General Foundation

Centre for Preparatory Studies



The mission of the GFP is committed to equipping its students with the skills required in English Language, Mathematics and Information Technology to perform and contribute effectively as active, critical thinkers in the academic environment of the college’s diploma and degree programmes; and to become productive, capable and responsible graduates who will add value to the community and society as a whole.


The GFP philosophy for students to progress in English, Mathematics and Information Technology adopts a communicative, collaborative approach to teaching and learning, emphasizing the following: learning by doing; learning through active participation; learning through reflective practices; learning through meaningful production; and learning through exposure to sustainable, portable skills that can be applied at different levels of complexity in a variety of situations. This philosophy is driven by a qualified, experienced and supportive staff who provide the tools and skills necessary to enable students to engage in effective learning.

Graduate Attributes

Each GFP course has course specifications which outline the skills and content of the level. Each cohort comprises Learning Objectives, the means by which students practise to fulfil Learning Outcomes which, in turn, contribute to students demonstrating many of the competencies required in achieving CBFS Graduate Attributes. These attributes are as follows:

1) being Knowledgeable;
2) being an Effective Communicator;
3) being a Critical Thinker;
4) being Digitally Literate;
5) being a Lifelong Learner;
6) being Socially Responsible.


  • Dr Mark William Watson
    Director, Centre for Preparatory Studies
    Tel: 22059745
  • Ms Laila Shahin Al Balushi
    Deputy Director – Administration and Curriculum 
    Centre for Preparatory Studies
    Tel: 22059748
  • Ms Salma Yahya Hamood Al Hasaini
    Campus Co-ordinator
    Tel: 22059746
  • Ms Waad Al Harrasi
    Campus Co-ordinator
    Tel: 22059747
General Foundation Programme Minimum Entry Requirements
  • Students scoring 60% in high school are eligible to enrol in the GFP Programme.
  • Bank employees not meeting the 60% requirement are considered for GFP admission based on years of work experience.

 Students can use the departmental website to communicate feedback:

Placement Test

The adaptive online placement Cambridge English Placement Test (CEPT) is used to allocate students to appropriate cohort for English language training

Test Score CEPT Test Level Proficiency aligned Unlock coursebook series book series Coursebook CEF Levels
0 to39 A1/A2 Cohort 1     Elementary
  • Unlock Reading & Writing Level 1
A2/B1 Pre-Intermediate
  • Unlock Reading & Writing Level 2
40 – 100 B1/B2 Cohort 2    Intermediate I
  • Unlock Reading & Writing Level 3
B1/B2+ Intermediate II
  • Unlock Reading & Writing Level 4

New students are also required to sit in-house placement tests for Mathematics and IT and, depending on scores, may be exempted from attending specific level courses for these subjects; for example, IT 1 or IT 2 in Cohort 1, or Mathematics 1 in Cohort 1, or Mathematics 2 in Cohort 2.

GFP Shifts

The GFP operates two daily timings :


Mondays to Thursday 
  Input & Practice Break Input & Practice
Session 1: 09:00-10:45 10:45-11:15 11:15-13:00
Session 2: 16:00-17:45 17:30-18:30 18:15-20:00

While every effort is made to accommodate student preferences, final allocations are made based on student numbers, class size and classroom availability. Accommodates students in full-time employment

GFP Course Subjects

The following table outlines the subjects and hours for each level of the GFP:

  Proficiency level Wks English Hrs IT Hrs Maths Hrs Hrs/wk
Elementary 8 16               4        -                 20
Pre-Intermediate 8 16 2 2 20
Intermediate 1 8 16 - 4 20
Intermediate 2 8 20 - - 20
Intermediate 2
8 20 - - 20


The CBFS GFP assessment system is structured as follows:

Cohort 1: English Language IT1 IT2 Math 1 Math 2
Continuous assessment           40        
End-level Examination             60 100 100 100  
Total                                             100 100 100 100  
Cohort 2: English Language IT1 IT2 Math 1 Math 2
Continuous assessment          40                           50
End-level Examination            60           50
Total                                             100         100

The GFP Road Map

The following illustrates the student path through the GFP with a breakdown of English language assessments. IT assessments will take place in Cohort 1 (Weeks 7 & 16) and Mathematics assessments will take place in Cohort 2 (Weeks 4 & 8).


Unless exempted from a course after meeting course requirements through the relevant placement test, to graduate from the GFP, students are expected to successfully complete all components: English Cohort 1, English Cohort 2, Maths 1, Maths 2, IT1 and IT2