Can One Possibly Take 28 A-Levels and What is the Cost?


Nathan Standley of BBC News profiles Mahnoor Cheema, a 17-year-old student who is studying for 28 A-levels, a feat that most students only attempt with three. Cheema, who has an IQ of 161, equivalent to that of Einstein and Stephen Hawking, already has 34 GCSEs.

However, achieving this number of A-levels is not possible through traditional schooling alone. Schools typically only allow students to take a maximum of four or five A-levels, as universities do not require more than this for entry. Cheema is studying for four of her A-levels at school and the rest at home with her mother, Tayyaba.

The cost of taking this many A-levels is significant. Exam papers alone can cost over £50 each, and multiple papers are required per subject. This means that taking 28 A-levels could cost thousands just in exam fees. Additional costs include textbooks and potentially private tutors, who usually charge around £30 per hour.

Beyond the financial aspect, the logistics of taking so many exams also present challenges. Students would need to sit exams in almost all available morning and afternoon sessions during each exam season over two years. This could lead to clashes in the exam timetable.

Despite these challenges, Cheema is committed to taking on this academic challenge. However, experts caution that universities use Ucas points for admissions, and may not know how to handle a student with 28 A-levels. They also stress the importance of maintaining hobbies and a balanced life outside of academics for mental health.

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