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Dubai: Students unable to enrol in a higher educational institution due to their low grades in high school will no longer need to repeat a full year of high school in order to register at universities.

Instead, they can take EmSAT (Emirates Standardised Test) to improve their grades to enter higher education institutions, the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) at the Ministry of Education (MoE) has announced.

EmSAT tests can also be repeated many times until students achieve the required grades and improve their total in certain subjects (Arabic, maths and English).

Previously ineligible

Dr Mohammad Yousef Baniyas, higher education advisor and director of the CAA, said: “Some students used to graduate from high school with low grades, ranging between 50 and 60 per cent, which makes them ineligible to join universities. They had no option but to repeat a full high school year to achieve a minimum grade of 70 per cent in order to enrol in universities.”

New chance

He added: “This used to cost parents extra money and time in addition to the psychological burden. However, things have changed now and students with low grades can do the EmSAT test to improve their grades so that they can achieve the required grade and join universities.”

How it works

Baniyas said the required grades in EmSAT are determined by the study programme that the student wishes to join. For example, the required grade in maths for those wishing to study medicine and engineering is 900, while the required score for those wishing to study sports or business administration is 600.

Engineering major requires students to focus on maths, physics, and English.

Those wishing to study medicine, pharmacy and dentistry are required to focus on maths, together with two science subjects out of three subjects to be selected by the students (physics, chemistry, and biology), in addition to the English language.