2023-24: UAE School Holidays, Exam Results & Uni Deadlines

Here's your essential overview of the key dates for this school year – from admission deadlines to long breaks, exam dates and more – all you have to do is pop them into your calendar.
2023-24: UAE School Holidays, Exam Results & Uni Deadlines
By Carli Allan
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With the UAE new school year underway, you may just be catching up on the hundreds of messages, notifications and things to remember. We’re here to make life a little bit easier by sharing an overview of the key dates for this school year – from admission deadlines to long breaks, exam dates and more – all you have to do is pop them into your calendar.

Remember to check out our feature on UAE school holidays and public holidays for 2023-24 so that you’re ready and prepped to book some time off too.

Please bookmark this page as we will update it throughout the academic year with guides to help you navigate every step of your child's journey through school.

October 2023

Secondary admissions: Selective secondary schools such as Dubai College will open their admissions process for new students hoping to join in August/September 2024 from September and close by October 31.

Application deadlines and tests vary from school to school but prospective students and parents will be invited to tour schools and attend open afternoons. Registration for these is always required so be sure to contact the school you are interested in to confirm your place and check their admissions procedure.

Read more: If you've just moved to the UAE, this is A Complete Guide to School Life in the UAE, click here.

Half term break: The dates of this break will vary according to which curriculum your school follows but it will fall somewhere between October 9-23. 

UK university application deadline: All Cambridge and Oxford University courses and most medicine, veterinary medicine and dentistry courses beginning September 2024 in the UK require applications to be submitted by October 16. 

Read more: Applying to Universities: A Guide, click here.

December 2023

Winter break: December 11-January 2

January 2024:

Start of term: January 2, 2024

Secondary admissions: Applications for the 2025/26 academic year open and remain open until approximately March. The earlier you apply the better but don’t panic if you arrive late in the year, just talk to the schools which match your criteria to see if any places are still available. 

Read more: A Levels or IB Diploma? Your Questions Answered, click here.

GCSE and A Level/BTEC/IB options: If your child is currently in Year 9 or Year 11, they will need to choose their GCSE or sixth form (A Level, IB and BTEC) options. The deadline for this varies by school but is typically the end of January.

Read more: GCSEs and IGCSEs: A Guide Map, click here.

UK university application deadline: The majority of undergraduate courses for domestic and international students will close applications on January 31.

US university application deadline: Applications for most universities in the US open in early January – with confirmation of receipt around March/April. 

Read more: UK or US University: When to Apply?, click here.

February 2024

CBSE exams: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams begin on February 15 (until April 10).

Read more: CBSE versus ICSE, the Key Differences, click here.

Half term: Most schools will have a half term break around February 12-16.

March 2024

Spring break: March 25 - April 5; this break will be followed by Eid Al Fitr (dates of which are to be confirmed but potentially this will be a three-week break from school). 

April 2024

Start of term: April 8

IB exams: International Baccalaureate (IB) exams begin April 24 (until 17th May).

May 2024

GCSE, IGCSE and A Level exams: Depending on different exam boards,  exams run from the end of May and throughout June.

CBSE results: Will be announced during the second week of May.

June 2024

UK university application deadline: Final application deadline for all undergraduate courses is June 30. (Many universities and colleges will continue to accept applications from international students until later in the year, nearer the beginning of the course.) Any applications received after June 30 will be entered into UCAS Clearing.

July 2024

Term ends: July 5

IB results: July 5 for all IBDP and IBCP results.

August 2024

A Level and BTEC results: August 15

GCSE results: August 22

Read more: Clearing: Top Tips for Getting a University Place, click here.

Please note: these dates are guidelines and can vary.

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