ABU DHABI // Pupils who attend schools in the capital that follow the national curriculum will buckle down for first-semester exams starting from December 7.
However, the new continuous assessment school model establishes that test marks will count only for a fraction of students' final grade.
On Monday, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) announced the schedule for first-semester exams for all public and private schools following the Ministry of Education (MoE) curriculum, as well as adult education centres and home learners.
A total of 69,391 public school students will be marked according to a new calculation method rolled out by Adec this year.
Continuous assessment, which takes place throughout the school year, will account for 60 per cent of the total grade, while final written examinations at the end of the third semester will represent the remaining 40 per cent.
Continuous assessment will not only include marks from first- and second-semester exams, but also projects, orals, assignments and other tests, too.
Grade 10 and Grade 11 pupils in public schools will have their first exam on December 7, and their last on December 15. Grade 6 to Grade 9 pupils will begin writing on December 12 and end on December 16.
Private schools following the MoE curriculum, as well as adult education centres and home learners, have their first term exams from December 12 to December 16.
Grade 12 students across all education institutions will sit for their exams from December 7 until December 16.
Mohammed Salem al Dhaheri, Adec's executive director of school operations, said the new assessment method would eliminate the sole reliance on textbook knowledge to pass exams.
The exams for Grade 6 to Grade 9 students in public schools will take place over a single period during the school day.
"We want to focus on more activity-based learning and shift from having a teacher give notes to students who then reproduce the same thing for marks," he said.
"Before, the exams would be for more than two hours, but now they will be conducted within a period of 45 minutes."
Grade 12 students will have an hour and a half to complete each of the exam papers set by the MoE.
"We want students to think and analyse rather than just learn everything A to Z from the textbook. That's why their progress will be assessed through assignments, projects and teamwork during the year now as well," Mr al Dhaheri said.
Home learners and students enrolled in private schools or adult centres will be tested at the public school closest to them with the capacity to do so.