Admissions FAQs

Take a look at our answers for some of the frequently asked admissions questions at Raha International School, in Abu Dhabi.

Can't find an answer to your question below? Check out some of our other Frequently Asked Questions here.

How old does my child have to be to enter Raha?

Our entry grade at Gardens Campus is Early Years 1, called KG1 or FS2 at other schools. Children must be 4 years of age on or before 31 August*.

At the Khalifa City Campus we offer 3 years olds an opportunity to join the KCC Minis. Children must be 3 years of age on or before 31 August* to be eligible to join the KCC Minis.

*The Abu Dhabi Department of Education & Knowledge (ADEK) announced on 26 January 2021 that the age cut-off for new students joining Pre-K, EY1, EY2 and Grade 1 is 31 August.


How do I apply for a specific campus?

Applications are not made to a specific campus, but rather to Raha International School.

Families will be able to express a preference for campus and we will try our best to accommodate your preference, but final campus assignment will be made according to availability, a variety of holistic profile factors and with an effort to keep siblings at the same campus.

Parents may opt to be waitlisted for a specific campus if offered the other not to their preference but we cannot guarantee an opening at a later date.

Parents will not be asked for the registration fee until their campus is confirmed.

Campus & Facilities

My child just barely misses the cut-off date. Can you make an exception?

In January 2021, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) announced that the age cut-off date for new students joining Pre-K, EY1, EY2 and Grade 1 is 31 August.

You can find the age/grade guidelines and equivalency chart on our Application Tips page.

My child has special needs, can I apply to Raha?

Raha is an inclusive school and we provide a wide range of services provided by our qualified staff.

Raha will admit students with chronic health conditions and mild to moderate special education needs. Priority will be given to those who demonstrate the potential to succeed in the programmes we offer and the school reserves the right to waitlist students who are performing at a level significantly below the expectations for their year group if the needed support program is at capacity.

Please note: there may be an additional charge for this service depending upon the age and level of support required. This charge could be up to 50% of basic school fees in accordance with ADEK policy.

My child doesn’t speak English, can I apply to Raha?

The primary language of instruction at Raha International School is English. We will consider those students who are not proficient in English if we believe that, they will be able to develop proficiency in academic English sufficient to enter the IB Diploma Programme.

Students who require additional support will work with our English Language Specialists individually and in small groups until they are fully able to mainstream into the classroom. Normally, Grade 6 is the last year to which a beginner English Learner is admitted to the School.

It is not our policy to have a child repeat a grade because of their English level, as this will quickly improve and the child should be placed in the correct grade for social and emotional reasons as well as academic.

My child has never studied in the IB, can they transfer to Raha?

Because of the international nature of the IB, it is generally possible to move easily from one curriculum to another, making it an attractive option for families moving frequently from country to country.

IB curriculum in Primary and Secondary are focused on the development of skills and approaches to learning, rather than just the accumulation of facts which allows new students to integrate seamlessly.

Grade 11 is the last year Raha will accept students transferring from another curriculum as the Diploma Programme is a two year programme comprising both Grade 11 and Grade 12.

The IB is recognized by education systems around the world, which is also important if your family will be changing back to another curriculum in the future.

The IB Advantage

What are your IB Diploma Results?

Our most recent DP results are listed below:

Raha Pass Rate90%93%90%96.5%
World Pass Rate79.3%78.4%78.2%77.8%
Raha Avg. Points32.632.332.231.8
World Avg. Points30.0729.9529.7629.6

IB Diploma Programme

What universities do Raha students get accepted to?

Raha students have received numerous offers to their top desired universities all over the world. The UK remains our graduates’ most desired destination for higher learning, followed by the US, Canada, and mainland Europe.

University Destinations

When do you open applications and what do I need to apply?

We open applications one year before the start of the new academic year. Please watch our website for the exact opening date every year. It is very easy to apply. Just fill in the online application form at the website, no documents are needed to apply.

Where is the IB recognized?

There are IB World Schools in nearly 150 countries throughout the world, and students send exam results to higher education institutions in nearly 90 countries annually.

To learn more on IB recognition information at the national level, read about the IB by country.

IB by Country

What are the differences between the IB and British or American curriculum?

Research suggests that in many cases, students in International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes perform better than students taking other qualifications.

For example:

  • A global study investigating performance in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) found that IB students outperformed their non-IB peers in mathematics, reading, narrative writing and expository writing.
  • Qualitative data from a 2014 study on the IB Diploma Programme (DP) in the USA suggested that students who participated in the DP during high school are more academically adjusted to the rigour and expectations of college.

