Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock PPTC Transfer Test (11 Plus) Information

Located in Knock, Our Lady and St Patrick’s College is a co-educational grammar school for children aged 11-18. Founded in 1985, the school is situated in spacious grounds in the Cherryvalley district of Belfast with a panoramic view of the city.


The school is open to over 1200 pupils from across Belfast, offering each a comprehensive, forward-thinking curriculum and a variety of creative, sporting and cultural activities. The school often reports excellent exam results and in 2018 was ranked joint in Northern Ireland for its GCSE performance, with 100 percent of its entrants receiving five or more at grades A* to C.


Transfer Test Information for Our Lady and St Patrick’s College


Address: Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, 120 Gilnahirk Road, Belfast, BT5 7DL

Admissions Info: info@knock.co.uk, 0289 0799890

School Type: Co-Educational Grammar

Number of pupils: 1260 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 8: 180 (approx.)

Open Day Date: January

Exam Date: November/December

Exam Board Type: GL Assessment


Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Admissions


Students hoping to gain a Year 8 place at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College are required to sit an entrance test set by GL Assessment. The school is one of 34 that forms the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC), which was established in the absence of a new transfer system following the abolition of the old 11 Plus process. Once students have taken the tests, results are banded and age standardised.


In cases where there are more applicants than available places, the following oversubscription criteria is used, giving priority to:


  • Applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals
  • Applicants who have a family member at the school (previously or currently)
  • Applicants who are the eldest or only child in the family
  • Applicants who live nearest the school
  • Applicants who are children of current school staff members
  • Applicants who are the first child in the family to transfer to a grammar school


For a more thorough explanation of the admissions process, or a breakdown of the oversubscription criteria, please refer to this information guide, or contact the school directly via info@knock.co.uk or 0289 0799890.


How to Apply for Year 8 Entry to Our Lady and St Patrick’s College


Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, encourages prospective students and their parents to attend its open day in January before registering for the Transfer Test. At this open event, the school’s Principal will welcome newcomers and there will be a series of tours from student guides.


Children only need to be registered for the Transfer Test once, as all schools within the PPTC use the same entrance assessment. Parents can apply for a place for their child via the PPTC’s website. Please refer to the PPTC’s guidance notes for further information on how to complete the registration form.


Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Transfer Test Format


The Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Transfer Test is set by GL Assessment. All children must sit two test papers in Maths and English.


Both papers contain multiple-choice questions and are split into two parts: A Practice Assessment and a Main Assessment. The Practice Assessment is intended to provide children with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the style of questions in the Main Assessment.


Maths Paper


The mathematics assessment paper begins with a Practice Assessment comprising of three familiarisation questions and six practice questions. The three familiarisation questions are worked through with the children and then they are provided with a further 10 minutes to complete the remaining six practice questions. The Main Assessment then begins and requires the children to work through 45 questions in 45 minutes.


English Paper


The English assessment paper begins with a Practice Assessment comprising of a short reading passage with three familiarisation questions (comprehension) and seven practice questions (four spelling and three punctuation) which take about 20 minutes to complete.


The Main Assessment then begins and requires the children to work through 60 questions in 50 minutes. The paper has three reading passages, each of which is followed by a number of comprehension questions. There are also a number of spelling and punctuation questions. The paper finishes with some general questions. Overall, 60% of the marks are for the comprehension questions which follow the reading passages and 40% of the marks are for the spelling, punctuation and general questions.


Scores for both papers are age standardised and results are posted to parents in January.


How to Prepare for the Our Lady and St Patrick’s College 11 plus (11+) Transfer Test?


Our Lady and St Patrick’s College is a popular grammar school in Northern Ireland and is likely to be oversubscribed for Year 8 places. Due to a high level of competition, parents should be prepared to start their child’s Transfer Test revision well ahead of the actual exam date.


Practice exam papers can give your child the edge over the competition, while also boosting their confidence. These papers allow children to become more familiar with the tests’ requirements and to better understand the types of questions they may be asked.


We would strongly recommend that students do timed practice papers ahead of the exam to help improve their time management skills and get them used to answering questions under a strict time pressure.


Our 11 Plus practice tests are designed to help your child prepare for Our Lady and St Patrick’s College. We would specifically recommend the following resources:


English – practice tests


English (Grammar Schools) Pack 1

English (Grammar Schools) Pack 2

English (Grammar Schools) Pack 3


English – skill development worksheets


English Spelling Pack 1

English Spelling Pack 2

English Punctuation


Maths – practice tests


Maths (Grammar Schools) Pack 1

Maths (Grammar Schools) Pack 2

Maths (Grammar Schools) Pack 3


Maths – skill development worksheets


Maths Problem Solving (Grammar Schools)

Maths: Mental Arithmetic


The information provided about Our Lady and St Patrick’s College was believed to be correct at the time of publishing. However, please be aware of future changes. We advise you to contact the school directly if you are unsure of anything. School contact details are provided within the post.

By Exam Papers Plus


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