Pankti Rajesh Shah of Indian High School, Dubai, topped in the Science stream with 98 percent marks Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Consistent hard work and a sharp focus on remaining a top student for two consecutive years has been the mantra for the student who came on top in the grade 12 CBSE exams from UAE.

Pankti Rajesh Shah, from Indian High School who secured a 98 per cent aggregate score on Saturday, told Gulf News: “I am overwhelmed by the results and the news is yet to sink in. However, I can tell you that there are no short cuts in studies. I had been securing top marks in my class for two consecutive years." 

"I just did not relent on my pace and put in consistent hard work with regular homework and revision. I was putting in 12-13 hours of work every day,” says Shah who aims to get into electronic engineering and has appeared for entrance exams for engineering courses in India.

Shah attributes her success to the tremendous dedication of her teachers and school and her parents. “Even on days when I was depressed, my teachers never failed to motivate me to keep up the good work. My parents, who are from a Commerce background, could not contribute academically but stood by me with all other morale-boosting support that I needed.”

Shah loves physics and maths and secured 98 marks in maths and physics, 99 in chemistry and 100 in biology.

For Ameena Zaheer, who came on top in the humanities stream with a 97. 2 per cent aggregate, it was important to excel as her older sister, Amal, had come on top in the humanities stream at Indian High School in Dubai four years ago.

“I had to match her performance and was keen not to disappoint myself, but the results have surprised me beyond all expectations,” said Zaheer over the phone from India where she is enjoying summer vacations in Kerala with her extended family.

For Zaheer, the results also vindicated the sacrifice her family has made. “My father who works in the telecommunications sector was transferred to Abu Dhabi last year. He would not hear of us moving out as he did not want to disturb my studies.”

For one year, Zaheer’s mother, Samina, managed to look after her 11-year-old son and Zaheer while the father only could visit the family on weekends and sometimes once in a fortnight.

Zaheer, who plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in clinical psychology, loves general knowledge and feels students from the humanities stream must be well informed about every event in society.

An avid reader of authors like Khalil Gibran and Khalid Hosseini, she feels that excelling at examinations is a matter of chance. “You need to give 100 per cent of yourself to studies, pour in all your sincerity. All streams are equal and all have a great potential for success.”

One of the toughest things to do for any adolescent is to give up the mobile phone. This is exactly what IHS student Resham Nembhavani, who came third in the Commerce stream, did.

“I love to be in touch with my friends on chat groups and social media, but for nearly two months I stopped charging my phone. I just let the battery die and never looked at it so that I would not have the temptation of finding out what was happening in chat rooms. This helped me focus on my studies. I did this after I did not score so well in the December prelim examinations. So, I began studying in right earnest during the winter vacations and the hard work paid off during the second prelims. From then on, I gathered confidence and knew I could do well if I was willing to give up temptations in life.”

Nembhawani, who plans to do her graduation in accounts and finance from Dubai, attributes her success to the guidance of her teachers and support of her family.

Top five performers in all streams


1. Pankti Rajesh Shah, The Indian High School, Dubai - 98 per cent

2. Harsh Goel, Delhi Private School, Dubai - 97.8 per cent

3. Rushali Grandhie Siva Prasad Rao, Abu Dhabi Indian High School, Abu Dhabi - 97.6 per cent

4. Amrut Prabhu, Abu Dhabi Indian School, Abu Dhabi - 97.2 per cent

5. Sanjana Ganesh, Our Own English High School, Sharjah, and Imam Ahmad, Delhi Private School, Sharjah - 97 per cent



1. Ameena Zaheer, Indian High School, Dubai - 97.2 per cent

2. Krishna Neelam Doshi, Indian High School, Dubai - 96.8 per cent

3. Naureen Begum, Indian High School, Dubai - 96.6 per cent

4. Cema Wristal Dsouza, Indian High School, Dubai - 96.2 per cent

5. Tajun Rashasha & Rahumath Afsana, Our Own English High School - 95.8 per cent


1. Rutvi Bhavin Mithani, Our Own English High School, Sharjah - 96.8 per cent

2. Kirtna Rajeev, Our Own English High School, Sharjah - 96.4 per cent

3. Resham Nembhawani, Indian High School, Dubai - 96.2 per cent

4. Shruti Suresh, Our Own English High School, Dubai - 95.8 per cent

5. Remi Ann Mathew, Gulf Indian High School, Dubai - 95.8 per cent