Time management and striking a balance between academics and sports proved key to her success.
Muskan Verma, resident of Fazilka district, topped Class 12 in the Punjab School Education Board by securing 99.56% marks.
Daughter of maths lecturer Rajesh Verma, Muskan had secured 10 CGPA in the matriculation exam in the CBSE but opted for the Punjab board.
Giving credit to her family in general and her father in particular besides to school authorities, Muskan said she utilised the day time for her passion -- table tennis -- and dedicated nights to securing well in academics. She has participated at the national-level games in the team event of table tennis.
She aspires to be a civil servant and preferred admission to a government school in Fazilka instead of opting for a private school.
"It's a wrong perception that your studies suffer if you participate in sports; rather, it enables you to be more fit mentally to face challenges of life," she claims.
In her message to the youth, she advises them not to come under family or peer pressure, and just concentrate on one's skills and strive hard to get better in life. She focused on revising the syllabus regularly.
Eldest in the family, she also guides her two younger brothers (studying in Class 10) in academics and in games.
As the word spread, people came forward to congratulate the family.
"Her performance has shown that girls can outshine boys and bring laurels to the family," said Rajesh, a proud father.