The IB regularly publishes this kind of research. The IB website has several studies looking at the impact of IB programmes, and many currently in progress.

IB Website

What does it cost to apply?

Applications to Raha International School are free of charge.

Apply Now

Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?

No, we do not.

My child is on the waitlist, what if I don’t get in?

Raha International School operates at capacity, meaning that we can only accept a new student if a current student leaves.

Once siblings and staff children have been accepted, Raha prioritizes all other applications by the date of application as well as considering a variety of holistic profile factors before allocating places.

If you are not successful in securing a seat, your application will not roll over, but you can always apply early for the next year.

How to Apply

My child is on the waiting list, when will I hear back?

You will only hear back if and when a seat becomes available. We usually begin to inform families of openings between March and June when we conduct the re-registration of our current students, but will still contact you if there are last-minute openings. The admissions team is able to give you an update on your application at any time.

Our waiting lists stay active until ADEK closes the transfer date between schools in Abu Dhabi. Transfers from outside the emirate and overseas are possible until the end of Term 2 as long as the required documentation is provided prior to the start of Term 3.

I have another child at the school, how do I apply for their sibling?

You are welcome to apply for another child to join the school at any time, however, in order to guarantee your sibling application is considered for the next academic year, you must apply before 31 October.

If you apply after this date, you will still receive sibling priority, but availability may be more limited.

What is my child’s number on the waiting list?

Raha International School does not assign a waitlist number to any application. However, staff and siblings will always receive the first priority and all other applications are considered thereafter.

What will I have to pay and when if I get accepted?

The only fee you will have to pay on acceptance is the 5% registration fee which will then be discounted against your annual tuition fees.

Tuition Fees

What type of assessment do you use for entry?

Children applying for Grade 2-11 may take an admissions assessment here at Raha or from overseas.

It is a computerized assessment that looks at general ability in

  • English
  • Math
  • Non-verbal reasoning

The assessment results along with the child’s report card will give important information to the Head of School regarding the child’s areas of strength and weakness and ability to be successful in the curriculum.

It is the same assessment that is used internally and also provides a baseline for assessing progress once the child is admitted.

How long will it take for my application to be reviewed?

Once you have been invited to submit additional documents for your child and/or he/she has taken the admissions assessment, we aim to have an answer to you within 1 week. 

If we are experiencing any delays, or require further information, the Admissions Team will be in touch.

My child is applying for Early Years (KG), what test will they take?

There is no assessment for Early Years, but we do like to invite families to a ‘Stay and Play’ on our playground where you can learn more about us, and we can learn more about you and your child.

Visit Us

My child has already started at another school. Can I transfer to Raha later in the year?

ADEK publishes a closing date every year for transfers between schools in Abu Dhabi. Historically this has been in October, but you should always check with the Admissions Office for the most up-to-date information.

I’m coming from overseas mid-year. Can I apply to Raha for mid-year?

Applications from overseas are accepted mid-year subject to availability. Note that full residency documentation must be submitted within one month of arrival and before the end of March as per ADEK policy. For this reason, we do not accept overseas applications for Term 3.

My child is in a British Curriculum school, if I move them to Raha will they have to repeat?

Children transferring from the British system to Raha will not have to repeat a grade. They will be placed in the equivalent next grade. It is important to note that British schools have a different numbering system as they start school one year earlier.

Families are encouraged to use the equivalency chart on our website to ensure that they are applying to the correct grade level, taking into account the differences that exist in the naming of grades or years around the world. 

Application Tips

If my child is accepted, what are the plans for orientation?

Orientation for students in Early Years 2 to Grade 11: Students will be invited in for a short amount of time on orientation day to meet their teachers and some of their peers, and be shown around the school. Parents will also be invited to join a short presentation by the Leadership teams. Bus service will begin for students from the 2nd or 3rd day of the first week, depending on the grade.


Orientation for students joining Early Years 1: Students joining EY1 will have a staggered start to their school year, which normally means they will join the school for 1-2 hours on the 2nd day of the week and build up to a full day over the course of the week. Parents are invited to join a short presentation by the Leadership teams on the 1st day of the week, however, EY1s cannot attend. Bus service will start in the 2nd week for EY1 students.


Mid-year entry: There is no formal orientation day for students joining mid-year, however, families will be introduced to key staff and students will have a mini orientation on their first day to ensure they settle in and make friends.


If you have any further questions, please contact the Admissions Team.

related stories