Friday, August 18, 2006

10 A's

Well, is it me or is the slavering furore a bit dulled this year? In the light of the situation in the Lebanon and the ongoing terrorism alert here in the UK, there hasn't been nearly as much A-level related brouhaha in the news as we have come to expect. However, the odd thing has jumped out at me. The Guardian has a jovial round up - many congratulations to the triplets, the Big Brother finalist, the grandmother and to the amazing Jan Sramek who gained 10 grade A's. It's Jan's story that has got me in a bit of a slather. Well done to him, he's obviously a brilliant and hard working person and I wish him the very best at Cambridge. But to be critical, as someone who will sit down in a fortnight and counsel dozens of young people enrolling on A-level courses, I think this story raises the question of whether accumulating all those subjects was a wise use of his time. Look at the subjects...
He gained A grades in maths, further maths, additional further maths, economics, business, German, physics, ICT, economics and business studies combined and general studies
So that's 3 maths subjects plus physics - so obviously a very bright young man. If someone is mathematically gifted it has always been possible (and beneficial) to do extra maths subjects with significantly less burden than, say, doing an extra humanities subject with its additional reading burden. So not really a scandal there.

Then we add economics, business studies and 'economics and business studies combined' - surely a blatant case of sitting exams for the sake of it? The amount of overlapping content must have been laughable. I think it's actually a forbidden combination. (see page 13 of this specification which is the one that Bootham School do)

ICT is a huge amount of work, but maybe not a significant challenge for him, especially if Jan is a hobbiest computer fan - which he may well be, with his strong flair for maths.

Then German - he's from the Czech Republic - can we assume a head start?

And finally General Studies.

My question is this - what on earth were the school thinking of? This young man is obviously very gifted indeed. Surely it would have been better to do far fewer A-levels and then look to other ways of filling his time and stretching him academically. I've put gifted students in for OU modules before now. Or maybe he could have been advised to study less subjects but ones that stretched him and took him beyond an obvious flair for maths and economics. What about Politics or History? Both are key areas of understanding for a future economist - both require a different skill set to the mathematical based subjects. Maybe his spare time would have been better used in extra-curricular activities. Did he initiate this frenzy of A-level grabbing or did his school?
Jan said: "Although I was more attracted by the challenge of taking so many exams in a short period of time than the results themselves, I am, of course, delighted."

(P.S. To non A-level hacks, don't be confused by stories like this. The 'nine A's' refer to the papers, not to the A-levels.)


JS said...

Having been alerted to this by a friend of mine, I think that I need to correct a few things which have been said, and to provide some explanations.

1) "Then we add economics, business studies and 'economics and business studies combined' - surely a blatant case of sitting exams for the sake of it? The amount of overlapping content must have been laughable."

not that you could have known this, but my school only taught E&B combined and that's the course I studied for the full 2 years..sitting the additional Economics/Business as separate A-levels was, in fact, partially a bet with several friends, partially a preparation for the AEA papers (formerly S-levels) in Economics and Business, which, being separate papers, would probably be even more difficult having studied the joint course only.

therefore, your argument is in fact wrong, as doing those 2 enabled me to do the more advanced stuff, in favour of which you argued later on

2) "ICT is a huge amount of work, but maybe not a significant challenge for him, especially if Jan is a hobbiest computer fan - which he may well be, with his strong flair for maths."

yes, it's a huge amount of work. there is no A-level which would be a significant challenge for a student with a broad range of talents, with the possible exception of art/music for those who don't have a particular flair for them..I hated my ICT A-level, but it's been a very good exercise in motivation to keep it, do the appalling coursework and learn for those pointless exams - and that's why I the time I found out that it wasn't a very good course, the only other option would have been to drop it - and I hate loosing.

