For Delhi Public School student Akshat Chugh, topping his school in the CBSE Class XII examinations was just another milestone. A topper throughout his schooling years, the 18-year-old was in the news only a month ago for having topped IIT-JEE main exams in the city. On Sunday, it was time to celebrate another milestone, as Chugh scored 98 per cent in his CBSE Class XII exams, topping his school — DPS, Mohammedwadi, and even emerging as the probable topper from the city.
A gaming enthusiast, Chugh said for the last two years, he has sacrificed his hobby and had concentrated on studying a minimum of eight hours everyday. It was four years ago that he had enrolled into an IIT coaching centre for ‘stimulation’, as he had developed an interest in engineering.
Chugh said since then he has concentrated only on his IIT preparation, while all the other scores were just a bonus. “Frankly, I am surprised as I was not expecting this. I hadn’t really prepared for board exams only. I guess I just got lucky,” he added.
Sharing tips, Chugh insisted that consistency in study is the key, besides developing an interest in the subject at hand rather than mere rote learning.
Early awaiting to get a seat in computer engineering at IIT-Bombay, the teen said there is no time for celebration yet, as he is anxiously waiting for the results of JEE-advanced next Sunday. A stark contrast to Chugh’s studious and steadfast approach is Nandini Desiraju.
A bubbly 17-year-old from APS Southern Command, Desiraju is firmly against the ‘all work no play’ attitude of toppers. She scored 98.2 per cent. Daughter of an anaesthetist, Colonel D Vivekanand, and a Bharatnatyam dancer, Anupama, Desiraju said though she did study for a few hours everyday but she made sure to spare some time for her hobbies: reading books and writing.
She didn’t shy away from extra-curricular activities either, and was the headgirl of her school.
“I wasn’t the kind of student who started studying at the beginning of the year and was always seen with books. I didn’t take any tuitions. I guess what worked for me was that I took all classroom lectures seriously, didn’t miss a single class test and by the time the year ended, I had already gone through the syllabus a few times. But then, I, too, had my fair share of last-minute studying,” said Desiraju.
“I think what’s important for students is to understand the concept, rote learning can only take you a certain distance but if you want to score then it’s most important to know what you’re writing and the individuality should come through,” added Desiraju, an aspiring journalist.
Isha Dharmani (17) from Aundh DAV School emerged as the probable topper from the Commerce faculty, scoring 97.4 per cent. Having always been a topper, the teenager said she is not surprised. Having only relied on classroom lectures and paper-solving, she hasn’t taken any tuition classes. In fact, she said, she didn’t even study every single day.
An aspiring chartered accountant, Dharmani said she was preparing for her Common Proficiency Test (CPT), which takes up at least eight hours in a day.
Pointing out that she could put aside only two to four hours for the Boards, but not everyday. “But whenever I studied, I did so with full concentration. However, I do believe that it is important to maintain a healthy balance between studies and extra-curricular activities, so I didn’t give up my vocal training,” she added.
Rohit Sahastrabuddhe, Science, Aundh DAV: 97.4 per cent
Many JEE-oriented students go to colleges, which don’t require attendance, or, they get into integrated programmes from various classes. While this might work for them, it certainly would not have for me. I tried to get my portion done as soon as possible, so I had time to revise what I was weak at. Chemistry, for instance, was my weak subject. So, I left a lot of time for it. However, hobbies do take a hit in Class XII. I believe it’s very important to not let go of them completely. My hobbies are what kept me sane these two years.
Nishant Raman,Science, Sanskriti School: 96 per cent
I am relieved that the results are out. Other subjects were good but, I picked up pace with Chemistry and English later in the year. I have appeared for JEE-Advanced and I am now aiming for an IIT seat.
Pournima Joseph, Commerce, APS Southern Command: 94.5 percent
My only aim was to make my parents feel proud. Before pre-board exams in college, I scored less marks in accounts but then I aimed to score good marks in it at any cost, So I used to study this subject day and night. My school teachers and coaching classes supported me. I would sleep at 10 pm and wake up by 4 am for studies.
Shramona Roy, City International School: 97.2 per cent
Ahead of the exams, I had studied for at least seven hours. Generally, I dedicate three-four hours a day for studies, apart from tuitions. My preparation included a thorough reading of the textbooks, referring to the past year’s question papers and seeking guidance from teachers. I want to get into electronics or aerospace engineering.