Salwa Samer Khalil got the highest marks in the 50-question
Salwa Samer Khalil got the highest marks in the 50-question Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An 11-year-old student of Al Rashed Al Saleh School Dubai has topped all the Middle Eastern Schools with brilliant results for the International Benchmarking Test (IBT) English 2 exams.

Salwa Samer Khalil aced the 50-question IBT test in English in May this year. The IBT is an internationally administered programme of assessments conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and it benchmarks student performance in three subjects: Mathematics, Science, and English.

The participation in these exams which is extra curriculum based is in pursuit of assessment standards set by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Khalil’s overjoyed father Samer told Gulf News: ‘I am extremely proud of the performance of my daughter who has always been a very bright student. We were not aware in the beginning how important and noteworthy her performance was. First time she was told by her teacher that she did excellent in the exam and that she will be honoured. She thought it was a normal appreciation certificate, but the first surprise was when she was told that she is among top five schoolmates who attended the IBT exams in different fields, yet the biggest surprise for her was when she was told she had not only excelled, but also scored the highest mark in English test on the Middle East level.”

Khalil who has a 13-year-old older sister and a six-year-old brother expressed her delight: “It was really a big surprise for me and I wasn’t expecting that result, but thanks to almighty god and the support from my parents and the school, I was able to achieve this magnificent result”, she said.

Khalil is popular in school for being very calm and bright. She loves solving puzzles, playing chess, indulging in sport activities and is a keen golfer having won several awards at junior golf championships and playing musical instruments. Her father added that her favourite was the violin where she also won a musical competition in solo at her school for the violin this year. “She aspires to get into the field of medicine and I a hope she is able to fare well every year in this the next year as well. This international examination comes as an annual assessment of the student’s abilities and benchmarks them against the set standards.”

Khalil has excelled in English language and the IBT has benchmarked her in this subject. She credits it to her habit of being an avid reader. “I love reading and enjoy the novels a lot. My favourite novel is Animal Farm, by George Orwell, my dad gave me this novel and I enjoy reading it a lot together with other books that we have from Shakespeare and Joseph Conrad. These books help me in improving my vocabulary and inspire me to write as well, I am still a novice but with more reading and practice I can improve my writing skills,” said the young girl who also received a certificate of appreciation for her IBT exams in Science.