Life- In the 9th and 10th Standards

Here, I’ll be describing my life and what I did, in fair detail, in the 9th and 10th Standards.

2008-09: 9th Standard

    1. Awarded the National Talent Search Scholarship (NTSE)

      Undoubtedly one of my biggest achievements, the NTSE is one of India’s most prestigious Scholarships conducted by NCERT. Only 1000 students are selected for this scholarship out of the lakhs that apply. Each candidate is given a sum of Rs. 500 per month until Ph. D., when students are given an amount as per UGC norms. Although the selection process started out in the 8th standard, it was completed only in the 9th.

      NTSE Certificate

      NTSE Certificate

      When I gave the NTSE, there were 3 rounds, and scholarships were given from the 9th standard, although I believe the format has changed now. The following were the rounds, and a little of what they are and how I went about them:

            1. The First Round: State Level: 18 Nov 2007

              The first Round of the NTSE consisted of 2 papers: the MAT (Mental Ability Test) and the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). The MAT consisted of purely logical reasoning questions: Find the next in the pattern (of figures, numbers, letters); find the missing entity in the sequence (of numbers and letters); after the shown folds, find what the paper looks like, Venn diagrams, x:y as z:? questions; and so on. SAT, on the other hand included 3 main subjects: Science, Mathematics and Social Science. Science included Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and Social Science included Geography, History and Civics, mostly related to India. It was held at St. Albert’s College, Kochi. For training, I went to Aspire Learning Centre in the months of October and early November. On 22nd March, our Biology teacher there, Mr. Papachan, told me that I had cleared the 1st Round! Which was something I did not really expected, considering that I was down with a horrible cold on the day of the First Round, and could have performed much better. He also informed me that I would soon receive a letter with instructions about a camp that students who had cleared the 1st Round were eligible to attend. Sure enough, a week or 2 later, the letter arrived, informing me that the first day of camp would be before we returned back from our trip to Turkey. But oh well… I thankfully didn’t miss much.

            2. The second Round:  National Level: 11 May 2008

              First off, a little bit about the camp. The camp was from the 15th to the 25th of April at Pareeksha Bhavan,  Thiruvananthapuram. As mentioned, I sadly missed the first day. In Thiruvananthapuram, I stayed with my “foster” Grandmother, my mother’s friend’s mother, who helped me a lot and looked after me like she would her own son. As for the camp, it was simply brilliant. There, they brought in teachers from across the State to teach us a LOT of things: each of the subjects that were there for the NTSE 2nd Round. They taught us beautifully and the classes were interactive and extremely informative. They had divided us into 3 sections depending on our board of education: CBSE, ICSE and State. They even provided us snacks for morning and evening tea! What I most enjoyed about the camp was the fact that they highlighted a lot of finer details which I remember to this day, especially in Social Science, since I didn’t learn any beyond the 10th standard: How Muhammad bin Tughluq‘s policies were brilliant, but poorly planned and ended up emptying his treasury, King Ashoka‘s reign , the concept of Plan Holiday in 5 year plans, why ozone holes occur above the South pole, the AIDS virus , how to answer an MCQ exam, and so on. On the 24th of April after the afternoon break, we had a Mock 2nd Round exam, and on the 25th in the morning, we had a mock Interview, after which we went home. The day of the 2nd Round Interview (also held at St. Albert’s College) was the day of my baby cousin (now 7)’s baptism, and while the whole family (Aunts, Uncles, pack of 4 cousins) were having a blast in Udupi, my mother’s native place, I was sitting in an exam hall test bubbling my heart out! But ah well… no pain, no gain, and it was more than worth it in the end. The format for the second round was, as far as I remember, identical to the first, except that this time, it was at the national level.

