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How Rosedale Garden’s Aditri Gupta hit the bullseye in ICSE 2022

With 99.6 per cent, she secured the second place in the country

Sudeshna Banerjee | Published 29.07.22, 12:40 PM
Aditri Gupta puts finishing touches to a sketch at her study table at Rosedale Garden, New Town.

Aditri Gupta puts finishing touches to a sketch at her study table at Rosedale Garden, New Town.

Online courses for the better part of two years might have worsened her myopia but Aditri Gupta had her eyes firmly set on the bullseye. The girl from Rosedale Garden has secured a staggering 99.6 per cent in the Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE), the results of which were published on July 17. The score has secured her the position of the state topper along with eight others in Bengal and the second rank holder nationally.

“She has always scored above 90 per cent since Class III, when examinations were introduced. The school gave her a special blue blazer for that in Class IX,” said mother Deblina Gupta, who teaches physiology at Nilratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital. Other students wear green blazers.

Aditri scored 97 per cent in the pre-Board tests and 98.6 per cent in the first semester. “I scored 98 in English and full marks in the rest that counted in best of five,” says Aditri.

The key to her success, Aditri says, has been staying up to date with her studies. “We had just been promoted to Class IX when the lockdown was announced. All of Class IX and most of Class X went in online classes. My first offline class after the pandemic was on November 17. We had still not got our vaccines so just a few classes were held. After the first semester exam, which took place from November 29, offline classes resumed this January. The second semester test was to be subjective (as opposed to multiple choice questions in the first) so it would have been difficult to prepare online for that.”

Aditri was too happy to leave her laptop behind at home and come to school. “The power of my glasses increased from minus five to minus seven in these two years. Thankfully I did not have to use a cellphone for classes. Seeing the screen that teachers would often share would have been impossible for me on a smaller device.”

Admitting that staying focused for long hours online was a challenge, Aditri said she managed due to two reasons. One was the short breaks that the routine allowed between classes. “Otherwise, 8am to 1pm would have been too much.” And she started the day with meditation which calmed the mind.

Despite being all for physical presence, she is candid about the advantages of online classes too. “Teachers got a chance to share a lot more audio-visual material which made it easier to understand concepts like photosynthesis.”

She used to take notes in the textbook itself. “I cannot read too much besides the textbooks.”

Despite being against tuitions, Adriti took outside help to tackle William Shakespeare in Class IX. “We had The Merchant of Venice in the original in our syllabus. The English tutor was the first I ever had.” The next year, home tutors were engaged for physics, computer studies and mathematics, online.

One has to know the keywords in each answer, especially in science, she says. “Teachers had pointed those out in class. I underlined the keywords while revising during the Board exams. It helps the examiner also.”

Ways to unwind

Aditri relaxed by singing and cooking. “I can’t cook much but I love assisting my parents in the kitchen. Though even music classes were online, Aditri continued classical music till two months before the Board exams. She also listened to chants of mantras on YouTube to stay calm. “I never studied when I was not in the mood. I studied out of love,” she smiles.

She is off social media, except for the use of WhatsApp on her mother’s phone for staying connected to school activities. “I do not have a phone of my own,” says the girl, who wants to follow in her mother’s steps and become a doctor.

Aditri is in New Town since 2007. “We used to stay in Greenfield Heights. Of course, Rosedale has more facilities but all my friends are there.”

She has shifted to the CBSE board to be closer to the syllabus of competitive exams. That has meant shifting out of DPS Newtown to DPS Ruby Park. “I intend to visit my old school soon to thank the teachers who had helped me so much,” she says.

Last updated on 29.07.22, 12:40 PM

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