"I set a target and then I stay focused on it."
Mahnoor Cheema enjoyed GCSE results day as she passed 34 subjects.
The 16-year-old, who goes to Langley Grammar School in Slough, found out she passed 17 GCSEs on August 24, 2023, having passed another 17 the year before.
Mahnoor’s achievement is believed to be a record and she passed with flying colours, with the majority of her grades being 9s, equivalent to a high A*, and only a handful were 8s.
Her GCSEs ranged from physics, chemistry, biology, maths, economics, sociology, psychology and even astronomy.
She revealed that she had an interest in languages, therefore, she took five language subjects, including French and Latin.
Mahnoor said: “I’m a highly driven individual. I’ve always understood that hard work would be required with aspirations like mine, and I’ve never backed down from a challenge.
“I set a target and then I stay focused on it.
“I constantly considered the fact that I wasn’t studying just for myself, but for my family and for the people I wish to help one day.
“Besides this, time management has always been a skill of mine.
“For the past three years, I’ve had to manage my time very effectively between school and my extra subjects.
“I have to say that the workload has never felt particularly challenging for me, because I retain information well and always appreciate an opportunity to broaden my knowledge.”
She said her family, especially her mother, supported and encouraged her educational feat.
Despite taking on several extra subjects, it did not stop Mahnoor from living a normal teenage life.
She explained: “I’m a firm believer in the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic.
“I put in the work, but I have leisure pursuits like any other 16-year-old.
“I love playing the piano, horse riding, swimming, playing chess. I go to concerts, meet up with my friends, and spend time with my family.”
She hopes to study medicine at the University of Oxford.
“Either I would become a cardiac surgeon or neurosurgeon.”
Mahnoor explained that she also has an interest in politics and wants to play a role in the betterment of Pakistan, stating that she and her family are supporters of the country’s PML-N party.
Her mother Tayyaba Cheema said her daughter planned to take over 45 subjects but her school would not allow her.
As well as her educational excellence, Mahnoor’s IQ is 161, higher than Albert Einstein’s. This was subsequently recognised by Mensa.
Mahnoor also completed ABRSM Music Theory and Practical at Grade 8 with distinction.
She is also one of the youngest individuals in the UK to be pursuing a music diploma.
Mahnoor has been shortlisted in the prestigious John Locke essay competition, with the awards ceremony taking place in Oxford later in 2023.