Life has changed for CBSE topper Sukriti Gupta who had last year hit headlines for scoring 99.4 per cent in Class 12 examination. At present Gupta is pursuing her dream course B Tech from IIT Delhi. For the upcoming CBSE exam, Gupta tells us how she maintained balance between her JEE and board exam preparation.
What was it like when the CBSE results were declared?
I was expecting to score well but was never thought that I’ll top the exam. There is always an element of luck involved. I received a phone call from my school informing me about my scores and rank. Within few minutes, TV channels flashed my name and made me a star.
What did you do after returning for the exam hall?
I checked my answers with NCERT books after the exams. The marking pattern of CBSE is well-defined. If the questions are answered correctly and completely, you can be sure of getting full marks.
How did you prepare for the CBSE boards?
In my studies I always concentrated on the concepts part. I was a regular student and put in a lot of effort on a regular basis. Whenever, I had doubt in any subject I would approach the teachers for clearing the same. Once I started preparing for Boards, I started practicing with CBSE papers of earlier years in simulated exam conditions, that is, attempting the papers in given time frame without any break or without referring to any book.
How did you balance between boards preparation and JEE?
I was concentrating only on JEE till the middle of January 2016. Thereafter, I switched over to preparing for board exams whole heartedly. As far as concepts are concerned, there is no difference in board exams and JEE. It is only the pattern of question paper that is different for the two exams. Once the exams were over, I again switched to JEE preparation.
Did you get any spare time to relax during those months?
I always took out time to relax by watching TV, hanging out with friends and cousins. Being regular in studies does not mean giving up on relaxation. However, I was always conscious of the fact that I had to complete the topics earmarked for the day.
What all did you have to give up while preparing?
I lived without a smartphone for four years. I did not use WhatsApp. I was barely present on Facebook. Even now I do not watch movies. I was attending school for five days a week and coching institutes on the weekends. This meant that I could not go out of station for any outings even on weekends. Accordingly, there were no family vacations all these years. Finally, after all these years, we travelled to Singapore this December.
How different is your life now from when you were in school?
In the school, you lead a much protected life and your parents and teachers are around to help and guide you at every step. Once you are living in a hostel, you are responsible for your actions. There is nobody to tell you when to sleep and what to eat. If you are late and the mess timings are over, you have to go without food. If you are awake till late in the night getting up for the morning class on your own becomes difficult. With freedom comes the responsibility. As one grows to be an adult one has to learn to take responsibility.
What do you aim to do in the future?
I have not decided as yet. I am still interacting with my seniors to find out pros and cons of various career choices available to me. I intend to firm up my ideas by the end of this year. The options that I am considering right now are research and management. Once, I decide about my aim, I will start preparing for it in right earnest.
What would you like to suggest to the students appearing for the exam?
I would advise the students appearing for the exams to focus on their studies rather being unduly worried about getting a good rank in JEE or college. Life is much bigger and offers many more opportunities than only JEE rank or Board marks. One should put in best and hope for the best and be prepared for the worse.