Dubai: A Dubai student has cracked the A levels at just 13 years of age.
The exams - usually taken by 16 and 18 year olds - was aced by Indian student Alex George. The Year 8 student at Hartland International School in Dubai, whose father hails from India and mother from Turkmenistan, said he loves challenging himself - and appearing for A levels ahead of other students his age group was just one of them.
“I am in an accelerated maths programme at my school, so I sat my IGCSE exam two years ago. It was only logical for me to continue with A levels curriculum and exam. I love challenging myself and get bored with easy study materials, so it was a great chance for me to kill two birds with one stone,” said Alex. He scored A* in math exam.
“The preparation was reasonably hard for me, but my teachers Mr Thompson and Mr Macblaine made sure I covered all of the curriculum and practiced it well enough. Being younger for the exams also meant that I took longer to write and struggled a bit with time management. These two I would say were my big drawbacks,” he added.
Alex said preparations for A levels started when he was 11 years old as the course takes two years.“For the exams in particular, I took two months to prepare well for it.”
George said the accelerated program at Hartland gave him enough and more training where he received individual attention.
Alex said he was confident he would come out a winner in the exam. “The [maths] exam consists of three papers of two hours each. However, on the first paper I was surprised to see 16 questions which is more than usual. I ended up struggling with timing, so I knew I had to put all my efforts on the next two papers.”
And that is exactly what he did.
Alex is an all-rounder, achieving success in various activities beside maths and A levels. In fact, before falling in love with maths, Alex was playing chess and was Dubai Chess champion for three years in a row, beside being UAE chess champion for two years. He also qualified for Asian and world chess competitions.
He participated in numerous prestigious maths competitions, got awards on the country level and represented UAE in international Olympiads, such as IMSO (International Math and Science Olympiad) and others.
Alex loves music and is undertaking ABRSM certification with distinction. ABRSM is UK’s largest music education body in the world providing music exams, holding over 650,000 assessments in more than 90 countries every year. Alex has reached grade 6 level in piano and grade 3 in saxophone.
Alex is also interested in computer programming, learning languages Python and C++. He is hoping to do an early A level in computer science. ‘My school teacher Mr Al Rifai is planning for me to do GCSE this year,” said Alex, whose favourite subjects are maths, computers and science.
He added: “For the near future, my goal is to get into Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) because they are known to be the best in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths] but my goals keep changing. I am not sure where my career will take me but it will surely be related to technology and computer science. I see myself working in Artificial Intelligence or cybersecurity.”