            3. The third Round: The Interview: 2 August 2008

              On 28th of June, my Dad informed me that I had cleared the 2nd round. 2 down, 1 to go! I found out that my interview would be on the 2nd of August. I went to Prof. Venkataraman, and was part of a class of 23 (if I remember right) students. There, he taught us (exceptionally well, might I add), about everything we needed to know for the 3rd round- the interview process, how to present oneself for an Interview, the dress code, important concepts in Science, Social Studies and Math, and conducted mock interviews for us as well. On 2nd August, my Interview was scheduled in the afternoon. After a quick visit to my “foster” grandmother(whose birthday happens to be today), my Dad and I went to Pareeksha Bhavan (the same place where they had held the 2nd Round Camp) for the Interview. The Interview process was something unlike what I had expected it to be: an extremely friendly, informal Board, very sweet and nice, so much so that they offered me tea and something to eat! They asked me questions in a wide variety of topics: current affairs, about my hobbies and interests, about computer science (which was, is, and always will be my passion), and a wide variety of other general topics. Then, each teacher on the panel asked me a question or two about their field: the Biology teacher showed me a Hibiscus and asked me to identify its ovaries, as well as an unusual type of grass (I think) and asked me to identify a part which she pointed out (it was a flower), and the Social Science teacher asked me which chapters my teachers had covered at school and asked me questions straight out of the book! Overall, the Interview was quite unlike what I had expected, but an amazing experience which I still remember very clearly to this day (I have quoted all this without reference, even though it was almost 5 years ago- that’s how fascinating this experience was). Finally, we returned home, tired but happy. Finally, on the 16th of September, my friend, Rahul Mohan’s mother informed me that both of us had made it, after 3 grueling yet exciting rounds, of toil and sweat (thankfully, no blood or tears). Woohooo!!!!

    2. Finalist in State level for TCS IT Quiz: Oct 2008

      So Rahul Mohan and I went for the TCS IT Quiz, along with a few of our school mates. The quiz is open for students of classes 8-12. The preliminary round consisted of general questions: Current Affairs in the IT World, Identify the logo of so and so company, Identify these people in the IT World, and a few other questions (like “What is the basic unit of measure of an image’s size”, or something to that effect, the answer being a pixel). 6 out of about 300 teams qualified on stage, and we were one of them!! We were the youngest team on stage that year, and ended up coming in 4th place on stage. There were a number of on stage rounds: an Identify the Logo round, a round asking us details about the TCS website, a link the song, image and question round and so on (these Rounds had fancy-sounding names, which, sadly, I don’t remember). Another extremely fun experience, we walked away with a whole lotta goodies: an mp3 player, a TCS bag (which has taken no small amount of punishment from me when I used to squeeze in all the fat text books and numerous note books which I had in 10th, and has now moved on to a better place), a book on Indian History, and a TCS IT Whiz T-Shirt (which still looks like new in spite of extensive use) and a set of headphones (which I’m using right now). Sweet!
      Here is the screen shot of the website which mentions our names, and that we were appreciated by the quiz master for being the youngest on stage: TCS IT Whiz TCS IT Whiz(2)

    3. 1st Prize, Compering Competition, State level CMI CBSE School’s Kalotsav

      This competition was held at Thrissur, some 60 km away. It was a team event, and the team consisted of Sarah Alexander, Shilpa Babu and I. The school took us there along with a number of other students, each participating in different competitions. Our competitions was scheduled in the afternoon, and it was an on-the-spot kind of event, where one is given the topic, on the spot. We drew lots, and ended up compering first! The topic of the day was “World Environment Day”, and we had to compere for this event. We did well, and ended up coming 1st (we knew the results only on our way back, as the results generally take a fair deal of time to come out, and the school buses had to leave by then, with only a few teachers staying back).

