Three students from the State missed the top slot by a whisker in the SSLC exams, but are content to have done exceedingly well, scoring an impressive 621 out of 625, earning themselves the second place.

Pallavi Rao K.: A student of Vidyadayini High School, Surathkal, she secured 100 per cent in Science and Social Studies. She got 124 marks in Language I, 99 in Language II and 98 in Language III.

She told The Hindu she did not go for any tuition classes. She put in four hours of every day and a little more during exam time. While her schoolteachers, headmaster, friends and even neighbours helped her in her pursuit of excellence, her parents reassured her they were fine with whatever marks she got. “All subjects are my favourites,” said Pallavi, who hopes to have a career as an engineer.

Shrikant Chiplunkar, Headmaster, Vidyadayini English Medium High School, Surathkal, who taught her Chemistry and Biology, was all praises for his student. “She is always attentive in classes. She has taken part in state-level yoga competitions. She is also interested in singing, drawing and rangoli,” he said proudly.

Anusha Prasad: A student of Chetan Public School, Hubli, she said scoring the second highest marks was a “pleasant surprise” as she expected to figure somewhere among the first 10.

However, her teacher and principal, M.M. Karegoudar, said he was confident Anusha would be one among the top three.

Daughter of a doctor couple, ophthalmic surgeon Krishna Prasad and pathologist Samhita Prasad, and granddaughter of noted ophthalmic surgeon M.M. Joshi of Hubli, Anusha didn't spring any surprises when she said she would eventually pursuing a degree in medicine.

“She takes interest in every extracurricular activities. We have a small library at home and she is a voracious reader,” said the proud father. “She is good at studies and we never [pressure her]. In fact, we never expected her to stand second to the State,” he said.

D.R. Srisha: Given to methodical and structured studies, this student of Swami Vivekananda Educational Institute in Mysore attributes her success to a combination of sound guidance from teachers and moral support by her parents.

Srisha told The Hindu she would opt for the science stream in PU after which she intends enter the medical field. “Everyone in my family is an engineer and I want to do something different besides serving society,” said Srisha, who dedicated her success to her parents.

She secured 100 in mathematics and science, 125 in Sanskrit, 99 in Kannada and Social Studies and 98 in English.

Her father Dhruvaraj is a Junior Engineer in the Mysore Zilla Panchayat posted at Nanjangud, while her mother Rupa is a homemaker. Srisha took tuition classes in Mathematics and Science, but devoted sufficient time for non-academic pursuits like participating in debates, essay writing contests, attending dance classes apart from reading and playing games.

“I stuck to my timetable and followed it methodically,” she said.