More than equal to maths challenge

27th August 2004 at 01:00
A student from Thailand has won a place at Cambridge after scoring full marks in 11 of the 15 papers he sat in maths, despite taking his A-levels after only a year of study.

Noppadol Mekareeya, who won a scholarship from the Thai government to come to Britain to attend a private tutorial college, gained As in maths and further maths A-levels and maths AS, as well as top grades in his statistics and physics A-levels.

The 18-year-old, who attended Rochester Independent College, also gained an "outstanding" grade on a maths STEP paper and is to take up a place at Clare College to read maths and physics.

Another mathematician is believed to be Britain's most successful A-level student after gaining 10 A grades last week.

Paul Jefferys, a sixth-former at the private Berkhamsted Collegiate school in Hertfordshire, reportedly averaged 95 per cent across 10 A-levels, including history, Latin, physics and chemistry. He achieved 100 per cent in general studies.

Identical twins Mahdi and Hadi Godazgar, students at York College, who arrived in England from Iran in 1993 with no English, hope to study for the same degree at York university after earning five A grades in the same subjects.

Twins Joseph and William Thorpe also gained five A grades in the same subjects but now plan to study different subjects at different universities.

Three sisters from Cornwall made the headlines after becoming the first set of triplets to win places at Cambridge university.

Identical 18-year-olds Helen, Lil and Kate Armstrong achieved the three A grades they needed to read law, medicine and natural sciences. They proved very popular with newspaper picture editors.

There were warning this week that Britain's position as a world leader in applied technology could be under threat because students are choosing not to study science at university.

Delyth Chambers, chair of admissions officers for the Russell group of leading universities, said students with A grades in the sciences were increasingly choosing to read subjects such as law or history.

Private-school pupils achieved a near-perfect A-level pass rate, according to figures released today. The Independent Schools Council revealed that 99.2 per cent of all entries - 100,824 out of 101,648 - were awarded an E-grade or better compared to 95.9 per cent nationally.

The result was marginally up on 99.1 per cent last year. Figures from the council released a week after results for state pupils are made public also showed 44.3 per cent of entries were awarded A-grades compared to 43 per cent last year. At all schools across the country, 22.1 per cent reached the top mark.

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