St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt PPTC Transfer Test (11 Plus) Information



St Mary’s Grammar School is a co-educational school located in Magherafelt, County Londonderry. Founded in 1927 by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux, the school initially opened with 10 girls and now has approximately 1100 students on its roll.


Academically, the school performs well and in 2018 it was ranked joint first in Northern Ireland for its GCSE performance, with 100% of entrants receiving five or more at grades A*-C.


Hear what previous Year 8 pupils had to say about St. Mary’s Grammar School in this short video:



Transfer Test Information for St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt


Address: St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt, 3 Castledawson Road Magherafelt Co. Derry BT45 6BE

Admissions Info:, 02879 632 320

School Type: Co-Educational Grammar

Number of pupils: 1070 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 8: 153 (approx.)

Open Day Date: January

Exam Date: November/December

Exam Board Type: GL Assessment


St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt Admissions


St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt is one of the schools in Northern Ireland that use a selective admission policy. It is part of the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC), a system that uses the same standardised entrance assessment to determine admission.


Admission to St Mary’s Grammar School is determined by student performance in the PPTC Transfer Test. Results of the test are banded and age standardised. In cases where there are more applicants than available places at St Mary’s Grammar School, the following oversubscription criteria is used, giving priority to:


  • Pupil of whom a sibling is or was a pupil at the school
  • Pupil who is the first or only child in the family
  • Pupil whose parents are members of the permanent teaching or ancillary staff or of the Board of Governors
  • Pupil with special needs, medical or other compassionate circumstances
  • Pupil selected on the basis of age with the youngest candidate being selected first.


For further information on the school’s admissions process or oversubscription criteria, parents can contact the school directly at or on 02879 632 320.


How to Apply for Year 8 Entry to St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt


Before applying for Year 8 entry to St Mary’s Grammar School, parents and prospective students are invited to attend one of the school’s Open Days. The school hosts a couple of open evenings in January, which provide the perfect opportunity to ask any questions about the admissions process.


As every school in the PPTC uses the same entrance assessment, children only need to be registered for the test once. Parents can apply on behalf of their child using the registration form on the PPTC website. There are also some thorough guidance notes for parents, that provide further information on how to complete the registration form.


St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt Transfer Test Format


Children will sit two test papers, in English and Maths, both of which are set by GL Assessment. All questions are multiple-choice and students will be given practice sections before each paper to familiarise them with the exam layout.


English Paper


Children must work through 60 questions in 50 minutes. The paper begins with three reading passages, each of which is followed by a number of comprehension questions. There are also a number of spelling questions and punctuation questions. The paper finishes with some general questions.


Overall, 60% of the marks are for the comprehension questions that follow the reading passages and 40% of the marks are for the spelling, punctuation and general questions.


Maths Paper


The maths paper generally reflects the school curriculum, but a few questions cover areas which may not feature in any curriculum, such as elementary logic. Most questions have been written either to assess the understanding of mathematical concepts and processes, or to assess the use of mathematics as a practical skill in a range of everyday situations. The remainder of the questions require recall of mathematical facts, properties or geometric names.


Once papers are marked, both are age standardised and results are posted to parents in January. For more information about the content of the test papers, visit the PPTC website.


How to Prepare for the St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt 11 Plus (11+) Transfer Test?


With only 153 Year 8 places available, it’s advised that students begin their preparation for the St Mary’s Grammar School exam well ahead of test day. At Exam Papers Plus, we know it can be difficult for students to stay motivated when studying, so we recommend a variety of different approaches.


We recommend reading age-specific books to improve comprehension and using revision games that match students’ preferred learning style.


Our practice exam papers can also provide effective revision practice and help familiarise students with the layout and type of questions that may be asked in the Transfer Test. Students should will find following practice papers particularly useful:



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 Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt 11+ past papers. The information provided about St Mary’s Grammar School Magherafelt 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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