The Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) is based on three one-hour assessments which take account of the English and Maths components of the present primary school curriculum.

Each paper has 58 questions counting for 64 marks. There are 32 marks for English and 32 marks for Maths. Some questions in the English sections are worth two marks, where one mark can be given for a partially correct answer according to the set mark scheme. No half marks are awarded.

The format for each paper is the same and comes in the following order:

- 8 mathematics items.
- Poem 1 followed by 7 comprehension items
- 8 mathematics items.
- Basic skills passage (with lines numbered on the right) followed by 5 basic skills items (English).
- 8 mathematics items
- Poem 2 followed by 7 comprehension items.
- 8 mathematics items.
- Prose passage followed by 7 comprehension items.

The Common Entrance Assessment takes account of the learning programme and attainment targets of the Revised Key Stage 2 Curriculum for English and Mathematics. The assessment should therefore be accessible to all pupils studying the Revised Key Stage 2 Curriculum in Northern Ireland.

No marks are given for working out and candidates should ensure that their answers are clear and in the answer space provided.

Working out can be done on the assessment paper but the answer must be clearly distinguishable and only the answer given in the space provided will be accepted. We recommend that all working out is done on the loose paper provided. Candidates will have access to as much loose paper as they require.