In a matter of minutes after the Class XII Higher Secondary examination results were declared on Friday, State toppers turned celebrities, and were busy giving interviews and recounting their hard work.

R. Pandian (1,187/1,200) of Sakthi Vinayakar Hindu Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School (HSS) says he is nurturing dreams of becoming an IAS officer. “Consistent effort is required to master the subjects of the civil services examination,” says the State topper among students who studied Tamil as their first language.

But, before that, he is eager to join Anna University and pursue computer engineering like his brother, his inspiration.

For someone who has scored centums in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, it should not be difficult.

R. Sandhiya of Vivekananda Higher Secondary School, Namakkal, and C. Karunya and M. Dinesh of S.V. Mandir Matriculation HSS, Krishnagiri, obtained the second rank in the category, with a total of 1,186.

Sandhiya makes the task seem simple and says: “I only went by what was instructed. My aim is to become a doctor and serve the rural poor.”

Karunya is also eager to pursue medicine, specialising in cardiology.

Dinesh also intends to pursue medicine, and the same specialisation.

Medicine seems to be one of the most sought after options among this year's toppers.

The five students who scored a total of 1,185 to emerge State third – P. Pradakshna of CVPACRR Matriculation HSS, Virudhunagar; B. Abinaya of BVB Matriculation HSS, Erode; S. Manochitra of Kurinji Matriculation HSS, Namakkal; F. Anto Nazarene of Arasunagar Matriculation HSS, Ariyalur; and Srividya Sampath of Prince Matriculation HSS, Madipakkam, Chengalpattu, have interesting plans.

“I certainly expected good marks, but not a State rank,” says Pradakshna, another doctor-aspirant. Anto says: “My priority is to pursue medicine in Madras Medical College.”

If medicine is one popular option, civil services seems to be the other. “Seeing a relative prepare for the civil exams currently, I am also eager to do so,” says Abhinaya.

Manochitra has similar plans, but is clear that she would like to pursue engineering before that.

Srividya wants to study computer science engineering and says, “I see myself in the software sector, as it has a bright future.”

In the category of students who had taken Tamil or any other language as second language, Anu Asaithambi of DAV Matriculation HSS, Chennai, emerged first in the State with a total of 1,188. “I believed in studying with full concentration and taking 15 minutes of nap after every two hours of study,” she says, revealing her winning strategy.

The second rank went to S. Pradeep Raaja of D.A.V. Matric HSS (Choolaimedu), Chennai, and V. Sharini of D.A.V. Matric HSS (Gopalapuram). Both scored 1,187.

Pradeep's experience is a little different. “I did not deny myself my usual TV-watching or anything else. Just planned and studied in a systematic way,' he says.

Sharini seems to agree. “Seven to eight hours of study is enough to prepare for the Boards. I never took tuitions,” says the topper.Third rank holders in this category scored 1,186/1200. R.G. Aishwarya of S.B.O.A. Matriculation HSS, Coimbatore, is an avid quizzer and is interested in pursuing civil services.

“It is a dream come true for my parents, who have shifted from Hong Kong to help me with the studies here,” says Sibi Adhithya Senthilkumar, of BVB Matriculation, Erode, also an IAS aspirant.

S. Sujani of Ramnagar Suburban Matriculation HSS is glad she chose Sanskrit. “I have always wanted to study the ancient language, which has close links with our culture,” she says, adding she wants to become a Chartered Accountant.

N. Kirthika Sita Devi Garodia Hindu Vidyalaya in East Tambaram, another rank holder, is also interested in CA.

S. Shree Raman of Prince Matriculation HSS is an aspiring software professional.

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