UAE school toppers share success secrets

Grade 10 and 12 board exams are undoubtedly the most important stages in the Indian CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination) curriculum.

Last month, the results for the board exams were announced.

With the pressure of scoring high in board exams mounting, these young achievers and their experiences will play help positively impact and groom their juniors.
‘Didn’t spend more than an hour at a time with my books’
Vishal Meyyappan
, 96.4 per cent

JSS International
“Actually I was expecting to score more,” claims Vishal Meyyappan, who topped the Grade 10 boards in JSS International School.

“I lost out on physics.”

Talking about how he cracked the boards, he says, “I didn’t spend more than an hour at a time with my books. After every hour I used to take a break.”

This worked as a stress-buster, he adds.

“I believe it’s important to spend an hour fruitfully. It’s about focus and efficiency. There’s no point spending hours with your books, if your mind is tired.”

When he took a break from his books, he played videogames or his keyboard.

Although the boards are an equally stressful time for parents, Vishal claims his parents were relaxed and had full faith in him.

“They never asked me what I was doing or how much time I was spending on books.”

Vishal says that on the big day he was stressed and was unable to check the final marks-list.

“I had my friends check it for me. And, when I got to know I was the topper (in his school), I couldn't believe it.”
‘Study systematically’
Pooja Ramesh, 95.8 per cent

JSS International
There was no real shocker for Pooja Ramesh when the Indian board exam results were announced.

“I was expecting a score of 95-96 per cent. I did pretty well during the mocks, and scored 93-94 per cent. I just regret the fact that I couldn’t make it to the top.”

Talking about what got her this prestigious score, she says, “I used to do systematic study. I would invest 2 hours per day.

“It was only during the exams that I would stretch it to 3 hours. During our study holidays, I stretched it to 5-6 hours a day.”

Highlighting the importance of taking mock tests, she says it’s important to crack old board papers.

“You need to know your textbook well. Every day, I would revise the chapters taught. It’s important to be consistent.”

Pooja claims her school teachers were “very encouraging” and never stressed her out.

“I could tackle every hurdle easily. They helped me in each and every step.”

Apart from her support system, her stress buster was reading comics, and watching the telly. She’s also a trained Indian classical dancer.

Pooja aims to become an electrical engineer, and would love to pursue dance alongside.
‘You need confidence, prayers and a calm mind’
Namita Filowin, 93.6 per cent

Progressive English School, Sharjah
“I used to top all the prelims, so I was expecting to top this time as well,” Namita says matter-of-factly. While the results were expected, what was surprising is the fact that she shared the top position with her best friend Sneha.

“This is the first time we’ve shared the top position after eighth grade.”

So, the celebrations were doubly joyful.

Namita’s got a younger brother, and sister (who will appear in grade 10 next year).

“There’s no real secret. You just need confidence, prayers and a calm mind,” she adds.

“I didn’t follow any timetable, but ensured I covered my daily portions. It didn’t matter how many hours I clocked, as long as I gave my books my full attention.”

Namita stresses the importance of practising board papers from the past.

“You need to work on at least papers from the last 10 years.”

While her parents didn’t pester her on being locked away with her books, she admits there’s pressure to perform well.

“I would ask students not get influenced by what others say. Just don’t stress, and concentrate on your books.”

She claims her de-stress factors are her family, and talking to them would help her calm her mind.

Dreaming of becoming a doctor, she celebrated her big achievement with her family at KFC.
‘Revise your daily lessons’

Sneha K Sibi, 93.6 per cent

Progressive English School,
Sneha Sibi didn’t imagine she would make it to the top.

“I was very surprised, and what was most amazing was that I got to share the position with my best friend.”

Her twin sister Sonu scored 85 per cent, and was a “little disappointed” but she adds that it’s not a bad score.

Talking about what worked in her favour, she says, “I revised my daily lessons, and never skipped a lesson.”

Sneha insists that it’s important to learn “every lesson thoroughly” and never to keep anything pending.

“You should give your books your full concentration. If you are determined, you can achieve anything.

Apart from academics, she also took part in extra-curricular activities.

“In school, I would take part in recitation, elocution and extempore.”

These were her stress busters.

“There was pressure, no doubt, but my parents and teachers helped me tackle it.”

Sneha wants to pursue a career in engineering.

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