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Miguel Donaire Arcas-Sariot has been offered a place at Oxford University. Pepe Marín
Fifteen-year-old Maths prodigy from Granada offered place at Oxford University
Education

Fifteen-year-old Maths prodigy from Granada offered place at Oxford University

The process consisted of taking an exam in Madrid in which he got 96 out of 100 questions correct, four online tests and a face-to-face interview

Andrea G. Parra

Granada

Friday, 19 January 2024, 08:09

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A 15-year-old schoolboy from Granada has been offered a place at Oxford University. Miguel Donaire Arcas-Sariot heard this week that he has passed the Oxford entrance exams, as well as the bureaucratic process to get a 15-year-old boy from Spain into the university.

The process consisted of taking an exam in Madrid and four online tests. In the first one he got 96 out of 100 questions correct. There was also a face-to-face interview at King's College Soto de Viñuelas, a British School in Madrid.

Miguel is two years ahead of other pupils his age at school and is currently in his second year of Baccalaureate. His classmates at La Presentación school in Granada city have congratulated him and one of his teachers said that “they admire him".

Double degree

"It was a surprise. At first because it was as if I didn't believe it," Miguel explained to journalists when asked how he felt when he found out that he’d got a place at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. "I didn't know what to do, how to react, but afterwards I was very happy. I was very excited" he said, adding that he received a WhatsApp message from his mother with the news while he was in a Maths class, which is the subject he is to study in England. In fact, he will be studying a double degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.

According to some of the teenager’s teachers "Mathematics is his life. Mathematics defines Miguel" and for Miguel himself, "for as long as I can remember I have known that I wanted to do mathematics, that it was my thing. I have always solved problems and seen them as a challenge. I've always loved it. When I was five or six-years-old I was already interested in everything to do with mathematics and computer science," he explained.

Miguel believes that both natural ability and lots of studying are required to achieve what he has done: "Both have a lot to do with each other" he said. "It doesn’t all come naturally. I've had hours of study, I've had hours of practice since I was very young and that's why I've developed what I've developed.”

Alan Turing

Miguel’s Maths teacher Eloy López Trescastro described him as "an exceptional student". His intelligence and talent are clearly immense, although for López, "the best thing about Miguel is the personal quality he has. His ability and human qualities". The teacher added that Miguel is "excellent" at everything.

There is also time for other things. His hobbies include the gym, video games and a bit of everything "like any other kid" Miguel stressed. His parents have made sure that this is the case. His favourite films include Interstellar and last summer’s box-office hit, Oppenheimer and his hero is the English mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing. "I've always liked his story in general," Miguel said, adding that he has watched the film about Turing’s life, The Imitation Game, several times.

Mathematical brains run in the family as Miguel’s older sister is currently studying a double degree in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Granada. Miguel said that when he is in Oxford he will miss his family, of course, and as far as food is concerned, he thinks he’ll miss Spanish omelette (Tortilla de patatas), ham, and his father's paella. Miguel still plans to take the Spanish university entrance exam, Selectividad, this summer, in case life at Oxford doesn’t suit him.

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