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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Boy wonder passes computing A-level
Ilia Karmanov
Ilia hopes to become a computer games programmer
An 11-year-old boy, who has become one of the youngest people ever to pass an A-level, is "happy" with his result.

Ilia Karmanov, from Ealing, west London, got a Grade B after completing a computer course in nine months at Ryde College, near Watford in Hertfordshire.

When he grows up Ilia hopes to become a games programmer, but at the moment he plans to concentrate on doing well in other subjects.

The record for the youngest person to pass an A-level is believed to be held by Ganesh Sittampalam in 1988, who got an A in maths when he was nine years and four months old.


I don't understand computing at all - he is the family expert

Natalia Karmanov

Ilia first became interested in computers when he was just five years old.

He said: "My mum and dad weren't home, they were at work, and my grandmother was with me, so I didn't have anything to do. Out of boredom, I just switched it on."

Ilia liked "the fact that it would respond to what I did and I could do different things on it".

After taking an introductory course last April, Ilia decided to embark on the A-level in September.

Adult treatment

Eventually he would like to study for a doctorate in computer science at university.

This summer Ilia is attending a short economics course at Ryde College.

He said he enjoyed being there because pupils were treated like adults, regardless of their age.

His mother, Natalia Karmanov, said she had been concerned her son might be too young for such advanced study.

"He was desperate. He wanted to do the A-level, I said, 'Maybe it's a bit early' but he said, 'No'."

She added: "I don't understand computing at all - he is the family expert."


GCSES

Background

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TALKING POINTS

A-LEVELS

Row over standards

Real lives

TOMLINSON INQUIRY
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