ABU DHABI // When it comes to achieving the highest scores in the Central Board of Secondary Education’s All India Senior School Certificate Examination, girls rule.
Pankti Shah, Ameena Zaheer and Rutvi Mithani were named the best performers among the UAE’s CBSE grade 12 pupils, having earned the top marks in sciences, humanities and commerce streams, respectively.
Thousands of school pupils across the UAE sat the CBSE board examinations, which began on March 1 and concluded April 22. The scores, which were announced on Saturday, are considered as a basic entrance requirement by many universities.
Ashok Kumar, chief executive of Indian High School, Dubai, could not contain his elation at the fact that two of his pupils, Pankti and Ameena, placed at the top of their respective streams.
“We did very well, we are toppers in science and humanities and toppers in the UAE and more than 40 per cent of our students have scored above 90 per cent,” said Mr Kumar. “It’s an outstanding school achieving outstanding results.”
The secret to the success is actually no secret at all, he said. “Hard work, hard work, hard work. We keep on working hard,” he said with a laugh.
Pankti, a 17-year-old aspiring electronics and communications engineer, agreed that achieving great marks does not happen by accident.
“It’s just constant hard work and consistent effort throughout the year,” said Pankti, who scored 98 per cent in the sciences stream. “I put a lot of effort throughout the day. I wake up in the morning and start studying until night.”
Including her time spent in school, Pankti said she spends about 12 to 13 hours studying every day. But, it helps that she is “passionate” about the subjects.
“I find it interesting. Like, maths is always fun to solve and physics also, there is a lot of logic and it’s something new every time,” said Pankti. “It’s fun studying. I like spending time with books and reading and getting knowledge.”
Rutvi Mithani, a 17-year-old pupil at Our Own English High School – Sharjah, said she was pleasantly surprised that the 96.6 per cent she scored in the commerce stream was the highest in the country.
“I was really excited, I hadn’t expected this,” said Rutvi.
Her strategy was a familiar one: “Work hard from the start of the year, like not only the end, from the beginning. Do what teachers say and study hard. That’s it. Nothing big.”
Ameena, the Indian High School, Dubai, pupil who was the UAE’s humanities topper with a score of 97.2 per cent, said her parents and teachers played a big role in helping her achieve a successful end to high school.
“I’m so grateful to all my teachers and my parents, of course. It wouldn’t have been possible without them and their motivation and their support,” the 18-year-old aspiring clinical psychologist said. “It’s a wonderful institution and I’m going to miss it so much.”