Years of diligence, commitment and determination have certainly paid off for ACG Strathallan mathematics maestro Manya Talwar. The highly motivated 14-year-old received a perfect score of 200/200 raw marks in her Cambridge IGCSE mathematics exam, collecting the Top in the World title in the 2021 Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards.
“This award means so much to me because it highlights my years of hard work and how, by never giving up, I can achieve anything I set my mind to,” says Manya.
“I study. I work hard like any other student. And I never give up. If there’s a question I don’t know, I keep working on it, and if I’m still unable to finish it, I’ll ask my teacher or one of my peers. I’ve set myself a goal to never quit, and this is what drives me to push beyond my limits.”
Manya’s teachers have also played a starring role in her success. Not just her 2021 maths teacher Mrs Hollier, but all her ACG Strathallan maths teachers.
“They all imprinted their love of maths onto me, and with their teachings, I’ve been able to get where I am today.”
Not surprisingly, mathematics is one of Manya’s favourite subjects. She loves the way each topic builds upon itself every year and how there is always more to do and learn. The top scholar also believes there are plenty of opportunities to have fun and pit your skills against other budding mathematicians. Last year, for example, Manya competed in the SUPERTMATIK competition, attaining a phenomenal fourth place from a total field of 29,260 participants. This year she’s coaching younger students for Mathex and can’t wait to embrace another new raft of challenges and opportunities.
“I want to learn new things and have the satisfaction of completing my studies to the highest standard. Of course, another perfect score would be great, but most of all, I just want to work to the best of my abilities.”
And she’s not just talking about mathematics. Manya embraces all aspects of life at ACG Strathallan, from academics to extracurricular activities.
“My number one goal is to be the best that I can possibly be. I want to be kind and caring, study hard, take time off for myself, try and achieve all A* grades (90% and above) for Cambridge exams, make new friends, be mindful and follow our school values of pride, respect, integrity and compassion.”
It’s a considerable list, but one she’s sure to accomplish. After all, quitting is not part of Manya’s vocabulary.
Manya’s top tips for Cambridge success:
- Never stop working hard
- Always ask for help where you need it
- Take breaks – if you try to cram everything in, you’ll never be able to comprehend it fully
- Don’t procrastinate!