Self-confessed perfectionist Sara Al Liusie has achieved academic success that other grade 12 students can only dream of. Having earned 11 A star passes in her GCSE examinations the opportunities are limitless.

To what do you attribute your GCSE success?

Hard work, determination and the support of my family, friends and teachers at Dubai College. I have to mention my grandmother who raised, encouraged and supported me to achieve such high grades, and also to play the piano, to dance and to figure skate. She is a very ambitious and lively woman, and her drive has been infectious and has made me hungry for knowledge and to work my hardest at all aspects of life.

What went through your mind when you were told about your achievement?

It was hard to believe at first, but I'm pretty sure that's the initial reaction that anyone has after achieving a goal they've been striving for. After it sank, I felt fulfilled and accomplished. I still can't quite believe it, especially the fact that I received a letter for achieving one of the top ten marks in GCSE Drama worldwide.

Have you always been academically inclined?

Yes, I'm a born perfectionist, and this applies to both my studies and other activities. Whether it is playing a piano piece or performing a figure skating routine, I always yearn to achieve perfection. For as long as I can remember, my main aim in school was to get As and nothing else would do.

How much time do you spend studying?

Truthfully, not much, unless I have to prepare for an exam. Perhaps an hour a day. This is mainly because I'm involved in an array of extracurricular activities such as ballet, figure skating, Chinese class, piano lessons, drum lessons - and I plan to lengthen this list. I believe that achieving equilibrium is vital, which is why I also enjoy a healthy social life. Yet, I have never studied as much as I had during my GCSEs; probably around 5 hours a day during ‘study leave' which continued for a month. I worked in the morning, and went out with friends at night.

What do you plan to study when you go to university?

At the moment, I have no clue as I express an interest in all my subjects. Currently, I'm looking into a Mathematics and Philosophy course, but I would not be surprised if a different course appealed to me more in the near future. I just feel so fortunate to have an abundance of courses to select from, which allows me to keep my options open.

Have you decided where you will pursue your tertiary education?

In the United Kingdom. I'll be applying to five different universities, and at the top of that list will be Oxford. I would be extremely honoured if I were to be accepted into such a prestigious school, and I know I would definitely work my hardest through my selected course.

Do you have siblings who also do well academically?

My older brother Majid recently set off to college in Illinois to study chemical engineering. Although a tad lazy (aren't all boys!), my brother is definitely one of the most intelligent people I know. However, he also understood the significance of maintaining a balanced life. He, too, plays the piano and guitar at the professional level and is an avid football player.

What other interests do you have?

My main instrument is the piano, which I have been playing for a good ten years. I also play the guitar, drums, violin and I love to sing. I adore musical theatre and drama - a love which I only discovered in Dubai College, so many thanks to my Drama teachers there, who have supported me throughout my drama life in school. I have been doing ballet and figure skating for ten years as well; I enjoy it thoroughly as it combines music and movement into an expressive art form.

What other successes have you had in your schooling career?

I have received two music prizes, a history prize and an Arabic prize on prize giving day at Dubai College, which is an annual event. This was over the course of five years. Additionally, I've won house music competitions.

What are your favourite classes in school?

Maths, because I think the subject comes very naturally to me. I also enjoy Drama, English and History.

Get to know...

Name: Sara Al Liusie
Nationality: Emirati
Age: 16
School: Dubai College, year 12
Claim to fame: Achieving 11 GCSE A star passes