3) "Then German - he's from the Czech Republic - can we assume a head start?"

any linguist will tell you that English and German are much closer than Czech and German, being from a completely different language families..if you assumed that I'd speak German because of geographical location, I can assure you that my family lives in the opposite part of the country, close to Slovakia/Poland rather than Germany.

in fact, prior to my AS-level course I had studied it for less than 2 years for 3 lessons a week, and my German was, honestly, the worst in my class when we started..coupled with the fact that my English was far from fluent when I arrived (not a surprise given that I had not even visited an English speaking country before then), being taught German in English in such circumstances was..a wonderful experience (my German teachers: you rock)

4) The school had nothing to do with this. Yes, my teachers were great in supporting me, but they were very far from pushing me to do this - in fact, the opposite was occasionally the case. History, as well as Politics, at A-level are equally difficult or academically stretching as most of the other A-levels. Jumping through the loops all the way, reading one or two mark schemes the day before the exam, and if you have a flair for the subject, high UMS shouldn't be a problem.

5) On a final point, I came to the UK knowing very little about the system and at the time decided to do Maths, Physics, German, E&B, ICT. Since everyone does GS, so did I. In Y13, I picked up FM as an obvious choice and that seemed to be the final combination. Doing AFM was purely because of my interest in Mathematics and this decision was actually made sometime in March/April, i.e. 2 months before those exams. The decision to take Economics and Business separately was made even later, partially because of my curiosity about stretching myself in terms of exams, partially as a preparation for the AEA papers.

I'm not sure whether I'd make the same choices if I were to re-live that year again, and I'm not sure whether it was the best use of my time either. It was, however, definitely worth it and a very valuable experience indeed; more and above, with 100% certainly, I used my time more wisely than a great majority of other students. It's fair to express your opinion, but belittling what I've done without knowing anything about me and other like-minded people who've done similar things in the past, is very far from being fair play.


Anonymous said...

"Jan lives in the village of Drevohostice in the east of the Czech Republic where his self-employed father, Karel, installs and maintains diesel generators and his mother, Vera, is a deputy headteacher at a commercial school." - I doth my cap.

Hi-five Jan!

Anonymous said...

What a legend.

Anonymous said...

You're a dick. Do you realise whenever employers/people google Jan Sramek this is one of the first things that comes up? You're hurting his reputation.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the teacher.

Jan is well known for self-aggrandisement and self-promotion based on unimportant "achievements". This is shown by the vanity page he himself wrote on Wikipedia or by the on-line articles and reviews that his friends have written about him after he requested them to do so.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment. Jan Sramek is just a smart guy but so far he has not achieved anything significant. He just makes sure that there is a lot about himself on the internet (written by him or his friends). For instance the interview called "Tycoons of tomorrow" is done by a friend of him, after Jan's request.
In his self-written wikipedia page, he claims to be an economist but he has just finished the London School of Economics (LSE). He also claims to have been interviewed by CNN. The truth is that CNN asked different schools to provide some students for the interview. When they asked LSE, Jan volunteered because no one else was interested. He also pretends to be running 3 companies. All of them are extremely unsuccessful.
He also says he started a charity. However what he calls a charity is merely a website that gives some information for students.

Anonymous said...

Well Said by the original poster!

Anjool Malde said...

"Leveraging personal network to expand the business into new markets"
- from his LinkedIn page

This sums him up. A load of waffle to describe him asking his friends to turn up to his parties.

Guy got A's in bullsh***ing as well as a-levels!

P.S his book is trash

Anonymous said...

Completely agree with the original poster and some of the comments above.

Jan has attempted to create a huge amount of hype around himself. His recent book "Racing towards excellence" is yet another example of this - how can a 22 year old, who himself is not all that exceptional, claim that he will be able to teach others how to be successful?!

The combination of so called achievements is furthermore questionable. There are too many scholarships, too many achievements for the profile to be realistic. Given where Jan was born, it is not completely unrealistic that there is someone backing him and trying to create this type of profile for him. Alternatively, the profile is full of words without real meaning to it.

Finally, one more comment about his recent achievements. What exactly has Jan done to be selected as a wildcard entry for the Financial News' Top 100 rising stars? Nothing but a few internships. Surely this completely devalues the ranking.

