Thousands of children received their International Baccalaureate results on Tuesday, with pupils in the Emirates beating the global average scores.
IB diploma programme pupils in the UAE scored an average of 35.89 points, out of a maximum of 45, while the average grade in the country was 5.5.
For the diploma programme globally, total points averaged at 32.99 this year and the average grade was 5.19. Last year, IB pupils in the Emirates scored an average of 32.80 points out of the maximum of 45 while the global average was 29.90.
This year, IB pupils in the UAE were unable to sit exams because of the pandemic. They were given grades based on internal assessments, an extended essay and predicted scores.
In the UAE, 2,382 pupils received their results on Tuesday while around the world more than 170,000 pupils were handed their IB grades.
Gems Education, one of the main IB school operators in the UAE, said its pupils outperformed international averages. Its pupils had an average pass rate of 99.5 per cent and an average point score of 36.
Ten Gems pupils achieved 45, the highest point score possible.
Dino Varkey, chief executive of Gems Education, said: “Everyone at Gems Education is genuinely elated with this year’s IBDP results, which are the best in our 62-year history."
Nargish Khambatta, principal of Gems Modern Academy said she was elated with the results but believed pupils would have performed better had they been able to sit examinations.
She said the process of granting grades without exams had been challenging and complex, but that the end result was strong outcome for many pupils who are now heading to good universities.
"There was confusion all around; we put our heads down and made sure our pupils could get the best results," Ms Khambatta said.
Pupils at Gems Modern Academy scored an average of 36.85, up from the average grade of 36.2 last year.
While one pupil scored a maximum 45 points, four others got 44.
"We want to celebrate all 75 pupils who got their diplomas. Their aspirations were built on these results," Ms Khambatta said.
Pupils at the school secured admission at top universities such as the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Carnegie Mellon University and Cornell University.
This year, the IB was not able to hold exams in all countries. It offered a dual route for the May 2021 diploma programme and career-related programme examination.
Schools were surveyed to determine which of two pathways was best for their context: written examinations, where they could be administered safely, or the non-exam route using a combination of internal assessment coursework and teacher-predicted grades, where they could not.
"The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging for students, teachers and schools throughout the world as Covid-19 has undermined much of what we had come to take for granted," said Olli-Pekka Heinonen, director general of the International Baccalaureate.
"I salute their spirit and dedication to our shared mission: education for a better world,"
Pupils who are disappointed by one or more of their results might want to challenge them. They will be able to use the post-results services, called enquiry upon results. After results have been announced, schools can place enquiry-upon-results requests on the pupil's behalf for either route.
Some universities consider the IB to be the gold standard of curriculums.
For the IB diploma, pupils take six subjects including two languages, mathematics, sciences, humanities and, if they wish, an arts subject.
Pupils also take three core units, writing a 4,500-word extended essay, studying the theory of knowledge and involving themselves in activities involving creativity, activity and service.