At 8.30 this morning, Shitikanth, 17, discovered he had topped the All India Joint Entrance Exam for the Indian Institutes of Technology. Since then the celebrations haven't stopped in his Patna home, neither has his cell phone stopped ringing.
"I had expected to be amongst the top 5 and since the scores are not out yet -- I am hoping to get a score of 440," Shitikanth told rediff.com on the telephone from his home.
The sons of doctor parents, Shitikant says he will opt for IIT-Kanpur to pursue a degree in computer science. "I have always been interested in it and feel not only is a good field but will also give me great scope for research."
Before he enters the hallowed portals of IIT-K, he will travel to Vietnam on July 17 to participate in the Physics Olympiad.
Having scored 91.4 per cent in his Class XII examination this year, Shitikanth says he followed a very flexible study schedule. After Class X, he moved to Kota in Rajasthan, a popular centre of coaching for competitive examinations, where he attended up to three-and-half hours of coaching and studied up to 6 to 7 hours on his own every day.
Giving tips from his own preparation, he followed three primary basics for his exams:
"Focus. Give every subject equal importance. Keep a basic but flexible schedule where you say that I will finish so much in so much time."
He says he mostly studied on his own but would meet for group studies when he wanted to discuss a problem.
Thrilled, he says he has been celebrating with his parents and sister, a student at the National Institute of Fashion Technology. "We are going to have a huge bash tonight," says the new star of Patna.