Wimbledon boy, Humza Mahmood (aged 17) became the only boy in Merton to gain admission to Harvard this year, and did it with a full scholarship.  Studying at Wallington County Grammar School, he sat fifteen GCSEs, scoring fourteen A*s and 9s.  He used his experiences to collaborate with other 6th formers and produced a guide on how to achieve exam success and maintain health and wellbeing, entitled ‘100 Things I wish I had known about my GCSEs’.


He then went on to read four A levels in Government and Politics, Maths, Classical Civilisations and Physics.  Although there is a small handful of students that go to Harvard every year from London, Humza is the only student in the school’s history to have gained admission.


When asked about the secret to his success, Humza said “I get up early and try to get the heavy lifting done before I get to school, I never do my homework at home and I always stop working by 7:30 so I can chill out with the family.”  Humza’s also a keen cyclist and often cycles more than 20km each day in the summer months.  He says that “Getting sunshine into every day with plenty of light-hearted time too, helps me to keep pressure at bay.”


He went through the admissions process with the assistance of the Fulbright Commission and the Sutton Trust where he was competitively selected from the best and brightest in the country to pursue studies in the United States.  Although very demanding, there were incredible highlights like a week at Princeton, where he initially considered applying and several high velocity residential courses organised by the Sutton Trust and Fulbright Commission to help prepare ultra-high performing students for rigorous testing.  Humza’s testing score for his admission to Harvard was even higher than that of President Barack Obama!


Now a student at Harvard, he lives on campus and has joined the Harvard Rowing Team where he now gets up at 4:30 every morning to join the team on a frozen Charles River.  He has a part time job in the library and putting up posters for the History Museum too!  He’s in his Freshman Year (the first of a four year degree) and presently studying Chinese, Economics, Psychology and Maths.  He says that he’s “Keeping [his] options open!”