They worked hard, they worked towards a goal and they won. Here are the toppers from different streams. They talk about how they got the winning card and share some tips on how you too could be on top.

Anu Asaithambi (State Topper, State Board, Non-Tamil)

Anu Asaithambi is the State topper in the State Board Std XII exams in the non-Tamil group with a total of 1188. Having chosen Sanskrit, this student of D.A.V Higher Secondary School, Gopalapuram, says that a state ranking was totally unexpected, and that she was only working towards gaining a medical seat. “I am very happy. I am feeling out of this world,” is how she describes her feeling at the moment.

Anu gives full credit to her school and teachers whose method of teaching the concept saw to it that she didn't have to work extra hard trying to memorise stuff. “I never did night-study. I studied from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. I would take a 15-monute nap every two hours,” she explains her method of preparing for the exam.

This aspiring cardiologist suggests that one should rest well before taking any exam so that he/she doesn't feel tired while writing it.

Swati Prusty (National Topper, CBSE)

Swati Prusty, a student of D.A.V. Girls Senior Secondary School, Gopalapuram, says, “I couldn't ask for anything more!” Having been just expecting a ‘good' result, learning that she is the national topper with a total of 490/500, came as a surprise.

“Preparing for exams was no rocket science. I just worked hard and managed my time well. Also it helps to have great teachers who are like second parents to us. They train you well and are more tensed when you are doing your exams,” she says. Swati is also thankful for her parents' moral support and God's grace. The regular Yoga practice in school also helped in relaxing the mind, she adds.

Aiming for IIMs, this future Chemical Engineer, asks students to prepare right from the beginning of the year. “And don't cut your cable connection. Watch a lot of movies,” she suggests as a way to relax during the stressful study period. Ask her for tips and Swati swears by hard work and time management.

R. Gayathri (National Topper, CBSE)

“I didn't expect so much – a nation topper. It definitely came as a surprise,” reacts Gayathri when asked about her result. Having scored 490/500, Gayathri of D.A.V. Girls Senior Secondary School, Gopalapuram, secured the top spot alongside her schoolmate Swati Prusty.

She says her preparation for the exam was nothing out of the ordinary. “I didn't do any special preparation for the boards. The teachers trained me well and hence I had no last-minute tension,” she adds. “It helps to stay attentive in class.”

Gayathri wishes to become an electronics and communication engineer and follow it up with a post graduation in a related field.

Srividya Sampath (State topper, State Board)

Srividya Sampath of Prince Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Puzhuthivakkam, is the Chennai topper besides being ranked third in the city. Srividya is very happy and says it was a great point in her life and she had expected a score of 1150. Her score of 1185 came as a bonus for her. “I managed to cover all my portions and then revisions. My aim was to clear my doubts and I'm happy that I did all this on my own merit without any tuitions. However, my teachers and everyone at school wanted me to get a State rank and I though I never wished for it, I am happy that I could make them proud. The teachers in my school helped us by staying back after class and clearing our doubts as they gave us inputs and ideas to perform better.

She wants to pursue her BE in Computers and would probably do an MBA and specialise in Administration. Her tip to others is that no one should get affected by failures and by following this you can do really well.

Leela Senthilnathan, (State topper, ISC)

Leela Senthilnathan of Sishya School scored a 98 per cent in the ISC board Examinations. “I never expected this and hence it came to me as a surprise. But now that the feeling has sunk in I'm very happy that my efforts have paid off and am very happy because all my friends have done well too.” Preparation is school involved studying while they were being taught, a number of preparatory tests, quick revisions and looking at earlier question papers. The teachers and the Principal of Sishya are extremely happy and proud as they stood behind her as pillars of strength. “The best thing about it was that all my teachers were accessible even after school.” They cleared doubts, took extra classes, told us what the board looked for and gave us mock tests to prepare well. Leela's future is all planned as she has just got her admissions all sorted. Come fall she will join Brown University, in Rhode Island where is she set to pursue Neuro Science. “Give it your best shot because the hype is more than the reality,” adds Leela when asked for her study tip.