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Practice Papers that follow the format for the SEAG Transfer Test.


  • Don’t agonise over ‘school-gate gossip’.

Find out when the exams are and get the advice that the schools give out. It’s better to spend your time helping your child.

  • It’s always worth practising.

Whatever schools say, it’s worth it. Children can improve their performance by 15 -20% by careful practice.

  • Start early if you can, but don’t worry if you haven’t.

Ideally it is best to start preparation for the Transfer Test exam at least one year ahead.  However, don’t panic if you don’t have that much time; even a few weeks can make a difference.

  • Make a simple action plan.

However long you’ve got, have a clear, simple strategy.  There are two key principles:

  1. Start from your child’s present level of knowledge.
  2. Help your child to learn from their mistakes. 
  • Motivation, motivation, motivation!

You have to take your child with you on this journey.  A simple rewards system can be highly effective.

  • Don’t just practice.

There’s a tendency to think that just practising one test after another will do the trick.  It’s more important to learn from mistakes by going through the test afterwards with your child as filling in the gaps in learning is crucial.

  • Stay calm, manage stress, build confidence.

Don’t talk about the Transfer test all the time.  Use breaks, treats and bite-sized learning sessions to keep things fresh.  Be realistic about your child’s potential.  Pass or fail, it’s important to try to make this process a positive one.

  • Manage the exam day.

Make sure that you have everything ready for the day, that your child tries to get a good night’s sleep, eats breakfast and gets there in good time.


The Entrance Assessment consists of two papers, both of which assess English (or Gaeilge) and Mathematics. Each paper has three sections:

Section 1 – The Practice Test: This section includes five English (or Gaeilge) questions and five maths questions. The Practice Test is designed to help pupils settle before the Main Test begins, and it is not assessed.

Section 2 – The English (or Gaeilge) Main Test: This section assesses your child’s English (or Gaeilge) skills with 28 questions, including a punctuation, grammar, and spelling exercise, and a comprehension passage with 13 questions.

Section 3 – The Maths Main Test: This section assesses your child’s maths skills with 28 questions, with Q29-Q50 being multiple choice and Q51-Q56 being free response.

Test Timing

Pupils have 60 minutes to answer all 56 questions in the Entrance Assessment. Each multiple-choice question has 5 possible answers, and an answer sheet is provided.

Preparing for the Test

To help your child prepare for the Entrance Assessment, you can use the practice materials provided by the school. Make sure your child is familiar with the format of the test, and encourage them to practice their English (or Gaeilge) and maths skills regularly.

During the Test

On the test day, make sure your child arrives at the test center on time, and with all the necessary equipment, including a pen and a calculator. Encourage them to stay calm and focused throughout the test, and to read the questions carefully before answering.

SEAG Entrance Assessment specification

In addition to the previous guide on the Entrance Assessment, we would like to provide you with more specific information about the SEAG Entrance Assessment specification. The test assesses candidates’ knowledge and understanding in English and Mathematics and is based entirely upon the content and syllabus of the statutory Northern Ireland Curriculum for Language and Literacy and the statutory Northern Ireland Curriculum for Mathematics and Numeracy at Key Stage 2.

English Assessment

The English section of the Entrance Assessment will assess your child’s ability to read, explore, understand, and make use of a range of texts. They will be expected to engage in sustained, independent reading to locate, select, evaluate, and communicate information relevant for a particular task.

The comprehension part of the English Assessment will require your child to answer 13 questions based on a passage. They will be asked to consider, interpret, and discuss texts, exploring the ways in which language can be manipulated in order to affect the reader or engage attention. They are expected to use a range of cross-checking strategies to read unfamiliar words in texts and use a variety of reading skills for different reading purposes.

The English Assessment will also test your child’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills. They may be asked to use a variety of skills to spell words correctly and to develop increasing competence in the use of grammar and punctuation to create clarity of meaning.

Mathematics Assessment

The Mathematics section of the Entrance Assessment will test your child’s knowledge, understanding, and skills in processes by demonstrating a range of strategies for problem-solving, interpreting situations mathematically using appropriate symbols or diagrams. They will be required to show a knowledge and understanding of Number and Number Notation; Patterns, Relationships and Sequences in Number; Operations and their Applications; Measurement; Shape and Space; Position, Movement and Direction; Data Handling; Money; and Probability.

The Mathematics Assessment will also assess your child’s ability to recognize general patterns and relationships and make predictions about them, responding to open-ended or multiple-choice questions.

We hope this guide has been helpful in preparing you and your child for the Entrance Assessment. If you have any further questions or concerns, please visit  Schools Entrance Assessment Group (SEAG) website for detailed information. or contact your child’s school.

Good luck!

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