Focus on what interests you: SAT and TOEFL topper
15-year old Shreya's secret was extensive reading and not merely for the purpose of exams. Read with a general interest, says the young achiever who scored full marks in SAT, TOEFL and AP tests this year.
Class 12 student Shreya Vardhan recently accomplished a feat by scoring full marks in the Scholastic Aptitute Test (SAT), Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Advanced Placement (AP) tests, which give international students an edge during college admissions and scholarship applications while applying for studies abroad.
Her mother, Reena, says that she always taught her daughter to be focused towards her goal because then God made sure that she achieves it.
In this interview, the 15-year-old from Delhi Public School, RK Puram, New Delhi, shares her success and life mantras.
How long did you prepare for these exams and which universities are on your radar?
I came to know about it through my friends at my school. I began preparing for it last October and gave my exams in January this year. I have not decided on the university but I would like to study in institutions like the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and the Princeton University in the United States.
What was the key ingredient that helped you crack all the tests?
Reading, over the years, helped me a lot especially in the Critical Reading Section of the SAT. It is designed to test how you read and understand.
Tell us more about your study strategy.
I did not take any coaching. I think solving practice papers is very important. I tried to understand the pattern of questions, which helped me in scoring well. Apart from school studies, I set deadlines and ensured that I finish a certain number of practice papers in a week. I also read related books.
What are your career plans for the future?
I aspire to be a researcher in physics, which is my favourite subject. I also want to write fiction. I have already written some articles for newspapers and short stories for magazines.
Who are your role models?
My parents and famous scientists like CV Raman, Madame Curie are among my role models. Even some fictional characters inspire me a lot.
What are your interests besides studies?
I like to play tennis. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are my favourite players. I never miss their matches. I also paint and draw cartoons.
What have been your other achievements?
I have been an NTSE (National Talent Search Examination) scholar, securing fifth rank in the International Olympiad of Science in Class 9 and ranking tenth in the International Olympiad of English in Class 10.
Your advice to students taking these exams?
Focus on what interests you. Read. And read everything with general interest. Set your deadlines and try to meet them. Solve as many practice papers as possible.
Image: Shreya Vardhan
Photographs: Courtesy Careers360