AQE Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) | The Transfer Test
Information for Parents

AQE Common Entrance Assessment (CEA)

About the AQE

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


Contact the AQE

AQE Website Contact Us page.
E-mail: info@aqe.org.uk
Telephone Number: (028) 90224002


Common Entrance Assessment (CEA)

  • Format of the CEA (pdf)
  • Specification of the CEA - 2020 (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 Website .

AQE Key dates (2021/22)

Saturday 25th May 2021: Registration Opens
Friday 24th September 2021: Registration Closes (5pm)
Saturday 20th November 2021: Assessment Paper 1
Saturday 27th November 2021: Assessment Paper 2
Saturday 4th December 2021: Assessment Paper 3
More Key Dates


2021/22 Registration

AQE Registration opened at 10am on Tuesday 25th May 2021.
AQE registration closes at 5.00pm on Friday 24th September 2021

Applications can be completed online via the AQE website throughout the opening period. Alternatively a hard copy will be available to download and print.
Visit the AQE's website registration page


AQE Schools not using academic selection for 2021/22

The following schools have announced that they will not be using AQE results to select pupils for 2022.

  • Lagan College, Belfast

Each school will have their own admissions criteria for 2022.


AQE (CEA) Past Papers

2014-2019 Past Papers are only available to purchase from the AQE website shop.
2009-2013 Past Papers are available free to download from the AQE website.


The Transfer Test AQE (CEA) Practice Papers

To purchase our AQE (CEA) Practice Papers please visit our shop.