Britain’s brightest student really is in a class of his own after passing a record 23 A-Levels in a single year – 22 at A grade.
Ali Moeen Nawazish sat 22 A-Levels and two AS-Levels – the equivalent of another A-Level – in just 12 months in a bid to gain a place at Cambridge University.
The 18-year-old, who says he has a ‘thirst for knowledge’, netted 22 As, one B and a C after studying for up to 10 hours-a-day.
Subjects included traditional qualifications like physics, chemistry and maths, and more modern additions such as Thinking Skills and Critical Thinking.
But rather than struggle under his massive workload, Ali claims he enjoyed the experience.
He even found time to play guitar, hold the role of president of his music club, edit his school newspaper and attend a leadership conference at Harvard University, America.
His incredible achievements won him a place on a computer science degree at Trinity College Cambridge – where he is currently coasting through his first year.
Ali, whose family live in Pakistan, said: ‘I didn’t find it particularly stressful. I enjoyed it. I’ve a thirst for knowledge.
‘Some of subjects were tricker than others – such as psychology.
‘I only began studying for the subject three days before the exam so there was a lot to get in. I was pleased to get an A.
‘Physics, math and computing are my real strong point.’
Ali sat all the exams with accredited boards Ed-Excel and CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) at the Roots High School in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
He sat the first seven in June 2007, a further three in November 2007 and the remainder in June 2008.
His school scholarship paid the £2,500 registration fees.
Incredibly Ali, who is single and speaks three languages – Urdu, English and Punjabi – only started studying for some of the exams three days beforehand.
But the remarkable results won him offers from five leading UK universities including Cambridge, Imperial College London and Bristol University.
He chose to study computer science to ‘indulge a passion’ and hopes to go on to study medicine at Cambridge when he completes his first degree.
Ali said: ‘I’m doing my current degree because I love it. But want to do for the rest of my life is be a doctor so I hope to go on to study medicine.’
The high achiever’s sister Hina Mehwish, 23, is a doctor in Pakistan where his mother Nisar Malik, 48, and father Zaka Ullah, 51, are medical doctors.
Ali is the first member of his family to study in the UK.
He is coping well at Cambridge but has not felt the need to supplement his course with additional learning
He said: ‘It’s all under control but at Cambridge you simply can’t run out of work to do, they always find you so much more.’
Dr Nick Bampos, senior tutor at Trinity Hall, responsible for admissions, said the first time he and his colleagues saw Ali Moeen’s application they found it hard to believe.
Dr Bampos said: ‘When we first interviewed him we thought “this can’t be right”.
‘But not only is he really bright, he is really charming. He might be a computer scientist but he shatters all the stereotypes.
‘He does so much at Cambridge and is fitting in well. He clearly loves being here. We’re delighted to have him here.
‘We’ve never heard of any applicant with anywhere near as many A-Levels. It’s enormously impressive.
‘However, it isn’t necessary to get that many A-Levels to get into Cambridge.’
A spokeswoman for Ed-Excel, with which he took six subjects, said: ‘We would like to congratulate Ali Moeen on this incredible achievement. He has done incredibly well.’
1. Physics – A
2. Chemistry – B
3. Biology – A
4. Mathematics – A
5. Computing – A
6. Marine Sciences – A
7. Applied ICT – A
8. Thinking Skills – A
9. Urdu Literature – A
10. GP (International) – A
11. Geography – A
12. Applied Geography – A
13. General Further Mathematics – C
14. Human Biology – A
15. Pure Mathematics – A
16. Further Mathematics – A
17. Sociology – A
18. Psychology – A
19. General Studies (UK AS level) – A
20. English Language (UK AS level) – A
21. Thinking Skills – A
22. Urdu Language – A
23. Business Studies – A
24. Critical Thinking – A