there, done it all. They are students who quietly made it to
reputed institutions. Their mark sheets did all the talking.
Some of the toppers of last year share their little secrets
for the benefit of the current batch of Class XII students.
No matter how a student's performance has been all through the
year, his or her preparation during these last crucial months
could make a lot of difference, they say. While each of them
advocates different strategies to do well, all of them agree
on one aspect of learning — learning to relax.
Avoid spicy food and
Take more fruits, high
Exercise to beat the
Sleep well the
previous day of examination.
number of breaks in study routine.
Last year's State first rank holder V. Bharathram (who scored
a massive 1,180) followed a timetable in the last couple of
months to systematically cover all the subjects. Besides
taking revision tests conducted by the school, he decided to
complete two revisions before the final examinations.
"I worked out many problems in Maths,
Physics and Chemistry and practiced diagrams for Biology. I
also took a few model tests to make sure I could manage time
properly," he recalls.
And when he had completed enough number of problems, he would
simply switch on his music system and tap his feet to some
good music, or visit a nearby temple.
Bharath, who is now pursuing medicine at Madras Medical
College, attributes his success partly to the healthy diet he
followed during the last couple of months. "I avoided spicy
food and eating outside so that I felt fresh, light and
energetic during that period," he says.
N. Kavya, who scored 1,186 and topped the State among those
who had opted for languages other than Tamil, says being
confident about one-mark questions was important. "When we get
those questions right, the person correcting our paper
instantly gets a good opinion," she says. Kavya says textbooks
are far more useful than guides.
Once students have covered the lessons from the textbooks,
attempting model question papers and previous years' papers
would be a useful exercise, adds the commerce student
currently pursuing chartered accountancy. She gives good
weightage to a student's ability to relax before and on the
day of an examination.
Like Bharath, Shreya Mehta, a commerce student
who emerged school topper, believes timetables or study
schedules drawn according to the examination timetable will be
of immense help. "I always gave more time for tougher chapters
and relatively lesser time for the easier lessons."
Interestingly, she included sufficient number of breaks in her
study routine to make sure she was not burdened.
"For Accountancy and Maths, I purchased
question banks and worked out at least one maths and one
accountancy paper every day, giving myself two to
two-and-a-half hours for a three-hour paper, so that I could
check my answers."
Shreya also wrote all important formulae on a sheet of paper
and revised them regularly. She had a strategy for theory
papers, too. "In order to remember the points for each answer,
I would take the first letter of each point and using all
these letters and make a word out of it and remember it."
If an answer had effort, livelihood, risk
and profit sharing as the main points, she remembered the
first letters (E, L, R, P), made a word out of it, which was
easy to remember.
A good night's sleep the previous day, is an additional tip
this student of Fine Arts offers.
Sandhya Suresh topped the TNPCEE last year. A good balance of
hard work and play is what this doctor-in-the-making
recommends. She liked studying at nights.
"Some may prefer to wake up early and study. Doing what suits
one fine in a systematic way is half the battle won," she
"Working smart is the key," she says. "I knew I had to be
confident about those lessons from which five-mark questions
were expected because there was one compulsory five-mark
She recommends fruits, high protein food and some good
exercise to beat the stress. "If you like playing a game,
never give it up for examinations' sake. Just make sure you
put in that extra bit of hard work."
Now that all the secrets are out, happy studying!