They fought their own battles in and after school and on Wednesday when the results of the Class X examinations were declared, the toppers had enough reasons to cheer. Hard work, encouragement and self-motivation were behind their performance, the students said.

As the public examinations approached, M. Priyanka of Sri Venkateswara Higher Secondary School, Puzhuthivakkam, used to spend as many as nine hours a day revising her lessons, with breaks in between. Her hard work paid, as she is the State second ranker in S.S.L.C. examination, scoring 494 marks out of 500.

For G. Sree Vandana, State second topper (493) in the Matriculation stream from Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Mogappair, concentrating on languages helped her increase her overall percentage. But Vandana is excited about finally getting a “big teddy bear” that she has been asking her father since her middle school days.

The State third topper, T. Lavanya, a student of Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Panchetti, recalls staying at the school hostel for two months before her examination to save on travel time. “I paid special attention to English grammar,” says Lavanya, who scored 492.

In the O.S.L.C. examination, students of Sri Ahobila Math Oriental Higher Secondary School, West Mambalam, bagged three State ranks, with S. Anusha topping with 475 marks. Five students in Chennai district scored 491 in the S.S.L.C examination. The district secured a pass percentage of 87.04 per cent.

“The evening before the Tamil paper, we had a power cut for one-and-a-half hours, and I studied under candle light. I am happy that I scored 98 in Tamil, with centum in Science and Social Science,” said R. Mithra, one of those who scored 491 and a student of Children's Garden Higher Secondary School, Mylapore. Her father G. Raju runs a photocopy shop and she says she would be a motivation for students in Royapuram locality where she resides.

Dance was a way to relax between lessons for R. Srinidhi, a student of Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School and the topper in Kancheepuram district with 490 marks. “I would get up early and study for a couple of hours before going to school — very simple to follow,” she says. Eleven schools in Kancheepuram district registered 100 per cent results in the S.S.L.C. examination. While the Government High Schools at Kayarambedu and Devariampakkam and Government Adhi Dravidar Welfare High School at Orikkai recorded full pass percentage, in the aided and self-finance schools category eight have registered 100 per cent results.

A total of 41,202 students appeared for the SSLC examinations in Kancheepuram Revenue District, comprising Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu Educational Districts, and 32,113 cleared it. The overall pass percentage was 77.9. Thirty-nine of the students scored centum in Science, 32 in Mathematics and 11 in Social Science subjects.

In Matriculation schools category, a total of 10,709 students took the examinations and 9,942 cleared it. The overall pass percentage was 92.84. Out of the 34,816 students who took the SSLC examinations in Tiruvallur Revenue District, 25,755 passed. The overall pass percentage was 74, said a press release. The Collector, T.P. Rajesh, presented books to the toppers who called on him at the Collectorate.