More than 3,300 pupils are ready to chalk out career paths after receiving their final test results from India.
After several delays, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced the Grade 12 exam results yesterday morning.
Pupils at 29 UAE schools took the external exams in the science, commerce and arts streams. The tests were administered by the central education board in Delhi in March.
Most schools recorded high pass rates, and top achievers across the country scored above 95 per cent.
Anant Srinivas Subramanian, 18, of the Delhi Private School in Sharjah, ranked highest among science students in the country and the Delhi region of India, with 98.2 per cent.
Hensel Frank Henry of the Indian High School in Dubai (IHS) earned the highest score in commerce: 96.8 per cent.
Shivani Jawa, a student in the humanities section at IHS, earned the highest score in the UAE, 95 per cent.
“My board exams went exceptionally well,” said Anant. “I may not have expected to be at the top, but I knew it would be good.”
He achieved 100 in physics and 99 in mathematics and computer sciences.
But Anant, who plans to take up a course at Bits Pilani, an engineering university in India, was more concerned about his scores in the competitive and national-level examinations.
“In India, universities have an entrance test and base admissions on these examinations,” he said. “School results matter but the cut-off marks are fairly low.”
Ashok Kumar, chief executive of IHS, said about 28 per cent of the school’s students achieved at least 90 per cent this year.
Scores within the top percentage bracket provided students with a safety net against the stiff competition they may face back home.
“It gives them an advantage to achieve their career goals and have a broader choice of universities,” Mr Kumar said.
In India, Grade 12 test results have been a factor in many youth suicides, and authorities have begun phone counselling for students and their families to help them overcome the stress in this period.
Because of this pressure, many students in the UAE have begun to opt out of pursing higher education in their home country.
And increasing university options in the UAE, with relaxed admission policies and the chance to experience cultures in other countries, are more inviting for many Indian students.
Scholarship programmes such as the one at the Middlesex University also offer incentives for pupils achieving 70 per cent, which they may not receive in India.
Pramitha Ramachandran of Tamil Nadu has decided to join a university in Dubai, despite the 96.4 per cent she achieved.
“I do not think I would be able to cope with the competition in India,” said Pramitha, who took commerce subjects in her final year.
She said the university here would require only her school marks and did not have an entrance examination for the accountancy programme in which she planned to enrol.
“Plus, I’ve stayed here all my life and am used to the environment here,” Pramitha said.
Homagni Ghosh, who studied at the Abu Dhabi Indian School (Adis) and achieved 96.6 per cent in science, said he did not want to apply to Indian universities.
“My first preference has always been to study outside India,” said Homagni, 17, who has been offered a place at the University of Toronto.
“It’s an opportunity to see the world and take courses in a different setting.”
He will also apply for a place in electrical engineering at the National University of Singapore.
“There our CBSE scores matter and I will be competing with the best Chinese minds there.”
This year, 815,749 pupils from around the world sat the exams.
Overall, girls performed better with a pass rate of 86.21, while boys received 75.8 per cent.
Pupils in Chennai outperformed those in other areas with a pass rate of 90.59 per cent.
By / The National