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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Rajasthan teen tops exam with highest score ever

Mridul Agarwal said the Covid-19 lockdown gave him “extra time” to study.

Jaipur |
October 16, 2021 1:26:01 am
Mridul Agarwal secured 348 marks out of 360. (Express Photo by Rohit Jain Paras)

Mridul Agarwal, an 18-year-old from Jaipur, has topped the JEE (Advanced) this year by scoring the highest marks ever — 348 out of 360. Dhananjay Raman and Anant Lunia, both from Delhi, have bagged the second and third ranks respectively.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Agarwal said the Covid-19 lockdown gave him “extra time” to study. “Lockdown helped in giving me extra time. All the time spent in going to and fro, from school to coaching classes to home, was saved. I utilised that extra time to go through study material, and practice more,” he said.

There were other keys to his success. Closer to exams, he and his friends decided to discuss topics at the end of the day. “We would allot time for this. While this happened through the year, as the exams approached, we decided to study during the day, and discuss doubts at night,” he said.

But his “best friend”, he said, was a “mistakes copy” which he maintained throughout the year. “You don’t notice certain things while studying, but when you give mock tests, there are some silly mistakes. I used to lose 10-20 marks in such mistakes. That ‘mistakes copy’ was my best friend till a week or two before the exam. It helped me check all those mistakes in the exam,” he said.

His next target is to pursue BTech in computer science from IIT-Bombay. Subsequently, he said, he would like to go “to one of the world’s top universities such as MIT”. He said his long-term goal is to make a lasting contribution in the field of “tech development”.

A student of St Xavier’s School in Jaipur, from where he cleared his Class XII this year with 98.2 per cent, Agarwal expressed gratitude to his parents, Pradeep and Pooja Agarwal, for his success.

“When we had offline classes, the entire schedule at home used to revolve around me, be it meals, family outings, or other activities. During the lockdown, when my schedule changed, my mother adjusted accordingly…” he said.

“JEE is a long and stressful journey with many ups and downs. Sometimes, your rank is low and then up; other times, you don’t understand a subject… At such times, I would sit with my mother for 5-10 minutes, and my stress would go away,” he said. At other times, he said, his father would help him relieve stress, by taking him out for a drive or a walk.

Agarwal said he cut down the time spent on his cellphone. “In every student’s life, there is some distraction at the beginning… I cut down on the time spent on social media, YouTube, and OTT platforms…” he said.

Just two days before the exams, he and his friends decided to go on a trip after the exam. “This was quite a stress buster for me. Planning the trip helped to relieve my stress…” he said.

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