Trishikha Kiran Rao is our second topper in Grade 10 – ICSE, Ekya School JP Nagar with a centum in History and Civics. An all-rounder who has won several accolades in debates and elocutions has an interest in reading and classical dance. Trishika says that she was unable to believe that her hard work had paid off. In this blog, she shares her success story.

How does it feel to be a topper in Ekya?

I was in complete shock when I saw my results on the website. I had to constantly keep checking to see if it was my profile! There’s this unique feeling you get when you realize that your months of hard work actually did pay off, and there are absolutely no words to describe that. One of my biggest dreams had come true.

2. Did you have a fixed pattern of study? How did you prepare for the exam?

I didn’t have any fixed pattern to study, but I did make a lot of notes about each chapter in subjects like history, physics, and geography. Making my own notes meant I had to write down all important points on my own and that for me was the best way to remember. I would also use simple acronyms and references to remember formulae because firstly they’re easy and secondly they’re fun! But overall I didn’t resort to the mainstream methods of studying. Because I am not the kind of person who can sit in one place and study for hours together. I would study for 30-40 minutes and take a 10-minute break. I discovered that this way I was able to grasp a lot more as the breaks gave me a breather and helped me to stay calm. Since we had been studying and writing exams on the same portions for the past 1 year, it made revising right before a lot easier.

3. Do solving old question papers help?

Most definitely it did. I solved both practice papers and board papers of previous years. This combination really gave me a chance to cover many kinds of questions, preparing me for absolutely anything. Solving these papers also helped me practice timing my responses and therefore came closest to the real exam experience.

4. What was your day like during the study holidays?

The study holidays were blessings as I got a chance to get my doubts cleared individually with my teachers. Other than that, it gave me time to settle into a routine, as I neared the exam date. I more or less had a rough schedule. Mornings I would revise about 2 or 3 subjects. Either by reading or by telling someone about it (as that’s an easy way for me to remember). In the afternoons I would focus only on the parts I found difficult or that I needed more practice. I would also clear my doubts then. And evenings I would solve many question papers.

5. What was your coping mechanism during the exams?

The few months before my exams were stressful and the pressure was definitely high, and in those moments giving up seemed like a very likely option. I kept reminding myself that nothing comes easy and if I wanted anything I had to work for it, this is just the beginning of the challenges in my life and I knew I needed to ace this. My parents helped me by constantly motivating. Apart from that, I ensured that I maintained a proper routine. I got a good nights sleep, which is much-needed to recharge the brain to be able to properly focus and study. During my exams, now and then I would start panicking about the next paper, and my mother would tell me that panicking and studying is absolutely no good. She would help me calm down and that just made things a lot easier and helped me score better.

6. What was your stress-buster?

Listening to music was my main stress buster. It has always calmed me down. And I think it’s really important to have something to do to relieve the stress because only when you’re calm can you retain everything that you study. Apart from that, I would take 15-minute power naps which proved to be far more effective than I assumed. Cooking and dancing also did wonders as stress busters.

7. What was the highlight of your success?

This entire experience has taught me some very important lessons, but more importantly, it instilled a lot of confidence in me. This is the first big test of my life and being able to do well has given my self-belief a major boost. It has also shown me that there is nothing that cannot be done with hard work, passion, and a desire to succeed.

8. In the age of digital distractions, did you have to stay away from gadgets for the month,

My gadget usage definitely minimized during my entire grade 10, but I definitely did use it for study purposes. I got my practice papers, used BlueJ to prepare for computers, and so on. it’s easy to get distracted by the internet with social media and other things, which is why I had to draw a line and be careful not to cross it. It’s definitely hard but I guess it was worth it.

9. How did Ekya help in your preparation for the Boards?

I have been very lucky in this aspect. I had the most amazing support system at Ekya. I have had the privilege to learn from some brilliant teachers who have coached me and taught me well. They actually took out a lot of time to clear all my doubts and take extra classes, which is something I’ll never forget. Our teachers even made many extra papers for us to solve. The amount of faith they’ve had in me and the way they’ve supported and guided me throughout my entire time at Ekya is truly unforgettable and I will always be grateful for everything they’ve done.

10. The success mantra that you want to share with other students?

Nobody is born with more knowledge or a higher IQ than the others. We all come into the world as equals. What we achieve in our lives and how successful we become is solely based on our hard work, determination and most importantly our desire to succeed. You need to want something badly enough to be willing to put your life and soul into attaining it, and that is my success mantra as taught by my parents. In the challenge of these exams, I saw an opportunity to prove myself and I did everything to make good use of it.

11. Other achievements if any?

This year has been amazing for me because not one but two of my biggest dreams were fulfilled. I had the privilege of winning 1st place along with my friend prasidh in the Karnataka ICSE schools association literary debate competition. We then went on to represent Karnataka at the nationals in Hyderabad where we won the first runner-up.

12. What are your best memories from School?

The best part about my school was that we weren’t just a bunch of students learning from teachers, but we were more like a family. Each class had special meaning, and the bond we each shared with our teachers is a very rare one. Amongst my best memories were, talking about anything and everything during lunch breaks, our infamous P. E periods, those unforgettable school trips, and obviously the last minute revision just before the exam. My four years at Ekya may not have been very long, but they’ve been the best 4 years of my life. I’ve laughed, learned, loved, grown and most importantly discovered a new piece of myself every day.

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