This year’s transfer tests are to get under way at schools across Northern Ireland today.
Over the coming weeks thousands of primary seven pupils will be sitting either AQE’s Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) or GL Assessments — some sitting both — to help secure a grammar school place for September.
More than 6,700 children are due to take the first of three AQE tests, which are mainly used by the controlled schools to determine their year eight intake. Pupils will answer English and Maths based questions.
The best two scores of the three assessments are taken to create an average score. Out of a possible score of 145, the top score achieved last year was 127.
Billy Young from AQE explained: “A pupil is not likely to score 145, because they would have to score full marks on two assessments.”
The remaining two AQE tests will be held on November 26 and December 3.
Although there has been a gradual fall in the number of pupils being entered for the AQE assessment from 7,018 in the first year to 6,817 last year to 6,725 this year, AQE has defended the slump.
Mr Young said: “I am pleased with this year's total because in the P7 band, there were over 1,100 fewer pupils in the second year than in the first year; there were 600 fewer pupils in the third year than there were in the second year. In other words there was a drop of almost 1,800 from year one to year three and our entry only dropped by less than 300.”
However, AQE is expecting the number of candidates to rise next year as there are more pupils in that group.
Next Saturday the GL Assessment will be held. An extra test will be held on December 10.
Despite requests from Belfast Telegraph PPTC have not yet provided figures for how many pupils registered for this year’s test.