As students poured into schools one last time in their uniforms after CBSE’s class XII examination results were declared on Monday, the buzz was about percentages and the murmurs were about which high-scorers would be interviewed by television crews and captured on print.

Though the CBSE stops short of ranking its students, ranks continue to permeate — into schools and in students’ minds. Abiding by CBSE’s policy, D.T. Sudarshan Rao, regional officer, CBSE, Chennai Region, said the board does not declare rank-holders and toppers. “We don’t think about scores from that angle,” he said.

But barely minutes after the results were declared, schools in the city had swiftly made their own list of toppers. Varsha Vivek, was the topper at her school, Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram with a score of 494/500.

“It is yet to sink in,” she said. Varsha said there was absolutely no pressure from her parents. In fact, they took her out for a movie, a day before a pre-Board paper, and a day before the results were declared. Though she plans to pursue engineering, she has other dreams as well. Varsha says she wants to become a college lecturer so that she can teach her favourite subject, physics.

The city’s highest known score was 494, and this was also achieved by Aishwarya P. Renu of Vidya Mandir, Mylapore, said its principal, Bhavani Raghunandan.

While Karthic Annamalai, a science stream student of PSBB K.K. Nagar scored 493/500 with a centum in mathematics, Padmini Muralidhar of DAV Girls Senior Secondary School scored 493/500 with a centum in English and business studies.

Karthic is all set to fly to Pittsburgh for a degree in engineering, while Padmini has decided that she wants to become a chartered accountant. Though she was anxious about the 10-mark project in business studies, introduced for the first time this year, she says it turned out to be quite interesting, and added to her centum in the subject.

For Nithin Ramesan, a student of Chettinad Vidyashram who scored 492/500, it was not time to celebrate just yet. “I have to write the Joint Entrance Exam (Advanced) now. If you want to get into IIT, you have to work hard. There are no two ways about it,” said this top scorer, who also plays the piano.

V. Gowrilakshmi, principal, Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Anna Nagar was excited and nervous on the eve of the results, as this was the first batch of students writing the CBSE class XII exams from the school. “All our students have passed,” she said beaming.

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