Anonymous said...

You sound chilled mate

Anonymous said...

Well he's no bloody Rupert Murdoch is he? He's done alright at school with a few A's but nothing more.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, most people would be impressed with someone who's got 5 A's and who have a job working for goldman sachs. Getting a book published (regardless of whether it is good or not - i haven't read it) is also a pretty good achievement.
He's getting so much slack because he's done all that and a lot more, and people don't believe its possible. Even if some of the internships, A levels etc. were exaggerated the hard facts are that he did well at school and university, he is doing well in his career and he has written a book.
If writing a book at 22 is not exceptional, then what is? Surely the people he worked with on the book aren't so stupid to be fooled by him.
I think he is in a pretty good position to give advice to people on how to succeed.

Anonymous said...

You're all jealous cunts. Give the man his credit. He's accomplished more in his 22 years than most of you ever will in your entire lives.

Anonymous said...

i believe that people seem to find it hard to accept someones achievements because they hardly can be bothered to achieve they go around criticising others in order to gain a few credits for themselves matter what he done, as the anonymous guy at 7:51 wrote, those executives would be not much of a fool to be falling onto a is that people cannot accept Jan's success.u rock mate...continue with the work...we're following u...btw i didn't know anyfing about him untill my friend recommended his book 2 weeks ago, so im not being paid by clear some people's thinkings.

Anonymous said...

I sense some jealousy here. The kid works at Goldman on a ET desk. He's already got you all beat and probably makes more in a month than you all do in a year.

Anjool Malde said...

Jan stole my idea for the book and took all the glory.

Anonymous said...

Having done it myself I agree that Mathematical aptitude grants Further Mathematics - large parts of Physics - etc as very doable in a much smaller amount of time (given already doing Mathematics).
I am yet to find the ultimate A-level achievement (I think) of taking: Maths, FM, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English Literature, History, a second Language, Latin/Greek, and Art/Music/Design Technology (or combinations similar in spread of arts/science) and getting A's in all of them! Anyone....?

That would be epic!

The kind of thing we would like our top barristers and doctors to have done.

Nevertheless, it is an awesome feat Jan.

Anonymous said...

What rubbish !!! I can't believe Jealousy can eat people's common sense like a 'cancer' ...

This is feat Worthy of Emulation.. it shows nothing can be impossible even at young age... Well I personally think at 22, one is even too old to achieve these....

Nevertheless Jan, thumbs up Mate.. thats kuul... and I bet you there's more to come....

I believe this generation would see special talents becoming graduate at Cambridge and Havard, etc even at 13... Goosh that made me feel 'too old' already....

Anonymous said...

He achieved nothing. Jan Sramek is big bull*****er.

Look at his 'businesses', they all failed and didn't make any profit at all.

His publishing business and book is about to fail too, the price of the book has been lowered seriously in a desperate attempt to sell some more.

Chris Young said...

I heard a few things about this bloke and recently came across a CNN Interview and I wouldn't say that this chap is a genius and listening to him speak you will quickly realise that he is gifted with great learning ability akin to a robot or university professors BUT individuals of this type have a very linear way of thinking unlike those mavericks out there who have built very successful business with very little or no qualifications at all. Secondly, this guy also a bit of a bulls****er who tries to amplify his success a little too much. Thirdly, from the interview you can tell that he is very immature when he tries to be a smartypants when another guy was giving his views.Now, the book, i personally think it was a publicity stunt for this guy and Muzafar Khan. Well, lets see if will become the next George Soros in the next few years?

Anonymous said...

Jan Sramek is a very smart guy, there is no doubt about that whatsoever. He's also a really nice guy by all accounts. However he tends to bullshit, alot. I can't understand why, he is already one of the brightest young men in the UK.

Anonymous said...

what a big ed

Adam Malik said...

The guy who wrote this is a living tosser, I passed A-levels with a nasty smack habit and a rampant cock however I still got 300 points.

Jan is a legend and I admire him I would work with him great minds think alike.

