AQE - Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) | The Transfer Test
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Information & Help with the Northern Ireland Transfer Test

AQE - Common Entrance Assessment (CEA)

AQE Statement regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on the AQE's website

"This is a very uncertain time for everyone involved in education, not least for parents and pupils. As the situation develops over the coming days and weeks, AQE will monitor what is happening and will work closely with our colleagues in the primary schools to ensure that parents and pupils are kept fully informed of the AQE procedures and assessments for 2020/21. The AQE website will also keep schools, parents and pupils up to date with the latest developments. Schools, parents and pupils should continue to prepare for the assessments in the home environment, while we continue to monitor the situation."
Any updates will be provided on the AQE website.

Contact AQE

Phone: (028) 90224002

AQE Key dates (2020/21)

Wed 29th Apr 2020: Registration Opens
Fri 11th Sep 2020: Registration Closes
Sat 7th Nov 2020: 1st Paper
Sat 21st Nov 2020: 2nd Paper
Sat 28th Nov 2020: 3rd Paper
Sat 30th Jan 2021: Results

More Key Dates

AQE Practice Papers are available to buy from our shop.


Association for Quality Education (AQE Ltd) is the company formed to manage and administer the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) for transfer of pupils from primary to a number of post primary schools in Northern Ireland.
Click to read more about the AQE

Common Entrance Assessment (CEA)

  • Format of the CEA (pdf)
  • Specification of the CEA (pdf)
  • Tests are held in participating grammar schools
  • Where a child sits the assessment has no bearing whatsoever on admission to a post-Primary school in the future.
  • After the registration process has been completed, all candidates will be contacted by their Assessment Centre, and invited to attend a familiarisation day in this school.
  • All 3 assessments begin at 10 a.m. and last for 1 hour (with the exception of extra time candidates). AQE recommends that candidates attend ALL 3 assessments, however as the final age-standardised score is achieved through ‘best 2 out of 3’, it is only compulsory to attend 2 assessments. This allows for an ‘off day’ or illness etc.
  • There is no subsidiary paper available. If a candidate is only available to attend 1 assessment, you should contact the AQE Office via telephone - (028) 9022 4002.
  • More information is available on the AQE's The Assessments page.

2019/20 AQE Registration & Information

Below are links to download the AQE documents for the 2019/20 cycle.
The AQE's registration form MUST be completed to register your child for the Common Entrance Assessment. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the registration form is completed.

AQE Registration

  • Registration Form & Guidance Notes (PDF download)
  • Registration Guidance Notes for Parents (AQE Website)
  • All Registration Forms should be submitted to the AQE Office no later than Friday 6th September 2019.
  • All assessment centre places are filled on a first come, first served basis. Each centre has a limit to the number of candidates they can accommodate.
  • The AQE recommend all envelopes are sent recorded delivery as they cannot honour lost post unless evidence is provided.

AQE Timetable

Access Arrangements

The process of Access Arrangements (provisions for adjustments such as extra time etc during the assessments) runs alongside the process of Registration.
Access Arrangements are available for children who possess a learning, physical or medical impairment or children whose first language is neither English nor Irish and who have been in the UK/Ireland for less than three years.

Special Circumstances and Provisions

  • Special Circumstances are different from Access Arrangements. Special Circumstances are for when something has impacted your child throughout the assessments, for example: a broken limb, a bereavement.
  • Special Circumstances forms will only be available after the assessments have been sat by the children.
  • More information & the forms are available from the AQE's Special Circumstances and Provisions page.

Past Papers, Practice Papers & Free Samples

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