Dubai: A Dubai schoolgirl has obtained the second highest score in the world in the ISC (Indian Secondary Certificate) class 12 results, announced on Monday.
Aakanksha Rai from GEMS Modern Academy scored 99.25 per cent just 0.25 per cent shy of the highest score — making her the UAE topper.
There were other students who also scored 99.25 per cent in the exams, conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) in New Delhi.
The education board also conducts the ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) for class 10, whose results were also revealed on Monday.
Rai, 17, said she studied “pretty hard in the last few years”, which has now paid off. She plans to study computer science at a leading university in Singapore later this year and perhaps become a university professor one day.
In the lead up to the exams, Rai said she also ensured she was exercising daily, and eating and sleeping right. “Some of my friends study more than I do, but they don’t get enough sleep. On the day of the exam, you forget things or maybe you’re a little muddled because you didn’t sleep well.”
Regarding her message to pupils, she said: “You have to believe in yourself and do your best. There is no ‘secret to success’ as such, but you should mix hard work with smart work. You shouldn’t rely only on one of them.”
In her case, the smart work was about ensuring she understood the concept of the subject matter so she wouldn’t have to “mug up”.
“I always made sure I paid attention in class. I made sure I never bunked school; I believe in going to class and understanding every single concept.”
Rai, who is from Jharkhand state in India, lives in Dubai with her parents and younger brother Akshat, 11, who also attends GEMS Modern Academy. She is a swimming champion and has won more than 45 medals for her school. Rai plays the guitar and has got distinctions in the subjects of Speech, Drama, and Communications.
Rai’s mother Swati said: “The whole family feels top of the world right now. It’s really her hard work that’s got her here.”
Rai’s school is also celebrating a higher batch average of 88.8 per cent this year for the 146 students who appeared for the ISC exam.
Nargish Khambatta, principal and CEO of GEMS Modern Academy, and Convener of the ISC Examinations, Dubai, said: “It is heartening to note that our top academic achievers are also all-rounders, finding the right balance between their focus on academics and their extra-curricular pursuits. Our students have lived up to the high expectations their teachers had of them. This year we have a world topper in ISC despite having the largest cohort ever — Aakanksha Rai secured 99.25 per cent in grade 12 and was placed second globally.”
In the ICSE class 10 results, Arisma Arora topped the school batch, scoring 98.6 per cent.
In Dubai, two more schools follow the CISCE examinations system — JSS International School and Ambassador School.
JSS celebrated a 100 per cent pass rate as well as the UAE topper in Art — Harshi Kabra, who scored 99 out of 100 in the class 10 ICSE. The school average for ICSE was 87.6 per cent; for ISC it was 83.6 per cent.
Lata Nakra, principal of JSS, said: “It has been a very encouraging result. The school has been particularly mindful about not creating undue stress by having frequent counselling sessions and practising mindfulness regularly. Parents have been very supportive too by ensuring a caring and nurturing environment at home too and teachers too have played their role effectively by following up with every student to ensure they are helped in whatever way they may need help. In all this, it was a pleasant surprise to see our students take responsibility for their studies and handle the exam pressure in a stable, calm and mature manner. And the result is very reassuring to say the least.”
At Ambassador School, students once again emerged as toppers in Mathematics, Commercial Applications and Computer Applications, with a perfect score of 100 in these subjects, the school said. The school average this year reached 89.2 per cent. In ISC (class 12) Science stream, Ashath Inamdar is the world and UAE topper scoring 100 in Biology, the school said.
Sheela Menon, principal of Ambassador School, said: “Young Ambassadors have emerged as winners in Indian curriculum ICSE and ISC examinations, with each batch outperforming the previous one. The consistency in results validate the commitment and hard work of students, dedication of teachers and partnering of parents. Education excellence being the core focus of the institution, I congratulate our young achievers and wish them success in their future. endeavours.”