Should My Child Do AQE Too?

A question that I’m regularly asked is, My child has their heart set on a school that accepts the GL result, but do you think I should apply for the AQE too, or do you think that’ll be too much pressure on them?

Well, firstly, you know your child best and what will be deemed as too much pressure (or not) is one that only you can judge and so I couldn’t possible be generic about that, however, there are some things worth considering and I hope this helps you with your ultimate decision.

Before I start – no, I’m not on commission for people applying for the AQE test (just in case you think I have some vested interest lol).

AQE Result May Be Plan B

I guess the most obvious reason for doing the AQE test (as well as the GL) is that you actually might appreciate the fact that you have this other score/result if things don’t go well with your Plan A and the GL test.

Some people will have it all planned out that if their child does well they go to school X (typically, their chosen grammar) and if they don’t achieve the required score (which of course we don’t exactly know right now), they will go to school Y (normally the local high school)– and for those people, that’s great. This makes sense and there is a clear plan in place which covers all bases.

However, you may be in the position that your child is currently doing great and everyone (tutor, teacher, principal) if forecasting that they’ll have no problem securing the required GL mark and so you’re quietly confident and haven’t really thought about a plan B as you think the child will be ok – and anyway, there are no local, high schools that you would like your child to attend (or that they would get into). For me, this is the real, danger zone and if you’re in this category, I would suggest you think very carefully if it’s worth the child doing the AQE, just in case you need to fall back on this result.

Kids Are Resilient

I know the nerves are kicking in and the kids are a bit fed up with the whole revision malarkey, but on the test days, I find the vast majority (with some exceptions) of kids are excited and happy the day has finally arrived.

When trying to think ahead, some parents think that the pressure will be too much for their little one and I know there are genuine cases of children who do suffer from anxiety, but in the main I would suggest that parents may be very surprised at how resilient their child can be if they just go for it.

Good Dry Run

If the child is relying on achieving a great score in the GL test, doing the AQE, just one week beforehand, could be the perfect way to get them familiar with an unfamiliar environment.

In many ways, doing the AQE test first could act as a good dry run so that the child will get a feel of how it is going to be to get up on a Saturday, get breakfast, go to a unknown test centre and sit down and do a test.

Okay, that may not sound ideal or exciting, but when they then roll up to the GL test, they will be more familiar with this strange experience and it could be less daunting and feel like less of an unknown.

Regret Something You Did, Not Something You Didn’t

Admittedly, there are some parents who I’ve met in the past that did regret doing putting their child in for all the tests, because their child did well in the GL anyway and so they deemed this superfluous; but there are more parents I know who regretted not putting their child forward for both because their child didn’t do as well as excepted or their circumstances changed.

For me, I would like to be in the category of regretting something I did, rather than regretting something I didn’t do – but that may be just me and this is for you to decide.

Good Backup If Change In Circumstances

Life rarely stays the same and who knows what’s down the line – a new job, a house move etc., so doing the AQE gives the child a score in case they need it in the future.

At a recent event I heard the story of a child from Enniskillen who sat the GL test and did really well but a year later their family moved to Derry/Londonderry and couldn’t get into the local grammar as that school actually wanted an AQE score.

Maybe something worth thinking about, especially if you have future plans that could result in change.

Applying For The AQE Test

If after reading this you now want to apply for the AQE test, that was not the explicit intention of this blog but I did want to highlight the potential benefits to new parents who may not fully understand the process or considered what’s down the line after the tests are complete.

However, if you do now want to apply, there is a late registration process and you can check out the AQE Registration Blog and this will give you all the information, forms and advice you need to make this happen, but needless to say, don’t leave it too long to get moving.

Child in P6 or P7? Read On..

The Transfer Tutor App – A Super Support To Revision!

** Multi-Award Winning, including Best Digital Product in NI (2018 FSB)

The Transfer Tutor’s Online Quizzes provide a fun and interactive way to learn and practise Maths and English questions which are directly aligned to both the AQE and GL specifications.

There are many, great features including (but not limited to):

  • Quizzes broken down into specific English and Maths topics, to allow for focused learning and the ability to hone in on areas of weakness.
  • Mobile friendly and works on any internet device.
  • Hint’ option supports the child’s learning. For example, in question about calculating area of an irregular shape, the hint will say, “Break it into two” – enough to keep the child going but teaching them for future, similar questions.
  • The Leaderboard at the end makes the child feel like they’re playing a game and having friendly competition.
  • Good use of colour and graphics which makes it exciting.
  • Parents receives a progress email at the end to let them know how their child did.

Google Reviews

With a total of over 600 Five-Star Reviews in Facebook and Google – along with raving recommendations, it’s worth a look. Check out the Google Reviews here to read the detailed comments and then decide for yourself.

How To Buy

Simply choose the licence you need depending on the length of time you need access, click on the blue box, pay and then you’ll be off within minutes.

For any further questions, please contact me or check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

All of these are a one-off payment until they expire – so no additional costs.


(Expires December 2019) 

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CAT LICENCE – Only £50

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To give you a feel for the quizzes, start the free quiz by clicking on the button below.  I hope you enjoy and to get access to over 30 quizzes in Maths and English click here for membership options.


Free Facebook Group

You may have read in the reviews about people referring to the Facebook Support Group and this is certainly a great place to keep informedask questionsget support and keep up-to-date with anything happening in the transfer space.

It’s free to join but please ensure you have a genuine Facebook profile picture (ghost pictures are not approved as not deemed authentic) and then simply click here and answer the simple questions -> Join Facebook Group.