IB toppers 2
TOP ACHIEVERS (clockwise from top left): Alice Gazel, Benjamin Jobilal, Charlotte Suykens, Kshiteez Panigrahi, Naja Baumann, Prateeti Saran, Rawan Najim, and Shriya Karlapudi. Image Credit: Supplied | Gulf News

Meet the students who scored 45 and 44 points in IB Diploma exams

These students worked hard, maintained a work life balance to achieve high scores

Dubai: UAE students are celebrating the success of their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma exam results which started to coming in from Wednesday (July 5, 2023).

GEMS Education said a total of 605 Grade 12 | Year 13 students sat for the exams, up from 533 last academic year.

Its students outperformed world averages from last year.

Acing exams

Dr Saima Rana

“With an average point score of 32.8 and a pass rate of 92 per cent, GEMS students once again aced the exams. One student, from GEMS Wellington International School in Dubai, achieved the highest score possible of 45,” said Dr Saima Rana, Chief Education Officer, GEMS Education.

She added: “Our IB graduates have proven time and again that this qualification is a gateway to brilliant futures, creating powerful citizens fearlessly facing the world with unwavering determination and a commitment to values that resonate with compassion, integrity, and intellectual excellence,” Dr Rana said.

Academic journey

“Through their rigorous academic journey, they have honed critical thinking skills, fostered cultural appreciation, and embraced diversity as a cornerstone of progress.”

Glen Radojkovich, Deputy Director of Education, IB & UK Curriculum, said: “Taaleem schools achieved an impressive pass rate of 94 per cent, exceeding the global pass rate of 79 per cent. Our schools have also achieved 100 per cent pass rate in the Career-related Programme (CP).”

Glen Radojkovich

Radojkovich said 76 six per cent of Taaleem students achieved scores above 30 points, while 38 per cent of students attained scores above 35 points with 10 per cent of them above 40 points.

“We are immensely proud to celebrate the achievement of a Greenfield International School (WSA IB School of the Year 2022) student who scored a perfect 45 points in the IB Diploma Programme,” Radojkovich.

“This outstanding accomplishment is a clear demonstration of the exceptional abilities, dedication, and hard work exhibited by this remarkable student.”

Preparations, mock exams

Egyptian expat Amr Yehia Soliman, 18, Grade 12, from Greenfield International School for one achieved the highest possible score of 45 in his IB exams.

Amr Yehia Soliman

Amr Yehia Soliman

“The IB curriculum was a challenging yet rewarding journey. I avoided last-minute cramming to prevent burnout and focused on understanding unfamiliar topics.

“Textbooks provided by the school aided my content review, while YouTube videos and teacher assistance clarified complex concepts. I dedicated significant time to practicing past papers, particularly for calculation-based exams like Maths and Physics.

“Mock exams organised by the school provided a valuable glimpse into real exam conditions. Above all, what truly matters to me is knowing that I gave my best effort throughout the journey,” said Soliman.

Hard work

Another topper who scored 45 points in her IB exams is 17-year-old Shriya Karlapudi, a Year 13 student of GEMS Wellington International School.

“Consistent hard work over the past two years, time-management and a methodical approach to studying helped me achieve these results. I am grateful to my parents, teachers and the leadership of my school for their encouragement and guidance without which this would not have been possible. While year 13 was quite challenging with university applications, admission tests, interviews, coursework, mocks and, of course, the final exams, I was able to excel since I had started my preparations well in advance.”Karlapudi will be pursuing Medicine at King’s College London – her top choice of university.

Sleepless nights

Benjamin Jobilal, 18 Grade 12, GEMS Modern Academy scored a high 44 points. He said : “I would be lying if I said IB was easy to prepare for. Ultimately what helped me score well was the hours of practice and sleepless nights that went into my preparation.”

“Of course, equally important was the support I received from my friends and family, especially when the pressure really got to me. I would say consistency is key to success. It’s not possible to accomplish it overnight, regardless of how great you are as a student. First and foremost, I have learned that teachers always have the best tips and tricks to really ace the exams, so listen to them if you need any last minute advice.”

Extra effort

Prateeti Saran

Prateeti Saran, 18, a Year 13 student of Dubai International Academy (DIA) - Emirates Hills also scored 44 points. “Reflecting on my preparations, I definitely know that it is a demanding programme. It took a lot of all-nighters and extra effort, but I am glad to have had the support of my teachers, my school and my parents. I am also thankful for the collaborative community I have found at DIA.

“The emphasis on balance between academics and extracurriculars. I was encouraged to invest my time outside academics into organisations like DIA’s women in STEM society, and the makers club, where I helped build a semiautonomous lunar rover. Managing rigorous academics with extra-curriculars seems daunting, but with the right support, I think anyone can do it.”

Balanced lifestyle, self-discipline

Belgian expat Charlotte Suykens, 17, in Grade 12 of Raha International school said throughout her IB Diploma course, she pulled together a range of resources to aid her in her preparations.

Charlotte Suykens

Charlotte Suykens

“I maintained a balanced lifestyle in order to remain motivated with my studies and to ensure that I would fulfill my potential. As a result of my discipline and self-management, I began revising months in advance and created a schedule to guide me in prioritising certain subjects and topics. Overall, IB exams were an extremely challenging process but I am thankful for the opportunities they have and will continue to provide me!”

Kshiteez Panigrahi, 18 of DIA – Emirates Hills who scored 44 points said: “IB DP is very rigorous programme that required me to put in three to four hours of studying and practice every day, beside my school time. Discipline and motivation is key to cracking up these exams.”

Naja Baumann

Swiss expat Naja Baumann, 18, Year 13 student of GEMS Wellington Silicon Oasis who scored 42 points said: “To get through the IB diploma pathway, I made use of the discipline I was used to from competing in swimming for several years prior to starting my Post-16 journey.

“However, I still ensured that I incorporated daily exercise and free time to avoid the risk of burning out before the May exams, and to give myself an outlet to release stress when the revision became more focused towards the final exams.”

Overall, Baumann found that a balance between discipline and flexibility helped give the best chance at completing the IB diploma with high grades.

Determination: 3-5 hours/day studying

Jordanian expat Ahmad Darwish of Raha International School who scored 42 points as well said: “The IB results encapsulates two years of determination and hard work in a rigorous academic setting. This achievement is something I am overjoyed with and immensely proud of.

“In preparation for the IB exams, I spent three to five hours a day studying through past papers and other resources. Nonetheless, I also relied on the guidance of my teachers and parents to assist me in my revision. Therefore, I am incredibly grateful for their support and can only imagine where I would be without it.

Support from family, mentors

Rawan Najim, the top IB achiever at Bateen World Academy, said her score of 44 is down to strong support from her family and mentors: “I am really proud for having achieved these IB results. I would not have been able to have performed as well as this if it was not for the support and guidance from my family. Having been part of Al Bateen since FS1, I must mention a great thank you to the relentless support from my teachers at Al Bateen which has given me the platform to achieve.

Rawan Najim

“Their expertise and mentorship played a pivotal role in helping me navigate through the research process and refine my ideas. I look forward to making a positive impact on humanity through my study of genetics at the University of Toronto. At some points I was not sure I would be able to fulfil such grades but I can look back now at the hurdles that I have overcome and use this as experience for challenges that lie ahead.”

Rawan intends to study genetics at the University of Toronto in Canada.