Students in the UAE are celebrating outstanding A-level results after they began receiving their grades on Thursday morning.
School heads earlier said that this year's results were above the 2019 records when students last sat formal examinations.
They also highlight that the majority of students should be able to access their first choice of university.
Ashna Chaturvedi, who secured 4A* and is headed to pursue Law at Oxford, says, "I was beyond ecstatic to have received these results and, most importantly, confirmation of my place to read Law at the University of Oxford. Sitting our A-levels was never going to be easy, but to have done so despite the pandemic-related disruption is truly a feat that all of us should be proud of. A lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice went into the past two years."
"These grades definitely would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my parents, my teachers who were always willing to go above and beyond to help us, and my friends who have made my sixth form experience so memorable. I am so proud of the achievements of our cohorts, and I wish everyone the very best in all our future endeavours."
Amala Ayyar, who earned 3A* from Brighton College Abu Dhabi, said, "Completing our first set of proper exams was no easy feat for our year group, which is why I was so relieved to see that all those hours of revision had paid off. I am so thankful to have had the support of my teachers and peers over these past two years and am really looking forward to starting university life at UCL soon!"
Salma Lotfy joined GEMS Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis in Year 6, transferring from her previous school due to bullying, eventually becoming Valedictorian.
She says, "I got an A* in Economics, A in Math, and A* in Business. Hopefully, I'll be studying, at King's College London, Economics and Management. The exams process has been difficult just because I haven't been examined before, since GCSEs were cancelled, but it was a good experience overall."
"The school has supported us throughout every step too, and my teachers really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I'm currently looking forward to seeing where life will take me, but hopefully, I'll make a positive impact in the future. I'm still not sure what I will become in the future, but maybe an economist."
Students reiterate resilience and persistence brought out the best in their A-level journey this year.
A Sudanese expat in the UAE, Alaa Elsharif, who got A*** and is a student of GEMS Al Barsha National School, said, "I would like to thank my teachers in GNS for their support and guidance. Special thanks to my family who supported me in this journey. Finally, my hard work during this year has paid off with the good results I achieved. I am planning to study medicine in the future, so I hope even in the following years I can perform as well."
Aba Agbemabiese, a student of Jumeirah College (JC), who received 3A* in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology and will be going to the University of East Anglia, said, "I am so proud and excited, but also sad to be leaving JC and Dubai because I've been here so long, but I know I can keep in touch with my friends through the Alumni Programmes. The A-level journey was challenging and a bit different because we had so many classes online at the beginning, but the school had so many mock exams, so we felt really prepared in the end."
Shravan B Nair of GEMS Winchester School, Dubai, said: "Having received 4A* at A-level in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics was such a pleasant surprise for me, especially in such a challenging year! As I hold my results today, I know it's not just my hard work that earned this, but the hard work and selflessness of all my teachers at my school, and of my parents."
"Having never had the opportunity to write a board exam before due to the pandemic's disruptions, it was my A-Level teachers (Preeti, Jeny, Laya, Sherin, and Meenakshi) who guided and motivated me every step of the way, helping me perfect my approach to my subjects and my exams! And it was thanks to Preeti, our Head of KS5, and Richard, our Assistant Principal, that I was able to secure a place to study Medicine in the UK with my results!"
There were also a few students who battled Covid in the middle of their exams.
"I can't really put it into words. I've heard so many rumours in the past couple of days, but I've been working really hard since April. During exams I got Covid, so I felt like it was over, but I continued going. I didn't think I would see myself here a couple of years back. I'm going to study at Imperial College, London," says Hamzah, who is an outgoing student at Dubai British School Emirates Hills.
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