Sidharth Hariharan, student and valedictorian, GEMS Modern Academy, with his parents as he scored a perfect 45 at the IB exams. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Schools in the UAE on Monday started receiving results for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP).

Students will be able to access their individual results online on Tuesday, joining more than 170,000 peers globally who had registered for the May 2021 session under IB.

As in 2020, students in the UAE and many other countries this year did not sit the IB exams because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, schools here followed the IB’s “non-exam route” using a combination of internal assessment coursework and teacher-predicted grades for the results.

What is the average score?

Globally, the average diploma score for the May 2021 session is 33.02 points, up from 31.34 in May 2020. The maximum diploma score under IB is 45 points.

Key figures
• Out of 170,660 students, 104,275 were in the non-exam route and 65,576 in the exam route (and 809 split between both routes)
• The number of the Diploma Programme candidates for the May 2021 session is 87,307 (compared to May 2020 session of 86,657 candidates)
• The number of students achieving 40-45 points is 15,513, up from 9,701 in May 2020
• Diploma pass rate 88.96 per cent, up from 85.18 per cent in May 2020
Source: IB

In the UAE, there are around 50 IB World Schools. In 2020, some 2,200 students in the country received their IB results. Last year, the UAE’s average DP score of 32.80 surpassed the global average, with a pass rate of 93.77 per cent.

‘Equal opportunity for students’

Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Olli-Pekka Heinonen, director-general of IB, said: “A key responsibility of the IB this year has been to ensure that our students are not disadvantaged by the pandemic, including in their applications to university and higher education ... This year the IB’s priority has been to provide students equal opportunity to progress after the global disruption due to COVID-19, regardless of whether students sat the examinations or were assessed by the non-exam route. We have carefully considered the impact of the pandemic on students.”

Record results

The UAE’s biggest school group, GEMS Education, recorded the best-ever IB results in its 62-year history, performing above international averages. A total of nearly 600 GEMS Grade 12/Year 13 students were this year candidates for IB Diploma. Their average point score was 36 this year, compared to the international average of 31.30 in 2020, with a pass rate of 99.5 per cent, above the world average of 85.2 per cent.

Dino Varkey

Dino Varkey, CEO of GEMS Education, said: “Everyone at GEMS Education is genuinely elated with this year’s IBDP results, which are the best in our 62-year history. Our students and their teachers have now delivered two consecutive years of truly exceptional achievement in what is an incredibly difficult and challenging context due to the pandemic.”

A total of 10 students across the GEMS network achieved the highest point score possible of 45, including three from GEMS Wellington International School, two each from GEMS World Academy — Dubai, GEMS International School — Al Khail and GEMS Dubai American Academy, and one student from GEMS Modern Academy.

GEMS World Academy Dubai and GEMS Wellington International School also recorded average scores of 38 points, closely followed by GEMS Modern Academy with 37 points and GEMS International School — Al Khail with 36 points.

Perfect score

Sidharth Hariharan, student and valedictorian, GEMS Modern Academy, said: “I’ve just received my IB Diploma results, and I am extremely glad to share that I got a perfect score of 45. My plans for the future are to study pure mathematics at Imperial College London, and hopefully I will pursue a career in academia, going into research and teaching mathematics.”

‘It was nerve-racking’

Gauri Menon with her parents. Image Credit: Supplied

Gauri Menon, also from GEMS Modern Academy, who scored 44, said: “I’m planning to attend University of Toronto in Canada to study Life Sciences and specialise in molecular biology. I’m so pleased to get these results. I’ve had two days of absolute sleepless nights, and I’m glad that the results reflect the work and commitment that I’ve put in. It was nerve-racking but I was happy to see my friends get their results as well and share this happiness.”