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The boy so set on getting to Cambridge he got 22 A-levels

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One ambition was fixed in Ali Moeen Nawazish’s mind as he made his way through school in Pakistan He wanted to win a place at Cambridge

Sitting seven A-levels might easily have done the trick, even though he had started to study some of the subjects only three days before the exam

But he was determined to get some good grades So he sat another three, and three more Then another nine Just in case, he took a couple of AS levels along the way


Qualified success: Ali Moeen Nawazish

The result? The remarkable young student, who modestly explains he has ‘quite a thirst for knowledge’, secured 22 A grades, one B and a C

When he filled out his university application forms at home in Rawalpindi there was barely enough space to list his qualifications

His Cambridge dream came true four months ago when he embarked on a computer science degree course at Trinity Hall Now he is due to win another place – in the Guinness Book of Records

Yesterday Ali, 18, explained, perhaps superfluously, that he rather enjoys hard work He’s got even more qualifications in his sights to fulfil another ambition

‘I’m doing my current degree because I love it,’ he said ‘But what I want to do for the rest of my life is to be a doctor, so I hope to go on to study medicine’

Ali, who speaks Urdu, English and Punjabi, sat all the exams within 12 months at Rawalpindi’s Roots College International His entry was organised through accredited boards Ed-Excel and Cambridge International Examinations

Ali also achieved a top score in the US admissions test and was accepted by most Ivy League institutions, including Harvard and Yale Apart from core science subjects he is almost entirely self taught He studied for up to 12 hours a day, using energy drinks to help concentrate


The 18 year-old boy genius took the long list of exams within 12-months netting himself 22 A grades, one B and one C

He still managed to keep up his leisure pursuits, however, playing the guitar, cricket and table tennis, and editing his school newspaper He even found time for a trip to America to attend a Harvard leadership course

But it wasn’t always like that

Ali’s incredible talent began to emerge only at the age of 15 He was a chubby boy and rather solitary and many of his early results were mediocre

He said: ‘Then one day it all clicked I needed to prove to myself, and to others, that I could do it’ At O-level – still an internationally recognised qualification – he got nine A grades

Then came the A-levels His mother Nisar Malik, 48, father Zaka Ullah, 51, both doctors, though worried about his workload, were very supportive ‘They always said that if I was happy, they were happy,’ he said ‘Now they love the fact that I’ve done so well’

So just how does he manage to achieve so much? One teacher described him as having ‘a mind like a scanner’ but Ali says he does not have a photographic memory

He simply enjoys learning ‘The way I work is by spending ten minutes on one subject, then switching to another, then another It’s a bit haphazard but it works’

He retained the knowledge by linking facts to funny anecdotes he invented, and by reading around the subjects

Hardest part was the exams, which he described as ‘a mental endurance battle’ For two weeks he had a minimum of four every day, sometimes from 8am to midnight to avoid timetable clashes

Dr Nick Bampos, senior tutor at Trinity Hall, said the first time he and his colleagues saw Ali’s application they found it hard to believe

Dr Bampos said: ‘But not only is he really bright, he is really charming He might be a computer scientist but he shatters all the stereotypes We’re delighted to have him’

Source: Daily Mail Online