Password for Universities and Colleges

Password tests are used by universities and colleges to facilitate student recruitment and uphold academic standards.  Over the past ten years, the tests have proven to be both valid and reliable for high stakes admissions testing as well as for internal institutional use.

Password tests are customised and branded according to our partner institutions’ exact requirements.  Test delivery, results, reports and certification are all securely managed online, eliminating the need for institutions to create examinations, print and distribute exam papers, collect and mark scripts and input data. Results are easily accessed from each Password partners’ own secure area in our database.

Testing sessions can be arranged wherever and whenever our partners require, either by their own staff or by the British Council.

Universities and colleges use Password tests for:

  • High stakes admissions purposes.
  • The examination of students following a pre-sessional, foundation or
    English language programme.
  • The assessment of students joining or progressing from a twinning or off-shore programme.
  • Screening on arrival.

Partner Overview

UK and Europe
The Americas
Australia and New Zealand
Middle East and Africa

Customised High Quality Testing

Password partners enjoy a unique combination of high quality and easily accessible testing operated under their own control and brand. Password partners benefit from:

  • The expertise of our world-leading team of academics in testing and assessment.
  • Our large data bank of questions.
  • Our continuous investment in the technology that underpins our testing.
  • Our world class service and support.

Password English

Password English language tests and test modules are designed and academically managed by CRELLA (the Centre for Research in English Language Learning and Assessment) at the University of Bedfordshire. Founded by Professor Cyril Weir OBE and directed by Professor Anthony Green, CRELLA are a research group of world leading experts in testing and assessment, who are involved in the development and validation of many of the world’s most renowned English language assessments including Password, IELTS, TOEFL and the Cambridge suite.

Password English tests are formally aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment (CEFR), the international standard for describing language ability.
More information about the CEFR.  

Password English language tests have proven to have extremely high levels of accuracy since their launch in 2008. For more detailed information about our tests, please read through the documents below:

Password Maths

The Password Maths test was developed during 2017 in consultation with senior maths teachers from a consortium of leading UK independent schools. The test is related to the English National Curriculum for Numeracy and Mathematics key stages 3, 4 and 5 and replaces the original Password Maths test designed by Dr Harriet Jones, Director of the University of East Anglia’s Pre-University Skills Programme and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Password Maths consists of eight different test modules which are selected in various combinations depending upon the entry point being assessed.  The modules cover a wide range of topics.

Password Tests

Password Skills is an English language proficiency test for university admission.  The test is aligned to the CEFR (A2 to C1) and has been specifically developed to assess academic English ability and reliably assesses the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The test enables universities to control and deliver high stakes testing themselves and in the UK fulfils all Home Office requirements for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The test takes just over 3 hours and is run in two parts. The first part assesses reading and writing and the second part assesses listening and speaking. Test-takers can be given a break between the two parts.

Password Skills Receptive enables universities and colleges who have well-developed speaking and writing assessments to augment their in-house testing with reliable, CEFR (A2 to C1) aligned reading and listening assessments. It is often used at the end of a pre-sessional, foundation or other pre-university programme. The Password Skills Receptive test takes 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Password Reading and Writing is often used to assess the reading and writing abilities of students who are returning to education.  The test is aligned to the CEFR (A2 to C1) and takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete.

Password Knowledge is used to screen new arrivals to ensure that they have the English language skills necessary to successfully undertake their programmes of study. It has been formally aligned to the CEFR (A2 to C1) and delivers extremely accurate and reliable results. Students needing in-sessional support are identified quickly and cost-effectively, which in turn leads to improved student experience and increased retention. The Password Knowledge test takes 1 hour.

When Password Knowledge is combined with Password Writing, the Password Knowledge and Writing test is amongst the most widely used English language assessments for admission into university preparation (pathway) programmes. The test is aligned to the CEFR (A2 to C1) and takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.

Password Maths was developed following an extensive consultation with our partner universities and schools. It is a modular test, consisting of a choice of eight different test modules set at different levels. These test modules are combined in various ways to meet our individual partner institutions’ requirements.

Password Maths tests are used primarily for admissions purposes or to check incoming students’ knowledge of mathematics. Ordinarily, four test modules will be selected and built into a test. Test modules can be combined as required, and can be further customised by including an institution’s own questions where required. Password Maths tests usually take 1 hour.

Test Module Details

Password tests are made up of one or more test modules.

Password Reading

Password Reading consists of five sections. In each section, there is one reading task to be completed. Test-takers have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete all tasks.

Password Writing

Password Writing assesses a test-taker’s ability to write an essay. Test-takers are presented with a choice of two essay titles to choose from and are given instructions regarding length and content. The test takes 30 minutes.

Password Listening

Password Listening consists of five sections. In each section, there are one or more listening tasks to be completed. Once test-takers press the play button, it is not possible to pause or restart the recording. Test-takers will hear the recording twice. The second time they hear the recording the question(s) will appear. Notes can be made to help prepare answers. Test-takers have 1 hour to complete the five sections.

Password Speaking

Password Speaking has five sections with one or more speaking tasks (questions) in each, simply answered by speaking into the microphone. There is about the same amount of time available to prepare answers as there is to speak. Notes can be made to help prepare answers. The test takes 20 minutes.

Password Knowledge

Password Knowledge is a sophisticated test of English language grammar, vocabulary and reading. It consists of five sections and takes 1 hour to complete.

