Academics > The Preparatory Program > Preparatory Program Structure

Preparatory Program Structure

Admission Criteria

The majority of students entering the PMU Preparatory Program will be graduates of the secondary school Science Stream of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, students of other nationalities and from other countries also will be admitted if they have received equivalent secondary school preparation. All students applying for admission must submit a satisfactory overall average on the General Secondary Education Certificate and satisfactory scores on standardized tests.

Student Level Placement

Students initial instructional levels will be determined by an English placement test administered before the beginning of the semester. They are placed in one of four levels: pre-beginner, beginner, intermediate, or advanced. See below and the PMU Admissions website pages for more information. Alternatively, they present a valid IELTS or TOEFLibt result from test taken within two years of application and their rest results determine their level. Full details about undergraduate placement testing for admissions are given in the PMU Admissions website pages. Click here for more information about undergraduate admissions placement testing.

The International English Language Testing System

Level IELTS Overall IELTS Writing
CORE 6.0 5.5
Advanced 5.0 4.5
Intermediate 4.5 4.0
Beginner 4.0 3.5
Pre-Beginner N/A N/A
The validation of the IELTS certificate   Two years from the date of IELTS test to the commencement date of the applied semester

Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test

Core 83.0 19.0
Advanced 63.0 15.0
Intermediate 54.0 13.0
Beginner 42.0 11.0
The validation of the TOEFL iBT report Two years from the date of TOEFL iBT test to the commencement date of the applied semester

Aptis Placement Test

LEVEL Course ID Listening Score Minimum Reading Score Speaking Score Minimum Writing Score Overall Score
Pre Beginner PRPC/PRPW 0002   N/A   N/A <48 48
Pre Beginner PRPC/PRPW 0002   N/A   N/A 49 64
Beginner PRPC/PRPW 0021   7   7 65 95
Intermediate PRPC/PRPW 0041   16   16 96 129
Advanced PRPC/PRPW 0061   20   20 130 164
Advanced / CORE PRPC/PRPW 0061   20   30 >165 Take IELTS

PMU Placement Scale
CEFR Level A1 Pre-Beginner
CEFR Level A2 Beginner
CEFR Level B1 Intermediate
CEFR Level B2 Advanced
CEFR Level C1 Core

Sequence of Courses

The Preparatory Program classes build one upon the other in a sequence. Students must master English language competencies measured in terms of student learning outcomes, course content, critical thinking skills and effective learning strategies at lower levels before they can successfully participate in and benefit from higher level classes.

The “ideal” sequence below in EFL, math, and Theories and Applications of Learning I and II (study skills I and II) shows the progression of a well-prepared and highly-engaged student who begins at the pre-beginner level. Unless that student needs to repeat a course, due to withdrawing from it or failing it, he or she can expect to finish in four semesters. Students entering at the beginner level can complete the program in three semesters and those who enter at intermediate level in two semesters. Students who begin at the advanced level can complete English and study skills in one semester as they need only take study skills II, but they will have to complete the second semester of the mathematics requirement in their first semester in Core. Upon completing the program, the student is appropriately prepared for success in the Core Curriculum and major classes that will follow.

Course Number Course Title Contact Hours Course Number Course Title Contact Hours
PRPE 0002 Pre-Beginner Enhanced Learning 2* PRPE 0021 Beginner Enhanced Learning 2*
PRPC 0002 Pre-Beginner Communication Skills 10 PRPC 0021 Beginner Communication Skills 10
PRPW 0002 Pre-Beginner Writing Skills 10 PRPW 0021 Beginner Writing Skills 10
Total Contact Hours 22* Total Contact Hours 22*
Course Number Course Title Contact Hours Course Number Course Title Contact Hours
PRPI 0041 Intermediate Enhanced Learning 2* PRPA 0061 Advanced Enhanced Learning 2*
PRPC 0041 Intermediate Communication Skills 10 PRPC 0061 Advanced Communication Skills 10
PRPW 0041 Intermediate Writing Skills 10 PRPW 0061 Advanced Writing Skills 10
PRPL 0011 Theories and Applications of Learning I (Study Skills I) 2 PRPL 0012 Theories and Applications of Learning II              (Study Skills II) 2
PRPM 0011 Introductory Algebra 5 PRPM 0012 Intermediate Algebra**  OR 5
PRPM 0022 Pre-Calculus** 6
Total Contact Hours 29* Total Contact Hours 29* or 30*
        PREE 0061 Core Entry Exam 0
* Staffing permitting, in times of higher than expected enrollment, the course may not be offered.
** Mathematics course depends on major:
Intermediate Algebra Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Graphic Design, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Interior Design, Law, Management Information Systems
Pre-Calculus Architecture, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering

 Summer Session Courses

  • The schedule is determined by student enrollment and instructor availability. 
  • Due to lower student enrollment, pre-beginner and beginner courses are not always available in summer. 
  • The summer session has fewer weeks than the spring and fall semesters. Therefore, English classes are seven hours a day.  The total number of hours of instruction is the same in summer as in fall and spring.
  • Due to the intense schedule, students may take English and Theories and Applications of Learning OR take mathematics and Theories and Applications of Learning.  A schedule with English, mathematics, and Theories and Applications of Learning is not possible in summer.  A schedule with English and mathematics is not possible in summer. 

Summer Course Combination Possibilities
English Courses YES
Theories and Applications of Learning (study skills)
Mathematics course YES
Theories and Applications of Learning (study skills)
English courses NO
Mathematics course
English courses NO
Mathematics course
Theories and Applications of Learning (study skills) course