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They've been 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.

Some Tips

 Eat healthy diet.

 Avoid spicy food and eating out.

 Take more fruits, high protein food.

 Exercise to beat the stress.

 Sleep well the previous day of examination.

 Ensure sufficient 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.

Model papers

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 (CBSE stream) 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 says.

"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 question."

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!
Credits Dear students/readers, all the above interviews from toppers are excerpted from magazines. To bring the tips to more students/readers we have put these in our website. Hence, we thank all the magazines on behalf of the students and readers.

               PRODIGY, An association for stupendous students