11 Plus Schools

11 Plus in Northern Ireland

The 11 Plus was officially discontinued in Northern Ireland, but has re-emerged as a different selective process. The original political intention had been to introduce fully comprehensive education in the region, but there was a fierce backlash from both grammar schools and parents to the imposition of what they described as a “one size fits all educational system”.

From the chaos some degree of order has been created, at least for the time being. Two consortia of schools have emerged: the Association for Quality Education (AQE), and another grouping known as the Post Primary Transfer Consortium, which is driven mainly by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS). The entrance tests for the two consortiums differ, and there is a brief summary of both below.

The Post Primary Transfer Consortium

  1. The test is set by GL Assessment (formerly NFER).
  2. There is no charge to parents for their child to take the test.
  3. Parents have to register an application with PPTC
  4. The test will take place in a Post Primary school. On the application is an option to select the most convenient Assessment centre.

The test will comprise:

  1. English: A 50 minute multiple choice paper of 65 questions, including 3 comprehension passages.
  2. Maths: A 45 minute multiple choice paper of 45 questions.
  3. There will be a short practice paper before each main paper, and a short break between papers.
  4. Papers will be marked by an optical reader.

PPTC Admissions Information for 2017 Entry

Registration Opens 16th May 2016
Registration Closing dates 23rd September 2016 2pm
Supplementary test – 28th November 2016
Test Dates Saturday 19th September 2016
Saturday 10th December 2016 – supplementary test ( for children that are unable to sit the November test)
Test Types Maths and English (multiple choice)
Examiner GL Assessment
Results posted 27th January 2017
Remarking 10th February 2017– application request deadline
Allocation May/June 2017
Admissions PPTC
The Transfer Test
Recommended Practice Materials

Sample papers are available here and via the PPTC website.

The Association for Quality Education

  1. The test has been devised by CEA (Common Entrance Assessment) and there are sample papers available on their website.
  2. There is a charge of £44.00 for each child taking the test, although this is waived for children in receipt of free school meals.
  3. There is the option to sit the test in Irish
  4. Parents have to register an application with AQE. Application forms are available from the AQE website or office, from ‘The Transfer Test’ website or the schools.
  5. There are three papers to give pupils the best opportunity to display their abilities. The best two marks are taken into account.
    A child has the option to only take 2 papers if he wishes.
    Tests are held at participating Grammar schools, it does not need to be taken at the school you are applying to.

AQE Admissions Information for 2017 Entry

Registration Opens Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Registration Closes Friday 9th September 2016
Test Dates AQE Paper 1 – 10am on Saturday 12th November 2016
AQE Paper 2 – 10am on Saturday 26th November 2016
AQE Paper 3 – 10am on Saturday 3rd December 2016
Historically the GL Assessment was on the Saturday between AQE Papers 1 & 2. If this pattern continues for 2016 then the GL papers would be on Saturday 19th November 2016. However until the GL dates are officially announced by the PPTC this is just speculation.
Test Types Maths and English
There are three 1 hour papers. Each paper includes both subjects. The test consists of standard format questions in Maths . The English consists of some multiple choice questions.
Maths- the questions relate to KS2 and will not exceed level 5 and contain number; measures; shape and space; and handling Data
For CEA test specification see the AQE website.
Examiner CEA (Common Entrance Assessment)
Marks Each paper will be marked by 3 markers. 20% of the papers will be marked again.
The best two scores will be taken and a mean standardised score will be calculated.
Results 28th January 2017
Remarking 3rd February 2017 – remark application closed
Allocation May/June 2017
Admissions AQE
The Transfer Test
Recommended Practice Materials

The test will comprise:

  1. English – a poem and a prose passage
  2. English (Poem, Prose Passage), Maths and Basic Skills.
  3. Papers will be marked by hand.

Past assessment papers and sample papers are available to download from The Transfer Test website and
the AQE websites.

Practice papers can also be purchased from this website

Schools in the Post Primary Transfer Consortium

Schools in the AQE Consortium

Belfast Area

North Eastern Area

South Eastern Area

Western Area

Southern Area

Information on this page was believed to be correct at the time of writing, but we would not necessarily be aware of subsequent changes unless someone brings them to our attention.
Before acting on any information given here, please verify that it is up to date.

Page updated on 2nd July 2016

N Ireland 11 Plus Forum…

Practice Options

Mathematics Practice



Related Links