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The AQE Office telephone lines are off between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

Information relating to the practical running of the 2021 assessments can be found here

AQE Key Dates and Information 2021/2022

The 2021/2022 Sample Paper, the support documents for English and mathematics and the guide to which individual questions will not be relevant for this year’s assessment can be found here

AQE Update 18th May 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the education of young people since March 2020. Their learning has been disrupted and the children hoping to take the AQE assessment in the autumn are understandably unsure about what lies ahead of them. AQE is fully aware of this, we have listened to the feedback from parents and the schools and we have placed the best interests of the child at the centre of our planning.

Following extensive engagement with its 34-member grammar schools and through them a large number of local primary schools, the Association for Quality Education Ltd. (AQE) can announce that applications for the 2021/22 Entrance Assessment will open on Tuesday 25th May 2021.

Given the impact that Covid-19 has had on schooling, AQE has engaged with schools and other stakeholders to ensure that its plans reflect the needs of the schools and, above all, the participating pupils. We have listened to the feedback and have made the assessment more accessible in recognition of the impact of the pandemic.

The recommendations from the schools were to hold the assessments before the Christmas 2021 break and to retain the three assessments to ensure maximum fairness for each pupil. As results are based on the two best papers out of the three, this allows room for a child to have an ‘off day’ without it impacting their result.

The Entrance Assessments will be held on the following dates:

  • Saturday 20th November 2021
  • Saturday 27th November 2021
  • Saturday 4th December 2021

Due to the unprecedented circumstances, AQE has made revisions to this year’s assessment in order to recognise the disruption that Covid-19 has had on schooling. The assessments will follow the same general format as the past papers that many will be using for practice.

AQE has made modifications for this assessment, including:

  • The provision of detailed English and mathematics support documents for the 2021/22 CEA papers which will be made available on the AQE website for parents and teachers to access.
  • Some mathematics topic areas included in previous years will not be assessed in the 2021/22 assessment. Details of these topic areas will be available on the AQE website for parents and teachers to access.
  • Some of the English passages have been shortened where appropriate.
  • The mathematics and English questions have been revised to make them more accessible for this year’s assessment.
  • Access has been provided free of charge to a large selection of past papers on the AQE website and others are available for purchase so that children can prepare thoroughly for the assessment (AQE will be providing a guide showing which individual questions will not be relevant for this year’s assessment due to the revisions described above – available from 3rd June 2021 by using the link below)
  • A sample paper, reflecting the 2021/22 assessment, will be provided free of charge on the AQE website.

For the 2021/22 assessments we are allowing an extra 10 minutes to
complete each paper, therefore candidates will have 1 hour 10 minutes to complete each paper.

Update on refunds – 24th May 2021

All refunds from the 2020/2021 cycle are now complete. Funds will have been returned to the account from which they were paid between March and May 2021.

If you paid via cheque or cash you will have received an email from our Admin Team on 20th April on the next steps to be taken. Please check your Junk Mail folder if you have not received this.

Please see below for further information on the Common Entrance Assessments.

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.  To find out more about AQE Ltd please click here

A full list of participating AQE Grammar Schools can be found here  and on the front cover of the Registration Form. Anyone who hopes to be admitted to any of the AQE Grammar Schools listed will have to sit the CEA.