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Toppers 2018

After the ICSE/ISC, the spotlight is on CBSE results. The Telegraph Salt Lake presents a report card on the township’s top scorers

Class X

Swastik Tripathy relaxes on a swing in his Ultadanga housing complex. Pictures by Mayukh Sengupta

Swastik Tripathy

Resident of: Sun City, Ultadanga

School: Kendriya Vidyalaya 1

Aggregate: 98.6%

Marksheet: English 97, mathematics 99, science 98, social science (history+geography+political science+economics) 100, Sanskrit 99

Preparation time: Out of 150, only seven students in our class had taken Sanskrit. I chose the subject as it is more scoring. When Sanskrit was our third language from Class VI to VIII, those of us who had opted for it got more marks more it than those who took Hindi. I grew up listening to slokas recited by my grandparents who knew them by heart. So I was familiar with Sanskrit.

I went to a coaching institute for mathematics and science. Other than that, I did not have any tuition. My mother worked hard to prepare notes for social science which I memorised. It is because of her I got full marks in the subject. During the study leave, I studied for five-six hours. Ninety per cent of the time went in English and social science as they required constant revisions. Science and mathematics are conceptual. Once you understand the basics, there is not much need to spend time on these subjects.

Moment of reckoning: When we heard at the beginning of Class X that we would have to sit for a Board examination based on the syllabus of the entire year, we were naturally very upset. Till last year, the Class X final exam would be held for only the last six months of studies. We had also heard that there would be three levels of checking. So I was a bit nervous about results but still expected 97 per cent. When I saw my marks there was an adrenaline rush. And soon calls started coming in enquiring about my results from family members.

Fun time: I am a great fan of train videos. I love the chugging noise. Whenever I am travelling by train, I try to record the sound it makes while picking up speed. If the compartment is close to the engine, there is the sound of the engine too. But I do not like reading up on trains. On the internet, if you read some you only get so much more to read! Recently we went to Bali in Indonesia. It was my first flight. I recorded the sound of the flight’s take-off too. Otherwise, I play the tabla and argue with my father over the news debates on TV channels. I play computer games like Hitman and Max Payne if my mother gives permission. Mostly she does not. I like listening to songs of Mukesh and reading weather reports in The Telegraph.

Advice to juniors: Maintain  a steady rhythm in your studies like a train does. Any breakdown in the rhythm is bound to create disruption.

Future plans: I am shifting to Hariyana Vidya Mandir as the school is closer to home. I plan to pursue medicine.

Bishwayan Sarkar does riyaz at home in Animikha Housing Complex

Bishwayan Sarkar

Resident of: Animikha Housing Estate, New Town

School: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Aggregate: 97.2%

Marksheet: English 96, Bengali 98, mathematics 99, social sciences 98, science 95

Preparation time: I had tutors for English, physics, chemistry and mathematics. My mother, a mathematics graduate, used to help with the subject and with Bengali and social sciences. Our school was from 10.30am to 4.30pm. I used to play badminton at Sports Authority of India till 7pm unless it clashed with tuitions. At home, I studied from 7.30pm to 10.30pm and again for an hour after dinner. During study leave, the duration went up to 10-11 hours a day.

Moment of reckoning: I asked my family to give me privacy and I went to a room alone to go online. The first score I saw was 96 in English and I knew I had done well. My mother came in and embraced me. We called up father who was away in Delhi. We waited for my grandmother to wake up to give her the news. My sister, who is a year younger, was initially happy but became sombre once she realised she would have to match up in her Board exams.

Fun time: I have resumed badminton practice at SAI. I play in the tournament organised every winter in our complex and am the current champion. I also act in the plays staged in our cultural programmes. I am learning classical music and Rabindrasangeet since the age of three when we used to stay in Kalyani. We came to Salt Lake when I was in Class II but I continued to take lessons once a month in Kalyani. Now I am in fourth year of Prayag Sangeet Samity, Allahabad, and second year of Rabindarasangeet but because of pressure of studies I have had to put my vocal training on pause since last year. Sometimes I also go for swimming in Newtown Business Club. When it comes to listening to music, my favourite song is My Heart Will Go On from Titanic and my favourite artiste is Justin Bieber. Of course, I have to listen to Rabindrasangeet too when there is a song to pick up.

Advice to juniors: The CCE format was different and since we were the first batch to take exams in the new format we got no help from seniors about pattern of questions. But instead  of getting upset, I took out one huge positive from this experience. Now we will not be fazed by the Class XII Board exams.

Swarnendu Panda is busy with his Class XI text books in Baisakhi Abasan

Swarnendu Panda

Resident of: Baisakhi Abasan

School: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Aggregate: 97%

Marksheet: Bengali 99, mathematics 98, English 97, social science 96, science 95

Preparation time: Sitting for the tests round the year in school kept us on our toes. In Class X, I had tutors for Bengali and English. Science and math were taken care of by my father who is a well-known tutor in Salt Lake. I rarely stayed up late. Our geography ma’am had given us a rough schedule which I followed during study leave. She asked us to do the memorising in the morning, then solve papers, do mathematics and do a bit more of paper solving after lunch. The evening would be for other subjects. So I would be up by 7.30am and study till noon, take a break for a bath, lunch and a bit of music, solve papers from 3pm to 5pm, take a half hour break and then study again till midnight in blocks of two hours with music breaks in between.

Moment of reckoning: When I tried checking my results, twice my roll number came as invalid on the website. I had my heart in my mouth and called my father to check in office. So when he called it was both relief and joy. My mother was quite emotional. My younger brother was very happy too.

We haven’t celebrated yet. We plan to see a film together. Possibly it will be Hami.

