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Knowledge is what matters, not marks: ISC topper

Ernakulam: Hard work, utmost dedication, toiling for hours at a stretch – these are the tried and tested means to success. The story is no different for this young girl from Perumbavoor near here, who bagged the second rank in the recently declared Indian School Certificate (ISC) XII results.

Lakshmi Mohan of St. Patrick's Academy, Angamaly, won 99.5 per cent marks missing out on the first place to Arkya Chatterjee of Kolkata just by a whisker. The Keralite scored full marks in Computer Science and Mathematics, 99 for Chemistry and English, and 98 for Physics.

“I knew I would make it to the top in the state, but never thought of a national-level victory,” said an excited Lakshmi over the phone from Kurupampaddy near Perumbavoor.

The excitement was shared by her village too with relatives, friends, teachers and even the panchayat president turning up at her house to congratulate her in person.

She was well-supported by her parents Manju and Mohankumar, who works at Cochin Port Trust.

Unlike most students of her age, Lakshmi didn't opt for any tuition or special coaching, but relied solely on the the coaching from school. “Teachers finished the syllabus early into the year, so there was lot of time for revisions and we had exams after exams,” explained the student who wants to pursue a B.Tech degree in computer science at an IIT.

Though she wants to build her career around Computer Science, English is her favourite subject and is a frequent winner at extempore contests. The teenager is also a trained classical dancer and has won the individual championship at the arts festival held at her school.

So what would be her advice to the juniors? “The ICSE is not the first choice among students or parents as it is considered tougher than CBSE or state syllabus. But that is a wrong notion, at the end of the day knowledge is what matters, getting some easy marks now may not help you in a competitive field later on.

“So always think of what will help you in your career and work accordingly,” quipped the teenager.
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