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Prepare for the elevenplus exam

bbc 1The two organisations which run the separate school transfer tests in Northern Ireland have said they want to produce a common test. (BBC 27/02/2017)

The Association of Quality Education (AQE) and the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) issued a joint statement announcing the move.

"We believe this to be in the best interest of pupils, parents and schools," said the groups.

Sources told the BBC that talks would begin in early March and the aim, they said, was to have a common test in place by November 2019.

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A rise in the number of primary seven pupils taking transfer tests across Northern Ireland is causing pressures in schools leading to some pupils facing long journeys to sit thir exams. (Belfast News Letter 13 October 2017)

Pupils hoping to go to one of Northern Ireland’s grammar schools can opt to sit a test accepted by their school of choice with either of two examination bodies, GL and AQE, and in some cases both.

One school, Wallace High School, say they have made additional places available in light of increased pressures.

Earlier this week, Lisburn mum Lisa Pauley had said she was told there was no room for for her son to sit the test at Friends or Wallace High School and that he would have to travel to Dungannon on November 11.

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Belfast live 1If you have ever had a child going through the exam, you'll probably recognise plenty of these. (Belfastlive - 15 Nov 2016)

1, Your child starts P6 and you promise yourself the transfer test won’t bring out the tiger (parent) in you. No matter what happens you will be calm and never let them see that this is scaring the absolute bejaysus out of you.

2, By Halloween the din of the other mums starts to infiltrate your calm exterior, “OMG only 12 months to go!!” Wise up! As if you ever started revising for an exam a year in advance in your puff. If you value your sanity you MUST avoid the desperate mummies of Hysteria Lane.

3, The pressure builds as the year goes on. You try to act normally when you pick your child up from school, but when you say, ”How was your day pet?” in your best faux-casual voice, what you actually mean was; “how did you get on in the test today?” “Tell me now, so I can plot it on my secret spreadsheet and cross reference it with your last 3 averages!” Normal behaviour, no?

4, You will no longer converse with your child in a normal manner. You get a bit shrill sergeant major-esque and say things like; “you do know this” and “I told you that this morning”. Give me 20 push ups, 10 square numbers and 4 conjunctions now!

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