Chirayu K.S., who scored full marks in the SSLC examination, celebrates with his parents at their residence in Chikkabidarakallu, off Tumakuru road, in Bengaluru on Monday.

Chirayu K.S., who scored full marks in the SSLC examination, celebrates with his parents at their residence in Chikkabidarakallu, off Tumakuru road, in Bengaluru on Monday.  

This year’s SSLC results, announced on Monday, has six students — against two last year — occupying the top slot, all scoring 625 out of 625. While two of them are from schools in Bengaluru, others are from small towns across Karnataka.

Chirayu K.S. and Nikhilesh N. Marali are from Bengaluru. While Dhiraj Reddy M.P. is from a village in Mandya in Old Mysore region, Thanmayi I.P. is from Chikkamagluru in Malnad. Sannidhi Mahabaleshwar Hegde and Anush A.L. are from coastal Karnataka, from Kukke Subrahmanya (Dakshina Kannada) and Sirsi (Uttara Kannada), respectively. One common thread that runs across what they said led to their high scores was how they used the long wait to write the examination, amidst the pandemic and lockdown, to their advantage and burnt the midnight oil to bag the perfect score. Both Bengaluru toppers who got the perfect score said their results did not come as a surprise to them and reflected months of hardwork.

Work and play

Interestingly, while all the focus is on the COVID-19 pandemic and medical professionals are the highlight, at least three of the six toppers, including both the girls, said they want to be doctors.

Many of the students also talked about how they balanced hardwork and leisure during the lockdown.

Nikhilesh said he was heavily invested in sports till December as he is a district-level football player and also played badminton. Once the exam mood set in, he prepared a timetable that gave him ample time for studies and relaxation. He solved several model question papers that helped him immensely, but during free time, he played the keyboard and played games on the terrace, since going out was barred during lockdown.