AQE Test Information

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AQE Transfer Test Information


The Association of Quality Education (AQE Ltd) is the company formed to manage and administer the AQE test. The test is also known as the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA).

This page contains links to important documents including how to register for the AQE test, a list of participating AQE Grammar Schools who use the AQE Transfer Test, how the AQE test is marked / scored and the arrangements for Special Circumstances / Provisions. 

Key Dates for the AQE Test 2018-2019 cycle.

The AQE assessments will take place on 
Saturday 10th November 
Saturday 24th November
Saturday 1st December.

Registration will open on Wednesday 2nd May 2018.

The results of the 2018 assessments will be released on Saturday 26th January 2019.

Key information regarding the AQE 2018/2019 cycle is now avaialbe.

Important Dates for the AQE tests

There are other dates relating to AQE office hours or deadlines for requests for a re-mark and you will find all that information using the link above.

AQE offer Free Sample AQE Paper questions on their website. You can only purchase past AQE test papers from the AQE website and not from any other company. You can always purchase AQE practice tests and English or maths preparation papers from our shop.

Detailed information about all aspects of the AQE transfer test is available at

** This information may change and is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your  examining board or chosen grammar school for all admission and registration details for the Transfer Test. **

How to register for the AQE Test

Registration forms for the Autumn 2018 tests. 
The CEA form for 2018-2019 is now available  2018-2019 AQE registration form  It gives a final closing date of Friday 7th September 2018 by which time the form must be returned. The fee in 2018 is £50.00. Late Registration Forms will be considered only when there are clear extenuating circumstances and in such cases a late entry fee of £75.00 will be incurred in place of the original fee.
Children entitled to Free Schools Meals do not have to pay the fee if the child is entitled to free school meals at the time of completing the AQE registration form.

AQE Schools

There are 34 schools offering the CEA test and using it to facilitate the selection of pupils into Year 8 (1st form), The links on the AQE website schools page will take you to the website of the relevant school where you will find more information about the test procedures and any additional detail or advice provided by each school.

Emergency Access Arrangements

Access Arrangements
If your child has sustained an injury or has an ongoing chronic medical condition and cannot complete the test without some form of help you can apply for Emergency Access Arrangements so that adjustments to allow your child to take the test can be made. These adjustments may not be granted or could be withdrawn if your child recovers sufficiently before the test.

If you think your child may be eligible you should consult the following documents:- 

General Guidance Access Arrangements 2018

Access Arrangements Application  2018

First Language Guidance Notes 2018 

The AQE Assessment Procedure

Preparation before the actual tests
Following the registration process, all candidates are contacted by their Assessment Centre, and invited to attend a familiarisation day in that school. These days are organised by the Assessment Centres and the format can vary from centre to centre. The familiarisation days will give your child an opportunity to visit the room or hall where they will be sitting the assessments and to meet their invigilators. It is not compulsory for your child to attend but it is recommended as it has been proven to help the children relax in preparation for their actual CEA assessments.

On the day of the tests
The AQE assessments begin at 10 a.m. and last for 1 hour (with the exception of extra time candidates). There are 3 tests and AQE recommends that all children attend all of the assessments. However it is only compulsory to attend 2 assessments.  

There is no subsidiary paper available. If for any reason your child can attend only 1 assessment  you will need to contact the AQE Office. 

AQE Marking and Results

Marks and results
The tests are marked by AQE staff. This link explains how the AQE marking is carried out.
Results are received by parents on Saturday 26th January 2019 and the results are posted to the home address used during the registration process. If your address has changed you must inform the AQE Office of your new address. 

Special Circumstances and Provisions

Special circumstances
The receiving post-primary schools process any applications for Special Circumstances/Provisions. This is not carried out by AQE however this link explains the process of applying for special circumstances.  


AQE Transfer Tests: Grammar Schools’ intake and grade details

What was the highest AQE score in 2017 and what was the lowest AQE score that schools accepted for entry into year 8 in September 2017? 
Below is a link to the Belfast Telegraph that gives a comprehensive table of results for the Transfer Test taken in the Autumn term of 2017. There are also links to 2015 and 2016  results

It shows the grades needed to get into the grammar schools requiring the AQE or GL Transfer Test result. Some schools accept both the AQE and the GL Assessment in Northern Ireland.

The table contains the name of the school, what town the school it is in, the highest grade/score/quintile/band it accepted and the lowest grade/score/quintile/band it accepted for entry in September 2017.

It also includes how many first preference choices it received, total applications and how many spaces the school has in year 8 - the Approved Enrolment.

This table gives an indication of what score might be needed in future years to obtain a place in your chosen Grammar School but it is only guidance.

 AQE and GL Transfer Test Details for September 2018

Required score for the 2017 AQE and GL intake on the Belfast Telegraph Website
Required score for the 2016 AQE and GL intake on the Belfast Telegraph Website
Required score for the 2015 AQE and GL intake on the Belfast Telegraph Website 

Grammar schools using the AQE Transfer Test.

There are a small number of schools that accept both Transfer Test results. Ensure that you check details with your chosen school.


Belfast Royal Academy 
Bloomfield Collegiate 
Campbell College
Grosvenor Grammar School
Hunterhouse College 
Methodist College 
Strathearn School 
Victoria College
Wellington College



Antrim Grammar School
Ballyclare High School
Ballymena Academy
Belfast High School
Cambridge House Grammar School
Carrickfergus Grammar School
Coleraine Grammar School
Dalriada School
Larne Grammar School



Bangor Grammar School
Down High School
Friends’ School Lisburn
Glenlola Collegiate School
Regent House School
Sullivan Upper School
The Wallace High School




Banbridge Academy
Royal School, Armagh
Royal School, Dungannon



Foyle College
Limavady Grammar School
Omagh Academy
Strabane Academy
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School



These schools include:-

Antrim Grammar School
Campbell College
Hunterhouse College 
Victoria College
Wellington College


View GL Assessment NI Schools

** This information is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your  examining board or chosen grammar school for all admission and registration details for the Transfer Test. **