A precocious Dubai schoolboy has described himself as feeling both excited and relieved after earning an A* grade in A-level mathematics at the tender age of 13.
Alex George, a pupil at Hartland International School, is determined to keep his education journey on the fast track as he sets his sights on a university challenge.
The young mathematics marvel, whose mother is from Turkmenistan and father is Indian, has been part of his school's accelerated learning programme in maths for three years.
In January last year, he sat the mathematics IGCSE exams and outperformed most other pupils when he achieved a nine, the highest grade possible in the paper.
It was fitting that the pupil, who sat the exam years in advance, made a suitably early start to discover his impressive results on Thursday.
Currently in the US, he woke at 4am to happy news.
“I was excited to be doing something so early, mostly because of the challenge, because there's no point in doing something that that's easy for you. You should always challenge yourself, so I tried that with the A-levels," Alex said.
“The content of the exam was reasonably difficult, but there were more questions than usual so it was more about time management than difficulty.
“Currently I am in the United States, so I woke up at 4am to find out the results. It was pretty surprising for me, because I felt like I had messed up the first exam since I wasn't expecting the extra questions."
Asked about how he felt when he saw his grade he said: "It was a lot of mixed emotions. I was excited and relieved.”
A young learner making his mark
Now that he has achieved the highest qualification for high-school mathematics, the pupil hopes to soon start work on university-level courses.
“Also, there are other qualifications in mathematics. My school has told to me that there are things planned for me to do when school starts again, in relation to mathematics. Hopefully, eventually, I'll get to doing university classes, maybe online," Alex said.
The pupil said he had not decided if he wanted to pursue mathematics at university level because he also enjoyed computer sciences.
Through the years, he said it was the mathematics department at his school that supported him with his ambitious plans.
When his school realised he was able to do mathematics higher than his grade, they tested him and placed him in an accelerated learning programme.
His mathematics teachers helped him prepare for the A-level exam.
Alex is also a former UAE national school-level chess champion. At the age of eight, he was the UAE schools chess champion in 2017, and again in 2019.
He was also the reigning Dubai schools chess champion in his age category from 2017 to 2019.
In 2016, he participated in the Asian Youth Chess Championship, aged 7.