assess English (50 mins).
  • Paper Two will assess Mathematics (45 mins).
  • Answers are marked on a separate sheet.
  • There will be a supplementary paper.