This article is bullshit he treat A-levels like GCSES just because you was always a middler in education who decide some time in his life to become a shut in to achieve his dream and become an inverted jealous muck raker.

Jan is probably worth 50 of you by now and is well on his wa to becoming a billionaire.

Anonymous said...

Obviously jan is smart but the question is how smart. Yes he did get 10 As, but having done the IB's and having gotten a 7 in Maths HL I wouldnt say 3As in one subject could really be called 3 seperate As. Anywaym thats really not the point. My main issue is that he is hyping all his tiny, and commendable achievments to a laughable level. This, I feel is just really annoying but nothing more. I generally find modesty to be a virtue, and all this self-publicity will ultimately bite him in the ass. If he does well in his career then good on him .... but my guess ... well, you all can probably infer from the tone of this comment ;)

Anonymous said...

There are some very bitter people on here

Anonymous said...

Jan is a well known self publiciser.Je is a self-published 'wannabe' celebrity if there ever was one. Begging friends to write articles about him for one for example, doesn't strike me as the action of someone who wants to stay out of the limelight, nor does stressing he has done 10 A-levels (when in fact there really 4/5, given the huge overlap and non-subjects).

Anonymous said...

See, I wouldn't call this guy anything more than a prime example of what one can do if they develop sensational self-control, coupled with a decent memory and above average intelligence.

In my opinion, a 25 year old with no qualifications, but with a thriving business turning over millions per year is far more successful than somebody with exceptional A levels and numerous degrees. I think this guy knows this as well. Hence the BS.

Anonymous said...

I am willingly to bet that nearly everyone if not all who have posted on this blog except JS does not know him. It's pretty annoying to read most of these comments that seem to be either written out of jealousy - annoyance that someone has been in the media, or bigheaded losers that seem to think his achievements are entirely possible - £100,000 scholarship to university, maths at Trinity College (home of the IMO representatives), Olympian hand-ball player, scholarship holder to study in Britain whilst coming from a modest background.

Apparently he's ''done alright at school with a few A's but nothing more'', and he's ''achieved nothing'' and all ''his 'businesses', they all failed...his publishing business and book is about to fail too''. And @Chris Young, I've also seen that interview on CNN where he actually only says a little, but for some reason those seconds are enough for you to deduce his learning ability, and that he is ''very immature''. Whilst other people seem to think that anyone can ''develop sensational self-control'', a ''decent memory'', and ''above average intelligence''.

Well, I call BS to all of you.

Anonymous said...

Jan, you are a great inspiration to us all and your book is very helpful. Teacher please put up your CV so we can all pick through it with a fine comb and tell you what you should have done instead..

free lesbian sex galleries and stories said...

Its a little dark and quite alarge place. After amusing himself in this fashion for awhile, he had her straighten, and turn once more to face him.
free adult enemaspanking stories
free xxx stories
forced lesbian stories
hot sex dog stories com
gay xxx stories
Its a little dark and quite alarge place. After amusing himself in this fashion for awhile, he had her straighten, and turn once more to face him.

Anonymous said...

I've checked and his name doesn't appear on any of the Maths, Physics and IT Olympiads list of participants for the past 10 years. So that was an outright lie on his CV.

It is not challenging to achieve a first at LSE. You can fail an entire paper and still get a first.

I went to Cambridge with this guy and he got like a low 2.1, he wasn't even among the top 30% there.

And the 10 A-levels. So what? A lot of people at Oxbridge have 6-7 A-levels in a diverse mix of subjects, the record is 23 A-levels by a guy from Pakistan. None of them go around showing off their As in newspapers.

Sooner or later an intelligent GS person or a smart journalist will find out the truth about him.

It is so obvious that he comes back to these websites and makes positive-defensive comments about himself.

Anonymous said...

Jeez why is everyone so bitter for? He's obviously worked hard within the short time frame he has been in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, he decided to leave GS at the time of the year when GS does its annual axing of the bottom 5% of its employees. He had a low performance:

Anonymous said...

