What nationwide exam results reveal about your child’s education


In a guest column from whichschooladvisor.com, Lyn Soppelsa tells you what you need to know about the recent exam results

The online school comparison website whichschooladvisor.com recently released its second annual UAE-wide exam result round-up.

Over 24 schools in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi took part, in what is to date the most comprehensive ‘league table’ of UAE-based schools.

And, while the Abu Dhabi sample size might be small, the good news for parents is that both Abu Dhabi and the UAE once again achieved significantly higher overall grade averages than the UK.

In 2016, the UAE I/GCSE A* to A average was 53.7 percent. Abu Dhabi’s overall I/GCSE average for A* to A was slightly less than this with 52.8 percent, yet the score is still more than double the UK average of 20.5 percent.

Abu Dhabi’s I/GCSE A* to C results for 2016 were 88.8 percent, while the UK average was 66.9 percent.

The average A Level A* to A score in Abu Dhabi was 36.3 percent – again, significantly above the UK’s percentage of 25.8.

Sourcing the data

Once again, the biggest issue we faced was sourcing individual school examination data.

Even in cases where the data was provided, it was often only partially complete.

In the I/GCSE results, we encountered a similar issue, however this time schools were reluctant to publish their A* to A scores. BSAK and Merryland published both A* to A and A* to C results in 2016.


A Level results

In the A Level results, British School Al Khubairat (BSAK), achieved the highest A* to A score in the emirate with 40 percent. Brighton College Abu Dhabi achieved the most A* to C grades, with 95 percent.

BSAK recorded 47 percent A* to A and 95 percent A* to C, placing the school third in Abu Dhabi and tenth across the UAE.

Aldar Academies recorded 42 percent A* to A scores and 87 percent A* to C. The remaining schools published incomplete data.

I/GCSE results

In the I/GCSE results, Brighton College achieved the best results in Abu Dhabi and the third highest in the UAE, with 97 percent A* to C and 64 percent A* to A grades.

The highly affordable Merryland School came next with 92 percent A* to C and 62 percent A* to A, placing the AED 33,000 per annum school fourth overall in the UAE.

This year, Al Yasmina and Al Bateen released only A* to C results, however, Aldar Academies as a whole did release overall figures of 87 percent A* to C passes and 42 percent A* to A.

GEMS group also only published partial results (A* to A 42 percent), however GEMS Cambridge High School published independently and the results were strong with 49 percent A* to A.

For the IB Diploma only Raha International School published its results independently, (88 percent of students passed and an average score of 32.5). However, Aldar Academies collectively reported a 100 percent pass rate with a 32.4 average score, while GEMS group recorded a 92 percent pass rate and 32.8 average score.

The next step…

As yet, there is no requirement from exam boards or authorities to publish regional or international school results, (in fact, the IB system actively avoids comparing results), unlike in the UK, where schools are ranked annually in league tables according to their results.

Whichschooladvisor.com thinks that all schools should let their customers know what they will get after 13 years of education, and for some over one million dirhams spent. We do understand that there is a difference between selective and non-selective schools, but value added data is not published by schools or their owners either.

What can you do?

Ask your school about their 2016 examination results and where to find them. If they refuse to make the results public, ask for the reasons and policy regarding examination result reporting.

If and when you do receive your school’s results, use the whichschooladvisor.com UAE-wide 2016 results to see just how your school fairs against others in the UAE.

To read the full 2016 UAE Examination Round-Up Report can be found at whichschooladvisor.com

Disclaimer: This column is provided by a third party for information purposes and does not reflect the opinion of Abu Dhabi World magazine or its owner.  

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