Mahnoor Cheema says she didn’t want to limit herself (Picture: SWNS)
A teenager who is taking 28 A-levels after getting top grades in 34 GCSEs has insisted that she does in fact have a life outside of school and studying.
Mahnoor Cheema, from Slough, has the same IQ as Albert Einstein and hit the headlines after calling for gifted pupils to receive more support to maximise their potential.
She’s studying four A-levels at her school, Henrietta Barnett School in north London, and the rest at home alongside her study partner and mum, Tayyaba.
She already achieved 33 9s and one 8 grade in her GCSEs – with 9s being the highest grade possible under the new grading system.
Speaking to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, 17-year-old Mahnoor says she manages her workload around classes and her social life, saying studying ‘doesn’t really tend to take up a lot of time’.
She said her mum instilled in her a ‘deep passion’ for learning and books, and is studying so many A-levels to avoid narrowing her options.
Mahnoor insists she has a life and says studying doesn’t take up a lot of her time (Picture: BBC)
Mahnoor with her mum and study buddy Tayyaba Cheema (L) and her father Usman (Picture: SWNS)
Mahnoor said: ‘My parents have always made sure I’m not so academically focussed that that I forget to have a social life and extra curriculars.
‘So I play the piano, I do chess, I do swimming, I go out with my friends.
‘I just didn’t want to narrow down my choices, and I think if I had done four A-levels I would have been very dissatisfied with the academic challenge provided to me, so I just decided to go that extra mile.
‘My study co-partner is my mum and her policy has always been that we take one subject at a time and we tackle that in however long it takes, then we move on to the next one.’
Mahnoor, who moved back to the UK from Pakistan when she was nine, has already completed four A-levels since starting at sixth form in September.
She hopes to gain a place at Oxford University or Imperial College studying medicine, as she aims to train as a doctor and focus her studies on the brain.
Mahnoor added: ‘I was always fascinated by my own brain, by how the brain makes people tick, emotions, memory processing. So neuroscience and neurosurgery is an interest of mine.
‘I think I just have a good memory, it’s my biggest tool, I tend to read and process things quite quickly and I’m good at scanning text.
‘My mum invested in a lot of brain building activities when I was young, like arithmetic, chess, classical music. Mum really is a role model and inspiration for me.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.