His businesses failed and he failed as a trader. He wants to start his own trading business now?

Only an idiot would give him money to manage.

Anonymous said...

Jan Sramek wasn't fired. He was asked to hand in his resignation.

JS said...


Anonymous said...

Asked to resign. But of course, typical Jan: I quit I was not asked to resign bla bla bla... A bit like your "High First" Jan, come on we all know you barely scraped 70's in your exams and then started distributing your books to colleagues at GS. Why is it that folks on the EM FX desk like Turkish Bob and Alan Stewart always frowned upon hearing your name? Come on mate own up for once in your life buddy, I was with you at GS so don't expect me to swallow your over-inflated cock-and-bull stories.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

His book is rubbish, he sounds ridiculously narcissistic.

Anonymous said...

Ask him about any theory or idea that someone else came up with and his usual reply is " rubbish, don't believe in it" he is even on record saying that further education in finance is mental masturbation: hmm I wonder how much respect he has for those who taught him. Ungrateful runt. He is calling his professors Masturbaters thanks Jan! Anyone foolish enough to give him capital intros without rigorous due diligence deserves to be fired.

JS said...

$1bn. 5 years.

Anonymous said...

He became even more delusional and desperate after he was fired from GS and didn't find a decent job in London. TBH with his track record of business failures and financial losses he should shut up and come back ONLY when he makes real money.

JS you shouldn't come with your bullshit here, we are not those dumb journalists or banking professionals who fell for your exaggerated achievements in the past.

Anonymous said...

As soon as you leave university and enter the business world, there are other things that matter. Everyone will tell you that. Marks and academic achievement are only part of the whole picture.

What will be important in banking are also ethics (though it does not seem like that in the light of the recent crisis), continuing personal/professional development, personality and clients' trust that you need to work hard for with care over many months or even years, both for and against the market. It is not easy to find a good balance and to create real value for your clients and all the others involved.

JS shows a clear commitment to the finance industry, and we also know that he is prepared to work hard for his goals and can be successful in academia. Let us see how he will develop in the other areas I mentioned. He is still very young and just started his career. If you ask me, it is too early for him to run his own business. He first needs a better reputation, proven success on the job and some arguments against all the people bashing him.

Again, success cannot be measured through numbers and grades alone. At school, it might be that easy but if you "go out there", you join many other people who are as intelligent and motivated as Jan. In fact, there are many Jans in the banking world we do not hear from or read about. Lots of them did not start their own business at university or achieved a perfect GPA, but they have the skills that really matter and which make them stand out among their peers.

Ever heard of a famous investor who is known well only through his/her GPA? Surely not. It is what helps you enter the industry but you will be asked about it only few times or never again if you have been on the job for 5+ years. Nobody can say "Hey, I've got a 4.0/4.0 GPA (or a 1:1 hons degree), so this is my client now."

It is up to Jan to show that he can be successful out there where the full range of skills, personality as well as your professional network matter. He has the talent to be a great finance professional some day, and I hope that he can use his dedication and skills in combination with honest professionalism and integrity.

At the moment, most of us are speculating about Jan's success as an investor. Does he really deserve to be attacked by us if we do not know much about him as a person beyond his Linkedin profile and some biased posts on these forums where some of the self-appointed "rising stars of finance" see that there is someone who has got a better start than them?

We still have to learn a lot, so does Jan as well. Sometimes, failure is the best lesson, lets you know what you did wrong and helps you become better at what you do.

Anonymous said...

JS does not have so many A-Levels. He has about 5. If the average student takes 3 A-Levels and each a-Level consists of 6 papers then 18 papers in total were taken. If that student obtained A in 18 papers, would he then say he has 18As in his A-Levels or wouldn't he just say he has tripple A A-Levels.

JS went to cambridge and he was not an outstanding student.

JS was asked to leave goldman.

JS is smart and educated, but not to the level he is trying to portray.

JS claims to be starting his own trading firm, but nobody serious has been affiliated with that.

