AQE score calculator: a rough guide based on percentages

Why an AQE score calculator?

In my experience, parents want to know what AQE score their child can expect, based on their percentage scores in practice tests. There’s very little information out there about AQE test score/ percent equivalents, because the answer is not fixed, or even the same every year.

Our site is full of information about helping your child achieve their potential in the AQE Transfer Test, as well as our 30 minute workbooks.

Is an AQE score calculator even possible?

We think it’s possible to suggest an educated estimate. In fact, teachers do this all the time. But please be aware this is NOT an exact science.

Based on experience first and foremost, plus information on raw scores and final test scores kindly shared by friends and other parents, it’s possible to give a rough guide to what AQE test score has been equivalent to in percent in past years.

Please remember that this is only a rough guide. We don’t want to give the impression that we worked this out on the back of an envelope – it’s based on five year’s experience, including several years as a test marker, but this is only a guide for your information.

You should also understand this –

  • Average scores in each test paper will vary with difficulty of the questions. We’ve noticed a tendency for the questions to get slightly more difficult every year – this is not a bad thing – it probably helps spread the marks out a bit. Also in one test year, each paper will vary in difficulty.
  • Scores are age-adjusted – that’s partly why we’ve suggested a range of potential final scores. Don’t worry about this, the age adjustments are slight and make the test fair for all ages.
  • The practice test percentages your child gets will rise over months – you don’t need, and shouldn’t expect, them to be hitting their top scores until November.

If you want to learn more about how AQE test scores are worked out, click here.

AQE scores/percent ready reckoner

So with all that in mind, here’s our best estimate of what to expect (note there is a bit of overlap in the range, especially around the average). It hasn’t let us down yet. If you’d like to share any information about raw and final scores that might help other parents, please feel free to add it in the comments. Would love to know if these estimates hold true for you.

% score            Estimated AQE score

< 65%               < 88

66-69%           89-92

70-72%           91-95

73-77%           96-100

77-79%           98-103

80-81%          102-105

82-84%          106-110

85-86%          110-111

87-89%          111-114

90-92%          114-117

93-94%          117-120

95% +              120 +


Equivalent scores in detail using AQE score calculator

We reckon the average AQE score (100) roughly equates to between 76-80%, depending on the paper, and is mostly in the high-70s.

In terms of the scores accepted by different schools, many parents get fixated on a particular ‘cut-off’ point their child needs to get into the school of their choice. We don’t advise getting too caught up with this, as the lowest score accepted by any school can change from year to year. The Belfast Telegraph publishes a guide every year. However, here are few estimated cut-off points for you, if this is your concern –

  • % in the low-to-mid 70s roughly equates to 95+ at AQE
  • % in the high-70s roughly equates to 100 at AQE
  • % in the low-80s roughly equates to 105+ at AQE
  • % in the mid-80s should take you to about 110+ at AQE

Really hope this helps you all. Whatever you do, please don’t put your child under pressure to achieve the score you think they ‘need’, especially if you’re nowhere near the end of the journey.

You’ll get the most accurate prediction of their AQE test score by looking at their practice test percentages in October and especially in November, and not before!

We’ve got lots of advice about how to help you child reach their potential – like this about how to read English comprehension texts better.

Or this on using fraction cubes to revise AQE test maths. 

Stick with us and we’ll share with you everything we know about achieving your potential in the AQE Transfer Test.

Our site is full of information about helping your child achieve their potential in the AQE Transfer Test, including our 30 minute workbooks.




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