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CBSE Class 10 results: Marks may be important but don’t define you, says 2009 topper

Her class 10 score is not something she remembered a lot after school, but CBSE Class 10 topper of 2008-2009 batch Parnail Singh said it did give her confidence during the moments she doubted herself.

education Updated: May 31, 2018 15:00 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CBSE Class 10 topper,CBSE Class 10 topper of 2008-2009 batch,Parnail Singh
CBSE Class 10 topper of 2008-09 batch, Parnail Singh, said her score is not something she remembered a lot after school but it did give her confidence during the moments she doubted herself.(PTI File Photo)

Nine years ago, a phone call from her school’s principal informed Parnail Singh that she was the all India topper of the Central Board of Secondary (CBSE) class 10 board examinations.

She was to have been the last.

Her batch 2008-2009 was the last batch of students to write the compulsory class 10 board exams in which they were awarded absolute numbers (marks).

The following year, Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE) was implemented and Class X board exams were made optional. The outcomes were given in grades instead of marks.

They made a comeback in 2017, which meant 2018 was the first time in nine years that class 10 board exams were held.

Singh, whose parents are from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya Number 1 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, when she scored 494 out of 500 in the class 10 board exams.

Fast forward to 2018, and Singh lives in Gurgaon. She has just quit her job to join the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM, Calcutta) where she will be part of the batch admitted in 2018. For the past two years, she has worked at a multinational financial services company.

Following her success in Class 10, Singh and her family moved to Hyderabad where she enrolled in a private coaching centre to prepare for the entrance examination for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

After completing class 12 from Hyderabad, Singh gave the Joint Entrance Examination and scored an all India rank of 1500. “I took admission at IIT, Delhi to pursue chemical engineering,” she said.

In some ways, hers is the all Indian dream -- topper in Class X, IIT, IIM. Both the IIT and the IIM entrance examinations are among the toughest in the world and admission rates to these schools are among the lowest (an indication of how difficult it is to get into these schools).

Once in IIT, Singh forgot all about her class 10 marks. “The board exams marks do not matter once you start a new course or a job. They do help you by giving you a head start but no one ever said to me that (because) I got good scores in class 10, I could have some leeway. I had to work as hard as everyone else,” she said.

Her class 10 score is not something she remembered a lot after school, but Singh said that it did give her confidence during the moments she doubted herself. “Every time I doubted myself, I looked back at my board results and thought if I could do tha,t then I could do other things too,” she said.

Singh said students should try to be consistent from class 10 onwards because it helps while applying for higher studies. “Recently I gave CAT (Common Admission Test for admission to IIMs) and they did look at my board scores along with other things,” she said.

Singh has a message for all the students who have appeared for the compulsory class 10 board exams after years of studying under the CCE, “The syllabus is the same so doesn’t matter if results are announced in grades or marks. But it is good to have some competitive spirit and class 10 boards give you that at the right time.”

Still, she added: “Class 10 marks are important but they don’t define you. You have to work hard to prove yourself at every stage in life.”

Singh has clearly done that.

First Published: May 30, 2018 07:44 IST