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Campbell College

Campbell College

Northern-Ireland-AQE & GL

11plus exam content.

Subjects Tested:  The AQE Transfer Test or PPTC Transfer Test - English and mathematics

Entrance criteria.

Due to Covid-19 The Transfer Test did not take place in 2020 and special criteria where used that year.

These Admissions criteria reflect those used in previous years for entry in the following  September.

To Parents/Guardians naming Campbell College as a preference on your child’s Transfer Form. 


Entrance Test Results 

Campbell College intends to use the score awarded to pupils completing the AQE Ltd CEA Entrance Assessment; and the percentile rank from GL Assessment (GLA) in 2020.  Parents should record their child’s test result in Section C of the Transfer Form in the following format:  ‘AQE CEA Score’ and/or ‘PPTC GLA Percentile Rank’.  

An original of the AQE result slip and/or a copy of the PPTC result slip must be attached to the form, as applicable. 


Special Circumstances and/or Special Provisions 

If you are making a claim for your son to be considered under Special Circumstances or Special Provisions please read carefully the information given in the relevant sections below and act accordingly. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide any relevant information supporting a claim for Special Circumstance or Special Provision. The Board of Governors has provided specific detail on these measures within this document. 



As a Voluntary B Grammar School, Campbell College charges an annual fee to all pupils for development and maintenance. The Board of Governors seeks to support applications to the College by offering scholarships, further details may be found in the Prospectus. 




The criteria for admission that are set out below have been agreed by the Board of Governors, which has delegated to an admissions sub-committee (and which includes the Headmaster) full authority to apply the criteria and administer the admissions policy which the Board has approved.  



Statement of Policy 

The College will consider for admission those who have taken the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) provided by the Association for Quality Education Limited (AQE); and/or the GL Assessment (GLA) provided by the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC) and who have been awarded a result in the form of an overall score (AQE) or percentile rank (PPTC).  

The College will use the score as awarded by AQE achieved by a pupil in the CEA; or the percentile rank by the PPTC in the GLA, subject only to consideration of the admission sub-committee responsible to the Board of Governors of those pupils claiming Special Circumstances or Special Provisions as explained below.

Information on the CEA and the GLA is available from the College or on the respective websites: AQE website (; PPTC website (  Applications are also received through boarding and through special provisions (see special provisions section below).  


Entrance Test Results 

The score in the AQE CEA and/or the percentile rank in the PPTC GLA should be entered in Section C of the Transfer Form in the following format: ‘AQE CEA score, and/or the percentile rank PPTC GLA’. This information will be verified by the College with AQE and/or PPTC. 

In applying its criteria, the College will use the methodology for admission. 

There is no requirement that an applicant should sit both the GLA and AQE entrance assessments.  However, in the case of an applicant who sits both assessments, the better outcome of the two assessments will be used. 



Campbell College will not use as a criterion the position of preference given to the school by the applicant on the Transfer Form; for example, a pupil who has not chosen Campbell College as a first preference school will gain a position in the main group or the pool according to CEA/GLA score as subsequent preferences are received.  


Pupils resident in Northern Ireland at the time of their proposed admission to the school will be selected before any pupils not so resident. 


Criteria for Admission 


1. 91 places will be allocated to applicants on the basis of the rank order of their respective CEA/GLA scores/percentile rank.   


2. If enrolling as a boarding pupil, up to 15 places in Year 8 are allocated for boarding pupils. 

 (The pupil must remain as a boarder throughout Years 8-12). 


3. Following the allocation of places as described in criterion 1 and 2, a pool of up to 72 places will be identified from the remaining applications; this will be done by the use of the banding tables; those achieving higher scores being selected for the pool before those who have scored less.  The remaining places will be allocated from the pool. The following criteria will be applied in the following order to those who: 


(i) are currently attending Campbell College Junior School.  Preference will be directly proportional to the number of years in attendance at Campbell College Junior School; 

 (ii) have an elder brother attending the College; 


(iii) have an elder brother who is a past pupil of the College (to at least GCSE); 


(iv) have a sister currently enrolled in Years 8-14 at Strathearn School or Bloomfield Collegiate School; 


(v) are the sons of employees of the College; 


(vi) are the sons of Old Campbellians; 


(vii) are the grandsons of Old Campbellians; 


(viii) If, when all the other criteria have been applied there are still places remaining, places will be allocted from the pool in rank order of CEA/GLA scores/percentile rank. In the event of a tie break in score/percentile rank, selection will be on the basis of the initial letter of the surname as identified on the Transfer Form. The order is set out below:  

 R  S  G  Z  M  U  L  V  W  I  E  C  K  P  A  H  T  Q  Y  B  D  J  F  X  O  N 



The order was predetermined by random computerised selection.  


The School emphasises that it is the responsibility of the applicants to notify on the Transfer Form where and how the above criteria apply, and to furnish relevant details. 



Special Circumstances 


Campbell College has academic performance as its first criterion, subject only to the consideration of medical or other problems which may have affected performance in the Common Entrance Assessment (CEA) or GL Assessment (GLA) and which are supported by documentary evidence of a medical or other appropriate nature.  These ‘medical or other problems’ are commonly referred to as ‘special circumstances’.   


