education

Dubai maths sensation, 12, aces GCSE exam

Rehman earns A* with Distinction in Further Maths, years ahead of his time

14:04 September 19, 2016
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Dubai: Dubai boy-wonder Rehman, 12, has aced GCSE-level Further Maths, normally taken by teenagers much older than him.

Rehman earned “A* (A-star) with Distinction”, the highest possible grade, in Further Maths, a tough exam designed to push the brightest 16-year-olds to their number-crunching limits.

He was still in Year 7 at Kings’ School Al Barsha when he took the exam in July, normally sat by Year 11 students. Rehman, who is a British citizen of Indian origin, is now in Year 8 at the UK-curriculum school.

In 2015, when he was just 11, Rehman had scored A* in maths in the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). Only those students who succeed in GCSE Maths are allowed to take the Further Maths test.

The test had been “a little harder”, Rehman had told his mum Pia on exam day. She said Rehman “doesn’t do that much studying at home… He’s very intuitive, he doesn’t follow a set formula for studies”.

Rehman said ever since he could remember, “I just like working with numbers. When I study maths, it keeps me focused”.

The young maths sensation is in a class of his own, quite literally, when it comes to his favourite subject.

“Kings’ School Al Barsha provides [Rehman] with special one-to-one tutoring and support to ensure his talent is given the attention it deserves. This is in line with the school’s ethos to nurture children as individuals. Kings’ also offer a scholarship programme which gives exceptionally talented young people the opportunity to access outstanding levels of education and facilities that Kings’ provides,” the school said.

Pia said she was “extremely grateful to Kings’ for providing the extra resources required by Rehman. They have been extremely proactive and creative in keeping him challenged.”

Rehman’s maths teacher, Daniel Scovell, who is the school’s Subject Leader for Maths, said Rehman likes algebra the most. “Some equations he can do while having a conversation. Shape-work — anything with geometry or graphs — is not his favourite area in maths. But he still gets it right,” Scovell added.