Though it was Sam Immanuel’s dream to become a marine engineer, fear of scoring low marks in the State board class XII exams drove him to suicide just two days before the results.

On Thursday, when the results were declared, his friends found that the 17-year-old resident of Ayodhyakuppam had passed the exam with 666 marks.

Immanuel died after consuming poison at his house on Tuesday morning. His death has left his family completely shattered.

“He wanted to study marine engineering but was scared of getting low marks. He had downloaded the application form and kept it ready,” said his father D. Maria Selvam, a car driver.

The eldest of three children, Immanuel was a good swimmer and a keyboard player. He was a student of the science stream at a matriculation school on Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore.

He was interested in ships from a young age and hence, wanted to study marine engineering, his father said, adding, “His friends informed us that he passed the exams. One year of studying in class XII changes the lives of so many children. The exams and marks fill them with fear. My son used to study till 3 a.m. I feel that this system of exams should be done away with.”

Like Immanuel, 17-year-old Meena, a resident of Gangai Nagar in Velachery, too committed suicide. Fearing poor results, she set herself on fire on Wednesday afternoon. A daughter of a barber, Meena was a student of a Chennai School in Rajalakshmi Nagar.

“The girl had set herself on fire at her house when she was alone and was found dead by her sister at 2.30 p.m. When we met her family after the post-mortem on Thursday, they told us she had cleared the exams and secured more than 700 marks. It is very tragic,” said a police officer, attached to Velachery police station.