Six students of this district swept the State's top ranks in the Class XII examination results announced on Tuesday. All of them were in the category of students with Tamil as their first language.

Three of the six were girls belonging to the same class in SKV Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Kandampalayam.

S. Sushmitha, who got the first rank and scored 1,189 out of 1,200; second rank-holder D. Karthika (1188/1200) and third rank-holder B. Prabha Sankari (1187) are close friends who competed in academics. All three want to become doctors.

Sushmitha, who hails from Palladam in Tirupur District, secured centum in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. She scored 194 in Tamil and 195 in English. “After writing the board exams in March, I expected more than 1185 but did not expect a State rank,” she said.

Sushmitha says she did not face any pressure from her father D. Sathyanarayanan, a Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation employee, her mother Sumithakala, a homemaker, or her teachers.

Karthika, daughter of a private bus conductor in Watrap, Virudhunagar district, was however not very happy with the State second rank, as she expected one more mark in Tamil and two more in English. She scored 197 in Tamil, 193 in English, 198 in Physics and centum in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics.

Her classmate and third rank holder B. Prabha Sankari scored 197 in Tamil, 194 in English, 196 in Physics and centum in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. She was not unhappy about not having secured the first or second rank.

“I expected 1,180 marks and not a State rank. My parents, K. Baskaran, a mobile phone shopkeeper and B. Vijayalakshmi, a government teacher, gave me the freedom to study according to my capacity”, she added.

C. Manikandan, of Vivekananda Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Pandamagalam, was among three students of Namakkal District who shared the second rank in the State with 1188/1200. He scored a centum in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics and missed a centum by one mark in Physics. Manikandan lost his father, a truck driver, when he was seven years old. His mother C. Latha worked at construction sites to fund his studies. “I am interested in cardiology,” he said.

P. Ashok Kumar of Greenpark Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Namakkal, who also got the second rank, said he studied for 10 to 12 hours a day. Ashok's 1188 marks included centums in Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Mathematics. He wants to do B.E. Electronics and Communication Engineering in Anna University, Chennai.

For P. Maheshwari of Vidyaa Vikas Girls Higher Secondary School, Tiruchengode, who scored 1,187, this is the second time she has got a State rank. She stood third in the State in the Class X exams. This time, she too scored centum in all the four major papers. “I am happy with my state rank,” said Maheshwari, who will be a first-generation college-goer in the family. Her parents, S. Palanisamy and P. Baghyalakshi run a small eatery. “I want to specialise in neurology as my teachers told me that it is challenging and I like challenges.”