Please note if a claim for the consideration of Special Circumstances is made in respect of matters for which Special Access arrangements were granted for a pupil, the School will take into account the fact that the pupil was granted Special Access arrangements for those matters. 


Parents who wish to apply to the School under Special Circumstances should complete the appropriate form available to download from AQE/PPTC and attach it with appropriate documentary evidence, as detailed below, to the Transfer Form.   


• Details of Medical or Other Problems 


Where it is claimed that a pupil’s performance in the CEA/GLA has been affected by a medical or other problem, it is the responsibility of the parents to complete the appropriate form and append evidence to corroborate its existence.   


 Where the problem is a medical one of short term duration which affected the pupil only at the time of the CEA/GLA, the School will give greater weight to evidence that the pupil was examined by a medical practitioner in relation to the illness at the time of the assessments. 


 Where the problem is of a non-medical nature the parents should append appropriate evidence. 

 It should be noted that in all cases independent evidence will carry greater weight. 


• Educational Evidence 


 It is the responsibility of the parents to provide the educational evidence as detailed in the appropriate form. 

 This should include (where it exists): 


–   The score achieved in the Common Entrance Assessment /GL Assessment percentile rank; 

 – The results for the pupil of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7 and the results in any end of year tests in English and Mathematics in Years 5 and 6; 


– (If possible), additional comparative information from the Primary School which includes the results   (without names) for other pupils in the pupil’s Year 7 class of any standardised tests conducted in Year 5, Year 6 and Year 7, and, where available, the respective CEA/GLA scores; 


–   any other relevant educational evidence. 

 The admissions sub-committee will consider the application for Special Circumstances.  If Special Circumstances are accepted, the panel will determine, on the basis of the information available, which Band the pupil fits into.  Such pupils will then be considered with all other pupils who have received a CEA/GLA score and the admissions criteria applied. 


• Special Provisions 


Special provisions will apply for: 


a)    pupils whose parents wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland; 

 b)    pupils who have received more than half their primary education outside Northern Ireland; 

 c)  pupils, entered for the AQE Common Entrance Assessment, or PPTC GL Assessment who because of     unforeseen and serious medical or other problems were unable to participate in any of the assessments. 

Note:  It is normally expected that all those seeking admission should sit the AQE CEA or PPTC GLA, with the exception of those pupils who take up residence in Northern Ireland after the start of Year 7.  


Parents who wish to apply to the College under Special Provisions should contact the College as soon as possible. In addition, they must enter the transfer process by contacting the transfer office at the Education Authority, stating the precise reason why they believe the pupil is eligible for consideration under Special Provisions and provide appropriate independent documentary evidence. A copy of the form and all the documentary evidence should be attached to the Transfer Form. 


For those pupils whose parents wish them to transfer from schools outside Northern Ireland, applications for Special Provisions should be made before 20th March 2020 at 2.00pm.   


• The admissions sub-committee will consider the application for Special Provisions.  Where Special Provisions are accepted, the following procedure will apply: 

 a) The College will consider any assessment information and may choose to commission an independent assessment of the pupil’s ability in English, Mathematics and / or Verbal Reasoning; 


b) The admissions sub-committee will determine, on the basis of all the available educational information, an appropriate band for the pupil.  If the pupil sat the CEA and/or the GLA test, the band achieved, if greater than the original, will stand. The pupil will then be considered with all other pupils who have received a CEA/GLA score/percentile rank and the admissions criteria applied. 



The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any applicant’s Transfer Form. 


If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place.  Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn. 




Should a vacancy arise after 1st June 2020, all applications for admission to Year 8 that were initially refused, new applications and applications where new information has been provided will be treated equally and the published criteria applied.  This waiting list will be in place until 30th June 2021. 





Contact details.

Campbell College

Belmont Road



Tel: 02890 763076


Type of Exam:  The Transfer Test in English and maths.

School website.

School history.

The History of Campbell College

Campbell College first opened its doors in 1894 thanks to philanthropist Henry James Campbell and has been educating boys from all over the world ever since.  The stunning 100 acre woodland campus sits on the edge of Belfast and the original redbrick Victorian building remains a striking centre piece of the College today.  Home to over 1200 boys aged 3-18,  the College has added state of the art facilities throughout its existence but the ethos remains true to the intentions of its founder.  Respect, service and leadership.

With a Junior School, Senior School and a thriving international Boarding department the College represents one of the leading Boarding and Day Schools on the Island of Ireland.

The school motto Ne Obliviscaris is born out of a history of leadership and service reflected particularly during the two world wars and our Royal Charter status was presented in 1951 in honour of those that have been lost.

The diverse list of its alumni is a reflection of a College that truly celebrates the individual and our heritage is celebrated by Campbellians, old and new, across the world.

** This information is provided for guidance only and while the content is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate we cannot be held in any way responsible for any errors or omissions that it may contain. Please contact your LA or chosen grammar school for all admission and elevenplus exam queries.**

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