New Delhi's Paras Sharma is "on top of the world" after scoring 99% marks to become the all-India topper in the CBSE Class 12 exams, the results of which were declared on Monday.
A student of commerce at Lancer Convent School in Rohini, Sharma scored a perfect 100 each in mathematics, accountancy, economics and business studies and 95 in English.
His mantra for success? "I believe in regular studying and worked hard throughout the year," Sharma said. "I studied for four hours on regular days and six to seven hours on holidays. Most importantly, I had a positive approach."
Sharma is also into extra-curricular activities, having participated in debate competitions throughout his school life.
"I like to express myself," he said.
"Dance, yoga and physical fitness are my interests."
The teenager wants to pursue economics from Delhi University's St Stephen's College.
"My goal is to eradicate poverty and illiteracy through economics," he said.
Sharma credits his self-belief for helping him ace the exams.
"I did not acknowledge any form of competition with others as it makes one feel negative," he said.
"I believe in competing only with myself."
In overall results, girls outshone boys with a pass percentage of 87.98 compared to the boys' 77.78.
The overall pass percentage increased by 1.9% this year, said Rama Sharma, spokesperson for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), on Monday.
Chennai region performed the best among all eight CBSE regions, with a pass percentage of 91.83, followed by Delhi at 86.78%.
Allahabad region came last with 71.82%.