Fun time: I admire Soumitra Chatterjee as I prefer non-mainstream Bengali films. And I swear by Feluda movies, though I try to watch other detective films too. I also like philosophy books by Colin Wilson. I listen to a programme called Sunday Suspense on FM radio and to bands like Linkin Park and Green Death on YouTube.

Advice to juniors: Put stress on the last three months of preparation otherwise you will not score well. Study for minimum six to eight hours and divide time among subjects. Since all papers will be taken into account in our aggregate, put equal stress on all subjects. Keep time for social sciences daily as it requires a lot of memorising as well as for mathematics.

Future plan: I have taken biology for Plus II. I want to become a doctor.

Class XII

Archisha Dutta of Purbachal: Away at the Biology Olympiad  camp now

Archisha Dutta

Resident of: Purbachal, Cluster IX

School: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Aggregate: 97.2% (English +top 4)

Marksheet: English 95, biology 99, mathematics 97, chemistry 96, physics 95, physical education 99

Preparation time:  I had a tutor for biology and attended a coaching institute four days a week. I had enrolled for the distance education with another institute so I could take their exams. I also regularly attended school. On school days, I came back from tuitions and sat down for studies at 8.30pm and studied till 12.30 and if there was a test the next day, an hour more. During the study leave, I woke up around 8.30am and studied till 1.30am. I put in another two hours post-lunch and again from 7pm to 12.30am. I had scored 89 per cent in my pre-Boards, so I had expected to do well but certainly not so well.

Moment of reckoning: On the day of my Board result, I was appearing for AIIMS entrance test in Sector V. In fact, I was not even aware. My parents did the checking and told me when I came out from the Tata Consultancy Services office which was our exam centre.

Future plans: Right now, I am at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in Mumbai attending the camp for Biology Olympiad. If I get selected at the end of 10 days, I will get to represent India as part of a four-member team in Tehran. Last year, I had qualified till Level 2. This time, I made it to Level 3. I have come 185th in WBJEE but I have no wish to study engineering.

Fun time: I used to learn drawing from a teacher at home but gave up in Class XII. I love to do oil paintings and pencil sketches of landscapes. In my childhood, I also trained in dance and cleared till the seventh year exam of Bangiya Sangeet Parishad. Both in our cluster and in school, I was a regular on stage. I like reading books and pick up whatever I lay my hands on. The last book I read was Wuthering Heights.

Advice to juniors: Do not put yourself under pressure. 

Debarpita Jyoti busy watching a film on her laptop in AF Block

Debarpita Jyoti

Resident of: Central Government Staff Quarters, AF Block

School: Kendriya Vidyalaya

Aggregate: 97.2%

Marksheet: Mathematics 99, physics 99, biology 98, chemistry 95, English 95

Preparation time: Because we appeared for our Class X exams under the CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) system, ami tokhon porashonay ektu dhile diyechhilam. Appearing for Class XI finals, where our papers are checked externally and has 50 per cent weightage in our Board results, made me realise how tough this is going to be. My father tutored me in mathematics and physics. I also went to a coaching institute for the science subjects. There was hardly any time for studies on my own.  I had got 90 per cent in the pre-Board tests. Though my focus in the study leave was totally on the Board syllabus, I could not study more than five or six hours a day.

Moment of reckoning: I gave out a yell on seeing my marks. Everyone was happy. I teased my brother, saying “Tor toh chaap bere gyalo.”

Fun time: I love watching Hindi films, especially the meaningful ones. I had tried watching Baahubali on TV and found it ridiculously funny. The most recent film I have seen is Hichki. I like Rajesh Khanna, having seen three of his films — Bawarchi, Aradhana and Anand. I am a foodie and dig biryani. But thanks to the carcass dumpyard scam, not a single packet has come to our house in recent times. I am waiting for the day mother cooks biryani at home. I did try my hand at cooking once. Bhalo kichhu hoyni. I used to take music lessons till Class VII but quit due to asthma. I also trained in Bharatnatyam till pressure of studies got in the way. I listen to music on FM radio now and like reading Feluda and Byomkesh stories. I also used to be active in the block’s cultural programmes.

Future plan: I want to study engineering or do research in physics.  I am appearing for the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research and National Institute of Science Education and Research entrance tests. My WBJEE rank is 600. 
Advice to juniors: I was advised not to study anything new in the period before exams. Still I tried looking at the Class XI syllabus before the competitive exams as some friends I heard were doing so but I got nervous. So I put them away. It is better to stick to a plan.

Yoogottam Khandelwal relaxes at his Ultadanga home. (Saradindu Chaudhury)

Yoogottam Khandelwal

Resident of: Ultadanga

School: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Aggregate: 97.4%

Marksheet: Mathematics 100, physics 97, chemistry 97, computer science 98, English 95

Preparation time: I had enrolled in a coaching institute for the science subjects. I started studying seriously from the summer vacation in Class XI. From four to five hours, the time I devoted  to studies escalated to eight to nine hours, waking up at 4am. Since I never got on social media there was no question of getting off it.

Moment of reckoning: I had no idea what time the results would come out. My laptop was malfunctioning as well. My father heard about the results and called me from office, asking for my school code and roll number. I waited at the other end of the line as he checked the website. I was not tense as I knew I had done my bit. On hanging up, I informed the rest of the family at home. My cousins were coming from Maharashtra in the evening so we had plans to eat out anyway.

Fun time: I like solving sudoku puzzles in the newspaper. I also have a book on it. I have read a total of two or three books outside the syllabus the last couple of years but before that I used to borrow a lot of science fiction from the school library.

Future plan: I want to study computer science. I have appeared for JEE Mains and Advanced , BITSAT and a couple of entrance tests that I do not even remember the names of. My WBJEE rank is 130.

Do you know anyone who deserves to be on this list?

Write to The Telegraph Salt Lake, 6 Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700001 or email to saltlake@abpmail.com

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