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Board toppers' success mantras: Be consistent, don't cram

Last updated on: June 8, 2012 17:14 IST

Board toppers' success mantras: Be consistent, don't cram

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Avni Mehrotra

Every passing year, the performance of students in the board exams warn you of the stiffer competition awaiting you. Avni Mehrotra spoke to a few toppers from across the nation who have been there and done that to help you prepare for the big year ahead.

With most state and central Class X and XII results out, all we hear about these days is 'percentages'.

With talks about cut-offs, best of 5, aggregates, subject toppers and merit rankers doing the rounds, the competition is only getting stiffer by the year.

While some students came out with flying colours, some missed their dream target by a fraction of a percentage. But keeping everything aside, it is amazing to see the amount of confidence and flair which these students posses.

Notwithstanding the stream they have chosen or the city they were brought up in, it is the students who are driving the hope of 'India Shining' home.

Basking in their newly acquired glory and raring to go, here are some students who excelled not only in academics but also managed competitive exams and extra-curricular activities with equal elan.

The pride of their parents and protege of their teachers, they share with us their preparation for boards, stress busting techniques and give out success mantras to juniors to handle the much dreaded board exams.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

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'You may have low moments, just don't give up'

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Ritika Singhal

Stream: Commerce

Institute: RA Poddar College, Mumbai

The commerce topper from one of the most reputed colleges in Mumbai, Ritika's excitement knew no bounds when she learnt that she had not only scored 93 per cent marks but also topped her college.

"I was scared I shouldn't score 89 per cent. That would have really disappointed me."

With zero pressure from her parents and teachers, Ritika was always an academically inclined student and claims to be a teacher's pet.

"Though I was always more into academics, I had never topped. This is like achieving something which I never imagined I could".

Ritika now plans to do law and has applied in Government law college, Mumbai. She tells students currently in class 12 to stay patient and keep trying even during their difficult times.

"You may have low moments, just don't give up. Go out for a while, meet friends, go for movies or do anything that relaxes you and then get back to studies. This cools your mind and increases your tempo", she concludes.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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'I spend hours listening to motivational speeches'

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Vinayak Suresh

Stream: Science (Non-Medical)

Institute: Smt SulochanaDevi Singhania School, Thane

This science topper at the ISC board school has definitely used technology and the internet to their best.

Not just that, he has also been active in debates, essay writing competitions, group discussions and a lot of activities throughout his Class XII preparation which he believes are essential for everybody to gain confidence for their interviews.

"YouTube is one of the biggest sources of knowledge, according to me. I spend hours listening to motivational speeches, browsing for test paper solutions, maths problems etc. Moreover there are online tutorials available for everything which provide visual aids to get concepts cleared.

Vinayak idolises Dr APJ Abdul Kalam for the arduous journey he covered from selling newspapers to being the President of India.

In spite of being unwell during prelims, Vinayak fought back to emerge as the top merit holder in his school. He feels that having a good set of friends helped him achieve this.

"Not only were my friends inclined towards studies, but also took part in other non-curricular activities to relax. It was they who not only helped me come out of my low days but also provided healthy competition which created a very balanced scenario for me to study."

For engineering aspirants, Vinayak advises them to be serious right from the start and finish the entire portion during the Class XI vacations.

"The level to which it reaches is very high and by the time you realise it in 12th, it gets too late. So get into it with serious intentions. You won't be able to tackle it later."

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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'Keep solving doubts, make a timetable with realistic goals and stick to it'

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Rohan Goyal

Stream: Medicine

Institute: Kundan Vidya Mandir, Ludhiana

Scoring 95 per cent in Class XII, Rohan Goyal was on cloud nine when he realised that he had topped the medical class in his school.

Rohan plans to get into medicine practice because of the nobility of the profession. He believes that neither he nor his school were marks oriented but rather believed in the qualitative personality development of a student. Though the school had reduced extra-curricular activities for HSC students, activities which enhanced an individual's personality were still retained.

"Reducing extra curriculars is fine, but keeping a student completely out of touch with them is not the solution. In fact indulging in a hobby is a huge stress buster especially during days when you feel like giving up."

He attributes his success to his coaching classes and idolises his father, Rajeev Goyal, for his constant motivation and support in going out of his way for his son's education. Rohan stresses a lot on self study instead of getting totally dependent on coaching classes. Moreover he tells juniors not to get disheartened and keep continuing the hard work with confidence.

