Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 25, 1444
Published: Sun 24 Jul 2022, 5:40 PM
Last updated: Sun 24 Jul 2022, 9:51 PM
Working consistently, getting enough rest and staying off social media was the key to success, according to the UAE toppers of the Indian School Certificate (ISC) or class 12 examinations.
Dubai’s GEMS Modern Academy (GMA) students Pranieti Ahuja and Sahana Rahim topped the country with each scoring 99.25% in the results announced by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) on Sunday evening.
“Every day, I used to revise what was taught in class,” Sayana Rahim. “That helped me immensely in the long run. I also made sure to go to bed every day by 11pm. Adequate rest was very important to me. I also did not have any social media (accounts). I just got on Instagram, so I am looking forward to experiencing it.”
The star student, who has been accepted to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, aspires to be a doctor. However, she has no time to celebrate. “I need to leave for Singapore in a few days,” she said. “So, I am busy preparing for it.”
This year, for the first time, the ISC exams were conducted in two tests- one at the end of each semester in both Grade 10 and 12 classes. This was done due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdowns. It has since been announced that the CISCE will revert to its one exam format for the next academic year.
For Pranieti Ahuja, the achievement is a dream come true. “I always thought I could score 97 or 98%, but over 99% is something I had never imagined,” she said.
Talking about her preparation, Pranieti said, “I had a timetable that I followed religiously. Prior to Grade 12, I’d never follow the timetables I made, but this year I really upped my game. I used to study for 2-3 hours every day. I am a night owl, and my brain would work best after dinner. So that’s when I did my studies.”
The topper who scored a perfect 100 in Math admits it is her favourite subject. “I love Math,” she said. “I have been accepted into the University of Waterloo for Actuarial Science. My dream is to work as an actuary and eventually become a company’s CEO.”
During her exams, Pranieti deactivated her Instagram account. “I think it really helped me to focus,” she said. “I’d still talk to my friends on Whatsapp but stayed away from all other social media.”
GMA student Vishnumaya Deepakchandran followed the duo closely with 99%. Seya Makin, Tasneem Kurabadwala and Saanvi Aima all scored 98.75%.
Nargish Khambatta, Principal/CEO of GEMS Modern Academy and Vice President – Education at GEMS Education, said she was proud of her students for adapting to the new format of exams quickly and termed them the ‘Batch of Stoics’.
“When the CISCE announced that there would be two-semester exams with different formats in November and March, it set an interesting challenge for our students and teachers,” she said.
“Grade 12 students began applying for university placements in September 2021 and juggled college applications, counsellor meetings, university interviews and entrance exams – before, during and after their exam on a particular day! The manner in which our students have balanced all these conflicting demands on their time and energy has been deeply inspirational, rightly earning them the title ‘Batch of Stoics’.”
At JSS International School (JSSIS), Keerthana Nair topped by securing 98.8%. “Paying attention and taking notes,” she said on asked about the secret to her success. “That is what really helped me score well. I made sure to put in a chunk of time every day and work consistently.”
The topper hopes to pursue medicine in India and is awaiting her National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) results.
She was closely followed by Aditya Anand and Saket Rane, who scored 97.8% and 97.3%, respectively. The overall ISC grade average of the school this year is 88.9%.
The topper at Ambassador School was Daksh Singhvi of Commerce stream, who scored 98.25 per cent, closely followed by Harsh Manghnani and Ridhima Kantharia, scoring 98 and 97.75%. Fourteen out of 19 students who wrote the exam at the school scored more than 90 per cent. The school average of 91 per cent is an all-time high, and the institute also maintained its 100% pass rate record.
For Daksh Singhvi, studies were not the priority until recently. “I am a huge sports fan and have been playing cricket for over ten years,” he said. “So coming into secondary, I was not really a great student. However, as time passed, I realised the importance of studies and started focusing more. During the year, I used to study for an hour or two every day, making notes and revising. Towards the board exam, I amped it up to 5-6 hours daily. I wanted to ensure that I got good grades to possibly secure a scholarship.”
The star student heads off to the University of Liverpool to study Computer Science this fall and aims to make his passion his profession. “I want to continue playing cricket and aspire to make it to the national team someday,” he said. “One of the reasons I chose the UK was their big focus on cricket.”
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Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 25, 1444