S. Ashpunisha, one of the three first rankers of Chennai Schools in the SSLC examination with 487 out of 500, has happily forgotten her stomach ache, thanks to the results. She had been hospitalised for the past three days and wanted to be discharged, though a final diagnosis had not yet been made.

Ashpunisha wants to become a doctor. Daughter of a tailor M.S. Deen, she is a student of Chennai Higher Secondary School of Saidapet. Her parents said they expected higher marks. Her brother completed his engineering course this year.

The daughter of a driver, K. Krithika of Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School, Pulla Avenue, who too scored 487, said she did not think she would be a topper. “I used to get 3rd or 4th rank. But most times, I have ended up doing well in the final exams.”

She has won several prizes in elocution and essay competitions and wants to become an engineer. Krithika said her teachers felt a centum in Mathematics, which she lost by three marks, would have boosted her total. It was celebration time for K. Sangeetha, the daughter of R. Kandavel, an employee of Aavin. Packets of chocolates are going out to friends and neighbours in celebration of her sharing the top score in Chennai Schools. She wants to do her B.Com and become a Chartered Accountant.

The second rank went to S. Arumugam of Chennai HSS in Thiruvanmiyur, who scored 486 marks. The third rank was shared by Vasantha Kumari of Chennai GHSS Saidapet and J. Vishnupriya of Chennai HSS Maduvinkarai, who scored 483 marks. Students of Chennai Schools have fared better than last year, with an overall pass percentage of 85.33 in the SSLC exam, results of which were announced on Wednesday. Last year, 82.58 per cent of the students passed. Of the 9,115 students who appeared, 7,778 passed the exam. The number of students who secured more than 400 marks, or 80 per cent, is 1,138.

Three schools — Chennai High School in Seven Wells, Chintadripet and Vanniya Teynampet — have got cent per cent pass. The pass percentage of girls at 89.06 was better than that of boys, who were 80.47 per cent.

However, the number of centums in subjects went down this year from 22 to 18. Students said they lost marks in English and Mathematics, which brought down their total. K. Devibala of Chennai HSS, Madhavaram High Road, who scored a centum in Science, said she found English grammar difficult.

Civic body officials said that for the first time special classes would be conducted for the Chennai School students who would be taking the supplementary exams.

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