Northern Ireland

SEAG transfer test: What to expect on results day

Children across Northern Ireland will receive their SEAG results on Saturday
Children across Northern Ireland will receive their SEAG results on Saturday (sengchoy/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Thousands of primary seven pupils in Northern Ireland will this weekend receive their results from the new look transfer test.

Around 14,000 children sat the tests in November, which marked the biggest change to the post-primary transfer system since 2008.

Run by the Schools Entrance Assessment Group (SEAG), the two tests took place in November with results due to be issued on Saturday.

The results, which can be accessed online from 8am, will be used by 62 schools in the north - the vast majority of them grammars - to decide which pupils to admit, paving the way for children to move from primary to post-primary.

Results will be issued online from 8am on Saturday
Results will be issued online from 8am on Saturday (DmitriyBezborodkin/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The SEAG exams replaced the separate tests run by AQE and PPTC, which were held for the last time in 2022.

Both test papers included questions on English and maths, with an option for pupils to be assessed on Irish rather than English.

English or Irish was examined through punctuation, spelling and grammar using multiple choice questions and there was a written comprehension test.

The maths part of the test included mainly multiple choice questions.

The SEAG results will see pupils receive scores and not a grade, as previously provided to pupils who sat the GL test.

This year’s results break-down will include:

- English Standardised Age Score

- Maths Standardised Age Score

- Total Standardised Age Score (which is the English and Maths Scores added together)

- Cohort Percentile Ranking (CPR)

- Cohort Band

The admission criteria is different for each school, with schools expected to use the ‘Total Standardised Age Score’ or ‘Cohort Band’ in order to offer places to pupils entering Year 8.

Many parents across Northern Ireland use an online support page, The Transfer Tutor App, which offers guidance on what to expect.

In posts on social media it has provided tips for parents trying to understand the new-look SEAG grades, compared to the AQE and GL scoring in previous years.

It said to “understand against AQE, the main things I would jump to (for simplicity) would probably be, Total Standardised Age Score - a score above 200 will tell you the child has done better than the average in NI and is equivalent to AQE 103″.

“Cohort Band - a Band 2 is at least AQE 103, and a Band 3 is at least 99 in AQE,” it added.

“If you’re used to GL, then again use Total Standardised Age Score and the comparison will be: Total Standardised Age Score - above 206 is like the GL A grade, 197 is a B1 and 190 is a B2.”

💥 Quick Score Comparison 💥 I've presented breakdown of scores, information on normal distributions with war and peace...

Posted by The Transfer Tutor App - Multi-Award Winning on Tuesday, 23 January 2024

In a statement, SEAG said: “We aim to have SEAG outcomes available, online by 8am Saturday 27th January 2024.

“To access the results parents will need to log on to their dashboard, using the email address and password which were used to register their child.

“No other email address will work. SEAG advises that every parent should log on, well before 27th January, to check that the correct details are being used.

“If a password has been forgotten a new password can be requested online.”

After the results have been issued on Saturday, applications for post-primary places will open through the Education Authority portal on January 30 with transfer forms to be completed by February 22.

Post-primary school decisions will be issued on May 18.