The greatest weakness in JS is that he markets himself in a very bad way.

I hope that helps clarify things.

Anonymous said...

Jan Sramek was fired from Goldman and he went to Switzerland as soon as he realised that his reputation in London stinks.

This entrepreneurship story is just another bs cover story. He calls it Erudify, but the website says nothing specific. If it was a serious business, the website would promote the service or good. Another Jan Sramek business, another failure.

One day a smart journalist will find out and reveal everything about him.

Anonymous said...

He seems to have done ok for himself if you google him now.

Anonymous said...

Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this site. It's simple, yet
effective. A lot of times it's hard to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say you've done a awesome job with this.
Additionally, the blog loads very fast for me on Firefox.
Excellent Blog!
Stop by my blog post ; teenporn

Anonymous said...

We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme
in our community. Your web site provided us with useful information to
work on. You've done an impressive task and our whole community might be grateful to you.
My web blog - free teen porn pictries

Anonymous said...

Wow, wonderful weblog structure! How long have you ever been blogging for?
you made blogging glance easy. The overall glance of your web site is excellent,
as well as the content material!
Also visit my homepage ...

Anonymous said...

Hiya! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I'm trying to find a theme
or plugin that might be able to fix this problem.
If you have any suggestions, please share. Appreciate it!
Also visit my homepage freeporn

Anonymous said...

Hiya! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I'm
trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix
this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share.
Appreciate it!
my page :: freeporn

Anonymous said...

Thanks for every other informative web site. Where else may I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal approach?
I've a mission that I am just now running on, and I have been at the look out for such information.
My web site - adult porn mall

Anonymous said...






Anonymous said...

Malaysia & Singapore & brunei ultimate online blogshop for wholesale & quantity korean add-ons, accessories,
earstuds, necklace, rings, bracelet, hair & bracelet add-ons.
Offer 35 % wholesale markdown. Ship Worldwide
Feel free to surf my site ... brain training iPhone

Anonymous said...

I am curious to find out what blog platform you're utilizing? I'm
having some small security issues with my latest blog and I'd like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?
Also see my site :: organic

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be useful to read articles from other writers and practice something from other websites.

Anonymous said...

Me and ozzy fucked tougher, trying to show to my own god!
FUCK YES!' just before cumming inside my warm pussy. were still fucking

Look at my web site hcg injections

Anonymous said...

I don't create a great deal of responses, but i did some searching and wound up here "10 A's". And I actually do have some questions for you if it's allright. Is it simply me or does it seem like a few of these responses come across like they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at other social sites, I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of all your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

Here is my website look at this website

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I was checking continuously this
blog and I'm impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

Also visit my blog post :: Our site

Anonymous said...

Your style is so unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity,
Guess I'll just bookmark this blog.

Have a look at my page more helpful hints

Anonymous said...

We агe а group of voluntеers аnd οpening a new sсheme in οuг community.
Your sіte оffeгed us with helpful infoгmatiοn to рaіntingѕ οn.

You hаνе ԁοne an impressive jοb and оur entігe gгoup wіll probаblу bе
gгateful to you.

Herе is my ωeb site; free microsoft points to get free microsoft points codes

Anonymous said...






Anonymous said...

Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything
you can advise? I get so much lately it's driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.

My blog: Young Kacey loves to suck dicks

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone, it's my first go to see at this site, and piece of writing is truly fruitful designed for me, keep up posting such posts.

Here is my web blog ...

Anonymous said...

Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is just
nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.

Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep up to
date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the
gratifying work.

Here is my weblog

Anonymous said...

Ηi to eveгу body, it's my first go to see of this weblog; this website consists of remarkable and in fact fine stuff in favor of readers.

Feel free to surf to my website: Lloyd Irvin

Anonymous said...

Нi there! ӏ could haνe swoгn I've been to this website before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it'ѕ
nеw tο me. Nonethelesѕ, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be bоok-marking it and сhecking bacκ

Fеel free to visit my blog pοѕt ... reputation management reviews