Northern Ireland Transfer Test

The Northern Ireland Transfer Test has been updated by The Schools’ Entrance Assessment Group (SEAG) which provides a single Entrance Assessment with standardised results provided by GL Assessment. This ensures that pupils transferring from their primary school to a grammar school can use their SEAG outcome across Northern Ireland, making the admissions process easier.

How has the Northern Ireland Transfer Test Changed ?

Previously there were two separate transfer tests that pupils sat, ran by AQE and the PPTC, these have now been replaced by the SEAG tests which will consist of two papers. These papers are written by GL. These two papers will usually be sat two weeks apart, the first paper usually occurring in the middle of November followed by the second, two weeks later. Both papers assess English and Mathematics and follow the same format.

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Format

The tests are in three sections with the first being the practice section which is then followed by the English test and then the maths test.

  • First Practice Test section, including 5 English followed by 5 Maths questions.
  • The second section is the English Main Test which includes, a “Grammar Exercise” with 5 multiple choice questions, a “Punctuation Exercise” with 5 multiple choice questions, followed by a “Spelling Exercise” with 5 multiple choice questions.
  • This is followed by an “English Comprehension,” this includes a passage followed by 13 questions, with 7 being multiple choice and 6 being free response.
  • The third section is the Maths Main Test. Including 28 questions with the first 22 being multiple choice and the last 6 being free response.
  • Pupils will have 60 minutes to complete the exam.
  • Each multiple-choice question will have 5 possible answers.

Realistic Northern Ireland Transfer Test Papers.

Lots of families want to help their children by giving them a good idea of the format of the tests before they take them. There are a number of suppliers of these tests. We have reviewed the market and believe the following papers give parents the best option in terms of price and quality. Parents can buy single papers if they wish to , or they can buy packs of four papers ( we believe if children are working at home then four papers is probably more than enough for a child who has also done some preparation work)

We have checked with the supplier and for Northern Ireland these papers can also be used by Northern Ireland schools  , follow the links below to get access:

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Mock Exam Paper 1

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Mock Exam Paper 2

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Mock Exam Papers 1-4 Bundle

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Mock Exam Papers 5-8 Bundle

Application and Test process for the Northern Ireland Transfer Test

Apply to sit transfer test – Registration for your child tends to open at the beginning of May and closes towards the end of September. Registration must take place on the SEAG website and will cost £20 to register your child unless they are eligible for free school meals.
You will be able to choose where your child will sit the test on the SEAG website and you should select a testing centre that is most convenient for you. However, there are only limited number of centres that accommodate for the Irish version, so it is imperative the correct school is chosen.

Transfer Test dates – The transfer test is compiled of two assessment papers, often with one being early November and the second being late November

Transfer Test Results – These will usually be posted at the end of January

Allocation of a place – In May, parents are informed by the Education Authority which school their child has been allocated to.

Actual results and further information about the Cohort Percentile Ranking will be provided for pupils in bands 2-4. This will help inform parents who may be considering a re-mark in the hope that their children could achieve a higher band.

All schools that your child will have to take the transfer test for entry are listed below.


Antrim Grammar School Dalriada Grammar School
Ballyclare High School Friends’ Grammar School
Ballymena Academy Larne Grammar School
Belfast High School St Louis Grammar School
Cambridge House Grammar School Wallace High School
Carrickfergus Grammar School


St Patrick’s Grammar School The Royal School Armagh


Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School Our Lady and St Patrick’s College
Belfast Royal Academy Rathmore Grammar School
Bloomfield Collegiate School Royal Belfast Academical Institution
Campbell College St Dominic’s High School
Dominican College St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School
Grosvenor Grammar School Strathearn School
Hunterhouse College Victoria College
Malachy’s College Wellington College Belfast
Methodist College


Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School Regent House Grammar School
Assumption Grammar School Sacred Heart Grammar School
Banbridge Academy St Colman’s College
Bangor Grammar School St Louis Grammar School
Down High School St Patrick’s Grammar School
Glenlola Collegiate School Sullivan Upper School
Our Lady’s Grammar School


Enniskillen Royal Grammar School St Michael’s College
Mount Lourdes Grammar School

Londonderry / Derry

Coleraine Grammar School Lumen Christi College
Dominican College Rainey Endowed School
Foyle College St Columb’s College
Limavady Grammar School St Mary’s Grammar School
Loreto College Thornhill College


Christian Brothers Grammar School St Josephs Grammar School
Loreto Grammar School St Patricks Academy
Omagh Academy Strabane Academy
Royal School Dungannon

Exam Papers, Books and Mock Exams for the Northern Ireland Transfer Test

As the transfer test is written by GL there are plenty of preparation options if you are studying at home. We have sections on:

These will guide you to our suggested books to use in the final year of preparation together with a detailed preparation plan to help you organise your work at home.

In addition many families to use mock transfer test papers. There are a few suppliers of these papers but the best ( in terms of accuracy and content) and most reasonable are Learning Street and we have provided a link to their papers below. They provide papers across the whole secondary entry spectrum in the UK and so are experts in their field.

Transfer test mock exams

Unlike other providers , these tests come with full invigilation notes and papers can be bought individually rather than only in bulk which suits some families better.

Preparation for the Northern Ireland Transfer Test

  • Firstly it is important to understand what preparation options you have and what might be the most suitable route to go down. Go forward to our Transfer Test preparation options page to understand what the options are and to start thinking about which one might be best for you.
  • If your child is in year three or four currently then you might also find it useful to understand what advice we offer parents who want to start helping their children at this stage.
  • If your child is in the latter stages of year four or in year five then we offer different advice designed to help families who are closer to the exam date.
  • If your child is part way through year five or quite close to the exam then we have tried to show how you can use the time you might have available most effectively.

Northern Ireland Transfer Test Revision Advice

How you revise for the Northern Ireland Transfer Test is just as important how much you revise. You can get information on how to prepare for the exam on our Top Ten Transfer Test Preparation Tips page. While it is recommended to start revision and preparation early, if you have left it late to begin, the we suggest visiting our Last Minute Preparation page to see our last minute process and plan. If the transfer test is approaching soon and you are looking for advice for the day, then check out our Transfer Test Exam Day Tips page.

If you want to use Transfer Test Mock Papers at home then these are the ones we recommend