National Agenda Testing in Dubai

For the academic year 2020-21, KHDA have stated that: “Given the exceptional circumstances confronting all education communities, reliable data is essential for schools to determine students’ capabilities and gaps in their knowledge.”

Their stated priorities are that:

  • Schools make informed decisions about protocols to ensure that assessment information is as valid and reliable as possible
  • clearly determine students’ starting points at the beginning of the academic year
  • make the necessary provisions to ensure students continue to make progress
  • continue to track students’ achievements throughout the year

The recommended components supplied by GL Education are:

  • Potential to learn – CAT4
  • Academic achievement – PT Series
  • Readiness to learn - PASS

We have summarised the requirements for these tests in the section below.

KHDA state that “Using a curriculum-specific assessment along with available CAT4 and PASS data should provide schools with the tools to develop a comprehensive assessment plan tailored to students’ educational needs, as well as to triangulate ALL assessment information. This plan should help schools to monitor more effectively and support better learning outcomes.”

To help schools in developing a comprehensive assessment plan, GL Education is running a range of Data Triangulation and Return to School training programmes this term. More information can be found here and here.

Potential to Learn Testing with CAT4 – academic year 2020-21

The suggested grades for CAT4 are grades 5, 7, 9 and 11 (years 6, 8, 10, 12).

New schools that have not previously tested with CAT4 are advised to test all their students from grade 3-9 (years 4 -10).

Schools are encouraged to test more grades/years in primary schools.

Refer to the table below to identify the appropriate test level for each grade/year.

CAT4 Level

























8 / 9

9 / 10


10 / 11

11 / 12

Readiness to Learn Testing with PASS – academic year 2020-21

The Pupil Attitudes to Self and School survey (PASS) is a psychometric assessment specifically designed to spot attitudinal or emotional issues in children. It takes just 20 minutes to complete and will give you a measure of how your students have coped in the months away, as well as providing interventions that you can use to support your students' wellbeing.

To support schools with the re-integration of students into school life In the 2020-21 academic year, we are offering PASS free of charge for all grades that take CAT4 as a part of the NAP.

To find out more about PASS or to order your free credits, contact your GL Account Manager or the International team at

Benchmark testing with the PT Series – academic year 2020/21

The mandated testing for mathematics, science and English that did not take place at the end of the 2019/20 academic year due to school closures has been rearranged for the start of the new academic year. The testing window has been extended to allow you more time to test your students and it will now close on 27th November.

To support schools in meeting these requirements, our Progress Tests in maths, English and science are available for schools following UK, IB, Pakistani, Canadian and Philippine curriculums.

Testing at the end of the academic year 2020/21 will take place in May/June 2021.

Students that were in Grade 3 / Year 4 to Grade 9 / Year 10 during Academic year 2019/20 should be tested with the test that they would have sat at the end of that academic year.

The data from this period of assessment will be essential in helping schools to determine the impact of the prolonged period of home study followed by the long summer vacation. New students joining the school this year should be included in this testing.

Refer to the table below to identify the appropriate test for each Grade / Year.

Year (UK)

Grade (IB, Others)

Level: Progress Test Maths

Progress Test English

Progress Test Science




















Not Required

















Individual student example:

A student who is in Year 6 for academic year 2020-21 (who was in year 5 for academic year 2019/20) should sit the level 10 tests in September/October 2020 and then sit the level 11 tests in May/June 2021.

Which students to test in May/June:

At the end of academic year 2020/21, students should be tested with the appropriate test for that grade / year. This will allow progress to be measured for the full academic year.

KHDA recommend that all students in grade 3 – 9  (year 4 – 10) take the Progress Test Series in May/June 2021.

Please note: The PT Series assessments are currently not compatible with iPads or tablet and must be administered using a desktop computer or a laptop only. You can find out more about the Testwise minimum system requirements here:


Do schools have to administer PASS? Is it mandated?

It is not mandated but this year, in collaboration with KHDA and to assist schools with assessing their students’ readiness for learning, we are providing PASS credits free of charge for all students in the recommended CAT4 year groups.

If schools wish to survey students in additional cohorts with PASS, they are more than welcome to purchase additional credits.

If it is not mandated why are we being asked to administer PASS with the selected cohorts within a testing window? We are already struggling to administer the PT Series and CAT4 within the testing windows provided.

PASS is a psychometric assessment specifically designed to spot attitudinal or emotional issues in children and will be a useful tool to help your pupils settle back into school life.

Schools should arrange for PASS to be taken when learners have had some time back in a school environment but early in the school year order to gain the most value from the results.

Is PASS replacing the Dubai wellbeing census?

No, but PASS is a useful complement to the DSWC because it provides student level data which can be used to inform interventions for individuals and specific groups. Many schools in the Emirate already use PASS for this reason.

You can read about how Jumeira Baccalaureate school have used PASS in this way here.

