Delighted UAE pupils are gearing up for a university challenge after earning top marks in A and AS-level results released on Thursday.
Pupils in the Emirates were among more than 237,000 learners in 135 countries who discovered their anxiously-awaited grades after sitting Cambridge International exams in June.
A-level pupils in the UK – and those at British curriculum schools in the UAE and around the world who studied with other exam boards – will receive their results next Thursday.
Pupils and teachers at Pristine Private School in Dubai were overjoyed to see hours of hard work rewarded.
Indian pupil Yash Sockalingham, 18, secured a clean sweep of top A* grades in biology, chemistry, physics and maths.
“I am really happy with these results,” he said. “I am glad that my consistent studying over the past two years has paid off.
“I think the A-levels really challenged me with tougher topics, which will strengthen my foundation for university.
“The assessments have helped me learn to deal with and overcome stress, as well as schedule my time so that I can balance both studies and my personal life.”
He plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering before going on to study aerospace engineering.
Studying for 12 hours a day
Pakistani pupil Aliya Sarfaraz is another star pupil, earning A* results in biology, chemistry, physics and maths.
“After an entire year of hard work and challenges, it's an absolute delight to see your results unfold the way you had wanted them to,” she said.
“Times like these really elevate the gratitude and respect we have for our parents, teachers and mentors, who back us tirelessly through the highs and lows.”
Ms Sarfaraz said she prepared for her exams by “religiously” following a monthly timetable.
This included regular intervals to prevent burnout and which allowed her to study for 10 to 12 hours each day.
She plans to study software engineering at university.
Tasneem Usman, head of secondary at Pristine, said she was proud of her pupils.
“Many of our students have excelled in their exams. Students have especially performed well in all sciences, economics, accounting and computer science at the A-level,” she said.
“We congratulate all our students, their parents and teachers for contributing towards each student’s success.”
A "Remarkable" day
Private education operator Gems had 926 pupils sitting Cambridge board exams at nine of its British curriculum schools in the Emirates.
Gems WesGreen International School in Sharjah enjoyed an impressive showing, with 52 per cent of all exam papers returning a grade between A* and B.
Ismail Majid, 17, and Muhammad Zaidi, 18, both celebrated four A* grades.
“What a remarkable day for GEMS Wesgreen International School," said James McDonald, principal at the school.
"Our students have demonstrated their academic excellence and skill in a wide range of subjects, from maths and physics to English and business studies.”
Gems Cambridge International School entered 203 A-level candidates in 491 subjects, of which nearly a third resulted in either an A* or A grade.
Dhairya Chopra achieved four A* grades and another A, and is now heading to the University of British Columbia to study computer science.
Fellow pupils Srikrishnaja Karthik and Syed Mohammad Ali Akbar each recorded four A* grades
Praise for pupils
Rod Smith, group managing director for International Education at the Cambridge examination board, praised the pupils' achievements.
'I congratulate Cambridge students for their hard work in achieving these results,” he said.
“They have shown great resilience over the past few years and have kept on moving forward with their education. With these qualifications our students can feel confident that they have developed the skills they need for the future, so they can embrace whatever opportunities lie ahead.
'I also want to thank Cambridge schools and teachers, who once again have displayed tremendous commitment and passion for education that has been core to their students’ success.”