Thornhill College PPTC Transfer Test (11 Plus) Information



Located in Derry, Thornhill College is a girls-only Catholic grammar school that was founded in 1886 by the Sisters of Mercy. The school was handed over to the Bishop and the Diocese of Derry in 2004, after the school expanded to a new site.


In 2009, Thornhill College became a Specialist School in Mathematics and Physics. Part of the school’s mission is to provide a broad, but challenging curriculum within a stimulating learning environment.


Transfer Test Information for Thornhill College


Address: Thornhill College, Culmore Road, Derry, BT48 8JF

Admissions Info:, 02871 355 800

School Type: Girls’ Grammar

Number of pupils: 1400 (approx.)

Number of Places in Year 8: 200 (approx.)

Open Day Date: January

Exam Date: November/December

Exam Board Type: GL Assessment


Thornhill College Admissions


Since the Northern Ireland Assembly abolished the previous eleven plus process, a number of post primary schools have continued to use a selective admission policy. At present, 34 schools have joined the Post Primary Transfer Consortium (PPTC), including Thornhill College. Each of the schools in the PPTC use the same standardised entrance assessment to determine admission.


Admission to Thornhill 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 have a sister, half-sister, step-sister or legally adopted sister currently enrolled in the College or who will be in the coming year
  • Applicants who are the first girl in the family to transfer to second level education
  • Applicants who are registered for entitlement to Free School Meals
  • Other applicants ranked by date of birth – eldest first.


For more information on the admissions process or oversubscription criteria at Thornhill College, parents can contact the school at, or on 02871 355 800.


How to Apply for Year 8 Entry to Thornhill College


Towards the end of January each year, Thornhill College hosts its Open Event for parents and students in Primary 6 or 7. The event is the ideal opportunity to learn more about the school’s curriculum and admissions policy.


Each school in the PPTC uses the same entrance assessment, so parents are only required to register their child for the test once. Parents can apply using the registration form on the PPTC website. The PPTC also has publishes guidance notes to assist parents in completing the form.


Thornhill College Transfer Test Format


GL Assessment sets both test papers for the Thornhill College Transfer Test – one in English and one in Maths. In both papers, all questions are multiple-choice and each assessment paper has an assessment booklet, containing any reading passages and questions, and a separate answer sheet. Children will also be given the opportunity to do some practice questions before each marked test.


English Paper


The English assessment paper requires 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 questions and punctuation questions. The paper finishes with some general questions that focus on study skills. Overall, 60% of the marks are for the comprehension questions and 40% of the marks are for the spelling, punctuation and general questions.


Maths Paper


The Mathematics paper requires children to work through 45 questions in 45 minutes. The majority of the questions are based on the school’s curriculum, although there are some additional questions on elementary logic, mathematical facts, properties, or geometric names, aiming to test children’s intuition and understanding of mathematical concepts and processes.


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, here. The website also has a useful FAQs page that relates to the transfer test.


How to Prepare for the Thornhill College 11 Plus (11+) Transfer Test?


One of the most effective ways to prepare for the Thornhill College Transfer Test is to prepare a thorough revision timetable.


Practice exam papers are also an effective revision tool for the Transfer Test. The sooner students start using practice papers, the sooner they’ll become aware of any weaker subject areas. Our practice papers not only familiarise students with the layout of the exam but they help to improve time management skills.


For the Thornhill College 11+ Transfer Test, we would specifically recommend the following resources:



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 Thornhill College 11+ past papers. The information provided about Thornhill 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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