Password Maths

There are eight different test modules, which are combined in various ways depending upon the level at which our partners wish to assess. Password Maths tests usually consist of four test modules and take 1 hour to complete.

The eight test modules cover a wide range of topics including:

Numeracy | Algebra | Geometry | Trigonometry | Statistics | Indices | Surds | Series | Graphs and Functions.

Our Partners

UK and Europe

Abertay University
Aston University
Bath Spa University
Bellerbys College
Bournemouth University
Buckinghamshire New University
Canterbury Christ Church University
Cardiff Metropolitan University
CATS Cambridge
CATS Canterbury
CATS London
Edinburgh Napier University
FoundationCampus Coventry
FoundationCampus LSBU
FoundationCampus UCLan
Glasgow International College
Global University Systems
Harper Adams University
Heriot-Watt University International Study Centre
Institute of Ismaili Studies
INTO City University London
INTO Glasgow Caledonian University
INTO Manchester Metropolitan University
INTO Newcastle University
INTO Queen’s University Belfast
INTO St Georges, University of London
INTO The University of Manchester
INTO University of East Anglia
INTO University of Exeter
INTO University of Gloucestershire
Kaplan Aspect
Kaplan Financial
Kaplan International Colleges
Keele University International Study Centre
Kingston University International Study Centre
Leeds Beckett University
Liverpool International College
Liverpool John Moores University
LJMU International Study Centre
London Metropolitan University
London South Bank University
Manchester Metropolitan University
Middlesex University
NCUK Ireland Dublin International
Newcastle Academy of Business & Technology
Northumbria University
Nottingham Trent International College
Nottingham Trent University
Queen Mary, University of London

Regents University London
Robert Gordon University
Roehampton University
Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield International College
Southampton Solent University
St Mary’s University College
Staffordshire University
Sussex Coast College Hastings
Telford College of Arts & Technology
The University of Manchester
University of Bedfordshire
University of Birmingham
University of Bradford
University of Dundee
University of East Anglia
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
University of Greenwich
University of Huddersfield International Study Centre
University of Leeds
University of Leicester
University of Leicester International Study Centre
University of Lincoln
University of Lincoln International Study Centre
University of Northampton
University of Nottingham
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
University of South Wales
University of Stirling International Study Centre
University of Suffolk
University of Surrey International Study Centre
University of Sussex
University of Sussex International Study Centre
University of Teesside
University of the Arts London
University of the West of Scotland
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
University of Warwick
University of West London
University of Westminster
University of Wolverhampton
University of Worcester
University of York
Wales International Study Centre
Wrexham Glyndwr University
York College
York St John University

Australia and New Zealand

Academies Australasia Polytechnic
AIH Higher Education
Atlantis College Management
Australian Catholic University
Australian National University
Bendigo Kangan Institute
Bond University College, Australia
Central Queensland University
Curtin University
Deakin University
EduCo International Group
Explore English
Federation University Australia
GELI, Griffith University
International College of Management (ICMS)
James Cook University, Brisbane
Melbourne Institute of Technology

Metro English College
Monash University
Ozford English Language Centre
Royal Gurkhas Institute of Technology
Study Group Australasia
TAFE Western Australia
The University of Queensland
The University of Western Australia
TOP Education Institute
Union Institute of Language
University of Canberra College
University of Canterbury
University of Newcastle
University of New South Wales
University of Otago
University of Tasmania
University of Wollongong
Victoria University


Academy of Finance, Vietnam
Aston Institute, Hong Kong
Australian Learning Training & Education Centre, India
Beltei International Institute, Cambodia
Human Resources University, Malaysia
International Medical University for Malaysia
INTO Beijing Foreign Studies University, China
INTO Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, China
INTO Nankai University, China
NCUK China Beijing
NCUK China Changsha
NCUK China Chengdu
NCUK China Chongqing
NCUK China Guangzhou
NCUK China Hangzhou
NCUK China Liaoning
NCUK China Qingdao
NCUK China Shanghai
NCUK China Suzhou
NCUK China Wuhan
NCUK China Xian

NCUK China Zhengzhou
NCUK Japan
NCUK Korea
NCUK Pakistan Lahore Centre
NCUK Pakistan Riphah International University
NCUK Pakistan St Marys College
NCUK Sri Lanka
New Oriental, China
Rajamangala University, Thailand
Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Sichuan University, China
Sino-British College, China
South West Jiaotong University, China
Surindra Rajabhat University, Thailand
The Aga Khan University, Pakistan
Thanh Do University, Vietnam
Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan
University of Central Asia, Kyrgyz Republic
Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University, China
Zhejiang University of Technology, China

North America

Arbutus College, Canada
Bay State College, USA
Concordia University Chicago, USA
INTO Colorado State University, USA
INTO Marshall University, USA
INTO Oregon State University, USA
INTO University of South Florida, USA
James Madison University International Study Center, USA
McMaster University, USA
On Campus, USA
Roosevelt University International Study Center, USA
Royal Roads University International Study Center, Canada
Shorelight Education, USA
Study Group Higher Education North America, USA
University Bridge, USA
University of Maine International Study Center, USA
University of Vermont International Study Center, USA
Widener University International Study Center, USA

Middle East

American University of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Bahrain Polytechnic, Kingdom of Bahrain
International Institute For Languages, KSA
The Royal Guard of Oman Technical College
University of Duhok, Iraq
University of Kurdistan Hewler, Iraq


NCUK Kenya
NCUK Morocco
NCUK Nigeria

What our partners say

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