St. Malachy’s College, Belfast PPTC Transfer Test (11 Plus) Information



Founded in 1833, St Malachy’s College is an all-boys Catholic grammar school with over 1000 students enrolled. The school reports good examination results and regular inspections have found its pupils to be highly-motivated and self-confident.


While the College does set its pupils a challenging academic curriculum, it also has an extensive range of extracurricular activities for boys to join, allowing students to take on roles and responsibilities outside of the classroom.


Transfer Test Information for St. Malachy’s College


Address: St. Malachy’s College, 36 Antrim Road, Belfast, BT15 2AE

Admissions Info:, 02890 748 285

School Type: Boys’ Grammar

Number of pupils: 1050 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 8: 150 (approx.)

Open Day Date: January

Exam Date: November/December

Exam Board Type: GL Assessment


St. Malachy’s College Admissions


At present, 34 schools make up the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC), an unregulated system that uses the same standardised entrance assessment to determine admission.


Admission to St. Malachy’s College is determined by student performance in the PPTC Transfer Test.  In cases where there are more applicants than available places, the following oversubscription criteria is used, giving priority to:


  • Applicants who are siblings of present or past pupils of St. Malachy’s College
  • Applicants who are the eldest boy of the family eligible to transfer to mainstream post primary education
  • Applicants who are sons or grandsons of former pupils of St. Malachy’s College
  • Applicants who are entitled to Free School Meals


For more information on the admissions process or oversubscription criteria at St. Malachy’s College, email the school at, or call 02890 748 285.


How to Apply for Year 8 Entry to St. Malachy’s College


St. Malachy’s College holds a Year 8 Open Event for parents, which usually takes place in January. This session gives parents the opportunity to ask questions relating to the transfer process and to learn more about the school’s environment. Parents who are considering applying for a place at St Malachy’s for their son should attend this event before applying.


To apply for a place at St. Malachy’s College, parents need to register their child via the registration form on the PPTC website. Only one application is required, as every school in the PPTC uses the same entrance assessment.


St. Malachy’s College Transfer Test Format


GL Assessment is the exam board that sets the St Malachy’s Transfer Test. Students are required to sit two test papers in English and Maths. Both papers contain multiple-choice questions and students will have the chance to complete practice sections before the main assessments begin.


Maths Paper


The maths paper lasts for 45 minutes and has 45 questions. While many of the questions are based on the school’s curriculum, there will be some additional questions centred on elementary logic, mathematical facts, properties and geometric names. Going into the assessment, pupils should have a knowledge of mathematical concepts and processes, as well as an ability to use maths in everyday situations.


English Paper


The English paper lasts for 50 minutes and has 60 questions. The paper begins with three reading passages, followed by comprehension questions (60% of total mark). There are then spelling and punctuation questions, followed by general questions (40% of total mark).


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


More information on the content of the test papers can be found on the PPTC website. The website also has a useful FAQs page that parents might wish to review.


How to Prepare for the St. Malachy’s College 11 Plus (11+) Transfer Test?


When it comes to preparing for the Transfer Test, it’s best to start early. The sooner students start revising, the more time they’ll have to increase their knowledge and improve their exam technique. In the first instance, parents should create a revision timetable with their child, making sure that all the elements of the exam are covered.


At Exam Papers Plus, we would encourage students to use practice exam papers early in their revision in order to provide an overview of their current abilities. Not only do practice papers help identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, but they help familiarise them with the layout of the exam.


Regularly testing students with exam practice papers can be also be a good way of monitoring their progress. As exam day approaches, students should take timed practice papers to help improve their time management skills and get them used to answering questions to a deadline.


We have several practice papers that can help your child prepare for the St. Malachy’s College PPTC Transfer Test:



Full Practice Tests

Skill specific practice




Full Practice Tests

Skill specific practice




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Our practice tests aim to show what sort of questions were included in St. Malachy’s College 11+ past papers. The information provided about St. Malachy’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.

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