"Keep solving doubts, make a timetable with realistic goals and stick to it. Keep revising whatever you study and most importantly solve as many question papers as possible. This will help you stick to time limits, realise your weak areas and most importantly solve questions under pressure", the topper signs off.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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'I skipped a couple of chapters while I did my strong ones well'

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Anant Jaikray

Stream: Science (Non-Medical)

Institute: Pace College, Mumbai

This achiever has given his parents a lot to be proud of him. Not only has he scored 97.1 per cent in Class XII but has also cleared the IIT-JEE securing an all India rank of 173.

"I kept JEE and 12th standard preparations on the same page. I skipped a couple of chapters while I did my strong ones well."

Though he wasn't consistent in Class XI, he advises students to avoid that mistake.

"If you are getting into it, get into it with a very serious intention right from the beginning. Though I lost my tempo during the middle of 12th standard I regained it back with the help of my coaching class teachers and worked hard in the last six months".

Anant advises students to keep solving doubts throughout and sit with teachers till all concepts are totally clear.

The student lauds his uncle, Manoj Kumar, for his consistent help and pushing him whenever he felt like giving up. Anant now plans to go to IIT-Delhi or IIT Bombay to complete his BTech.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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'Don't give up till you get what you want'

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Pallavi Sharma

Stream: Humanities

Institute: Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh

They say, 'if you want something, don't give up till you get it, the result will be more than you expected'

Pallavi's hard work of paid off when she not only topped her school with 96 per cent marks but also stood first in the entire Mohali-Chandigarh-Panchkula region.

A firm believer of the Almighty, He was the first one she thanked after learning about her results. With her priorities set, Pallavi now wants to go to Lady Sri Ram College and study her favorite subject, Sociology and eventually preparing to get into the Indian Civil Services.

"I love studying about the society, what is happening around us, our law, civic structure etc. IAS as a career option is the best thing which would bring me closer to that."

Though she was focused towards her studies, Pallavi was also a part of her school cabinet and involved in a majority of activities during her 11th standard.

"I just couldn't study without them. I needed them for my overall development and also to ease my mind off the pressure". With her elder brother, Puneet Sharma, by her side, who is also studying in Sri Ram College of Commerce, Pallavi considers him to be her biggest support.

She too idolises Dr. Abdul Kalam for everything he did for the nation and also his constant emphasis on working hard to strive for excellence.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




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A talented candidate scores over a bookworm

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Saloni Khanna

Stream: Commerce

Institute: Amity International School, Noida

This would be one girl who completely defines the term all rounder.

Being the football team captain and Model United Nations participant, Saloni still managed to score 93.5 per cent marks in her CBSE board examination.

"Despite being in Class XII, I pursued football, as I was the captain of my school team. Apart from that, I was involved in a lot of debate competitions, economics forum and MUN."

She feels that these activities not only give you a lot of exposure and confidence but also stand out when you go ahead to face interviews.

"Being an all rounder since school days helps as every company now looks for a talented candidate instead of a bookworm. Sports and extracurricular activities have multiple benefits as they not only teach you teamwork and leadership qualities but also expose you to new people. Moreover, studies can at times get boring and instead of simply watching TV, one should rather pursue something they are good at".

She says that she is blessed to have supportive parents who left no stone unturned to provide every facility they could for her to excel.

Saloni now plans to study further in economics or statistics as she feels they would provide her with a strong base for her higher education.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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'Avoid last minute cramming'

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Sanya Jain

Stream: Humanities

Institute: LaMartiniere Girls' College, Lucknow

With a whopping score of 97.7 per cent, Sanya has not only topped her school but has also made a huge jump from the 91 per cent she scored in Class X.

"In Class X, there were subjects like maths and science that we just had to study. Even if I didn't have an aptitude for them, I had no option. I think that's where my percentage went down."

Learning from that, Sanya opted for humanities in her Class 11 and now plans to do Psychology or Sociology Honors from Delhi University. She gives all the credit to her parents for supporting her and to her teachers for their guidance throughout the year.

"My teachers were so supportive that I didn't have to join any coaching class. Rather I was academically inclined throughout the year".

She advises juniors to not cram everything during the last moment but rather stay consistent with their study pattern if they wish to get the dream score they desire.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh




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