Can we Administer PASS remotely? Should students who are learning from home or doing blended learning come into school on ‘assessment days’ and take the PASS Survey?

No. We do not advise that PASS is undertaken remotely.

Schools should arrange for PASS to be taken when learners have had some time learning in a school environment as this is how the survey has been designed.

With a blended approach (where some students are in school and some remain at home), we recommend scheduling assessment days in school to achieve controlled testing conditions for all students.

It is essential that learners understand the context within which they are answering the survey questions in order for the results to be reliable. Our research has shown that learners sitting PASS at home are confused about whether they should be addressing the questions from the perspective of learning in school or learning at home. It follows that the risk of confusion can be managed by ensuring that PASS is administered in school, mediated and supported by teaching and/or pastoral staff. 

How many PASS credits do I get?

The number of CAT4 credits you purchased for the recommended Grades/Years will reflect the number of PASS credits you have been allocated and should be used against the same students. These PASS credits will be valid from the 1st October to 12th November 2020.

Can we administer PASS with additional cohorts?

Yes, we would recommend schools using PASS for all students, as this will provide useful whole school data that will support interventions and longitudinal analysis across cohorts or demographics that will support school development plans.

How are KHDA going to use this information from PASS?

As with all data, schools will be asked to use the data to support their development plans and ultimately ensure all their students are supported over the coming academic year.

What is the cost of PASS for any additional levels we decide to test with?

PASS is designed to be used with whole year groups/key stages, rather than for select students to benefit from the survey. Therefore, we have bundle packages for PASS, please contact your GL account manager for advice.

How can we use the PASS data with the CAT4 and attainment data?

Cross-referencing ability, attainment and attitudinal data enables you to identify underachievement and the potential emotional or attitudinal reasons behind it. By comparing CAT4 with Progress Test data, you can identify if a student is not meeting their potential. The data from the PASS survey then provides insights into the students’ attitudes and mindsets, which may be having a negative impact on their attainment and progress.

This case study from GEMS Wellington explains how they carried out this kind of analysis. 

Is PASS available in Arabic?

Yes, please contact your GL account manager

What training is available to help in understanding the PASS data?

You can find a wide range of case studies and webinars on the website and we have specific training in using PASS alongside CAT4 and attainment tests which you can find out more about here.

What do we do with the PASS data?

PASS is a psychometric assessment specifically designed to spot attitudinal or emotional issues in children. With vital information for the senior team, heads of year, teachers and group managements, PASS will enable schools to: 

  • Identify and understand issues that could prevent a student reaching their full potential 
  • Inform teaching and learning strategies and intervention programmes 
  • Guide pastoral support at whole school, cohort or individual level 
  • Identify ‘invisible’ groups such as fragile learners 

You can find out more by visiting the PASS product page. 

Some of my students are appearing in the PASS report under the wrong year group, why is this?

PASS reports will allocate students to year groups according to their age at the time of the test. This is to ensure that students are compared to the correct age groups of the students in the original standardisation

Testing windows

Due to continued interruption in schools, and as a result of customer feedback, we have extended the testing windows for both delayed Progress Test testing and CAT4. We still recommend that students take both tests as soon as possible, so that you can better use the data to inform teaching and learning, but we are aware this will not always be possible at the moment.

Postponed Summer 2020 Progress Tests:

30th August to 27th November 2020

Autumn CAT4 tests:

30th August to 17th December 2020

Summer Progress Test Series 2021:

2nd May to 17th June 2021

Data Sharing Agreement and Declaration of Use

All schools are required to sign and return a data sharing agreement. This enables us to share assessment data with school inspectors and regulators to support school evaluation. Bespoke inspection reports cannot be shared with you until we have received a revised agreement (signed after September 2020). Please note that all PT Series test data (including archived data) will be shared with the regulator.

Complete Data Sharing Agreement here

If you have any queries about data sharing, please contact us on

Updating student records

During registration, schools must clearly identify all Emirati students. Click here for further guidance on how to achieve this on the Testwise platform.

Webinar – updating for new academic year.


We offer a wide range of online training courses to support schools in using GL assessments as well as in analysing data from a wide range of tests to gain greater insight. With options including timetabled presentations, moderated courses with flexible working, and completely self-guided content, it’s easy to find a course that suits your needs and schedule.

Find out more on our training overview page.

Product Support

For additional information about administering the tests, understanding the reports and explanations of key concepts, please refer to the product support pages on our website:

Technical Support

Customer support (1st line) will be provided by the International team between 7:30am and 4:00pm (GMT) Sunday – Friday from 15th August to 26th November.

Technical support (2nd line) will be provided by the Technical Support team in Swindon between 5:30am and 5:00pm (GMT) Monday – Thursday and Sunday from 23rd August to 26th November.

How to order

Email with your testing requirements.