One ambition was fixed in Ali Moeen Nawazish's mind as he made his way through school in Pakistan. He wanted to win a place at Cambridge.
Sitting seven A-levels might easily have done the trick, even though he had started to study some of the subjects only three days before the exam.
But he was determined to get some good grades. So he sat another three, and three more. Then another nine. Just in case, he took a couple of AS levels along the way.
The result? The remarkable young student, who modestly explains he has 'quite a thirst for knowledge', secured 22 A grades, one B and a C.
When he filled out his university application forms at home in Rawalpindi there was barely enough space to list his qualifications.
His Cambridge dream came true four months ago when he embarked on a computer science degree course at Trinity Hall. Now he is due to win another place - in the Guinness Book of Records.
Yesterday Ali, 18, explained, perhaps superfluously, that he rather enjoys hard work. He's got even more qualifications in his sights to fulfil another ambition.
'I'm doing my current degree because I love it,' he said. 'But what I want to do for the rest of my life is to be a doctor, so I hope to go on to study medicine.'
Ali, who speaks Urdu, English and Punjabi, sat all the exams within 12 months at Rawalpindi's Roots College International. His entry was organised through accredited boards Ed-Excel and Cambridge International Examinations.
Ali also achieved a top score in the U.S. admissions test and was accepted by most Ivy League institutions, including Harvard and Yale. Apart from core science subjects he is almost entirely self taught. He studied for up to 12 hours a day, using energy drinks to help concentrate.Thanks to Mail on line UK news