    4. Vice-President of Interact Club of Rajagiri Public School

      An Interact club is a club affiliated to a Rotary Club close by, where the members (generally students) do what they can to give back to society. The Interact club of Rajagiri Public School is affiliated to the Rotary Club of Cochin North, and is one of the Worlds largest Interact Club, with 600 odd members. Yes, 600! The club aims to raise funds for the needy and conduct programmes for them. That year, we conducted a number of fund raisers. The first was during our Onam celebrations, where we sold Vinayaka’s (one of the most famous makers of traditional Kerala food)  payasam . We also had one during Vista, our school’s cultural festival. We setup stalls selling cutlets, puffs and other food items. Many of the Interact club members brought sandwiches and the like from home as well for us to sell. We also conducted a “Cleanliness Drive”, where we went around the school campus and helped pick up litter. We had a “Sugar Drive”, where we collected sugar for orphanages, where each student was asked to sacrifice a teaspoon of sugar from their milk/tea/coffee every day for a month, and bring whatever they could collect to school. We collected 15kgs of sugar from this event!!! It was a wonderful experience for us, where we learnt something extremely important: How the smallest of sacrifices can go a looong way… And the joy that we brought to the children from the orphanages from these little sacrifices was, simply put, priceless!

      Interact Club Vice President, 9th Standard

      Interact Club Vice President, 9th Standard

    5. All rounder in category IV (stds. 8,9,10) for the year 2008-09
    6. Gold medal in IAIS Science examination

      This was awarded to me for scoring the maximum marks in the entire state in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    7. High Distinction in IAIS Computer Science examination

      This was awarded to me for getting a 99 percentile ranking among students of Kerala who gave the Computer Science paper in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

      IAIS Science Gold Medal, 9th Standard

      IAIS Science Gold Medal, 9th Standard

    8. High Distinction in IAIS Math examination

      This was awarded to me for getting a 99 percentile ranking among students of Kerala who gave the Math paper in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    9. High Distinction in IAIS English examination

      This was awarded to me for getting a 99 percentile ranking among students of Kerala who gave the English paper in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    10. Excelled in academics
    11. Excelled in co-curricular activities
    12. 1st, Elocution, English, Interhouse cultural competition
    13. 1st, Short Story Writing, English, Interhouse cultural competition
    14. 2nd, Essay Writing, English, Interhouse cultural competition
    15. 3rd, Recitation, Hindi, Interhouse cultural competition
    16. 3rd, Instrumental Music, Organ, Interhouse cultural competition

2009-10: 10th Standard

    1. A1 in all subjects in AISSE

      AISSE (All India Secondary School Examination) is our 10th standard CBSE Board examination. Our batch had a few changes: Unlike the previous batch, we did not receive our marks, and our succeeding batch had a new system of examination altogether (CCE– Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation, which effectively did away with the “Board Exam” system altogether). We had 6 subjects: Math, Science, Social Studies, English and French. We didn’t receive marks, but only absolute grades, A1 representing above 90% in an exam.

      10th AISSE Certificate

      10th AISSE Certificate

    2. Completed CompTIA A+ and Network+ from NIIT : Summer of 2010

      Well, I wanted a productive summer. So I decided to join a course to learn about basic computer hardware. They informed me that there was a networking course that was usually taught with the hardware course, and that they would together take 2 months (which was my exact vacation duration), so I joined both together. The hardware course, A+, taught me all about the computer and its different components, PC Assembly and Trouble Shooting, while the Network+, course taught me about Networking: setting up networks, setting up servers, different protocols and network topologies, different means of linking PCs together to form networks and their advantages and drawbacks, and so on. We also had a final exam, and I ended up topping my class!

      NIIT A+, 10th Standard

      NIIT A+, 10th Standard

      NIIT Network+, 10th Standard

      NIIT Network+, 10th Standard

    3. Prizes at the Round Table Leadership Awards

      The Round Table Leadership Awards were conducted by the Cochin Backwater Round Table, where a girl and a boy have to represent a school for a number of events. I won the following prizes:

      1. 1st Prize, Hot Seat
      2. 1st Prize, General Aptitude

      Hot Seat was an extempore cum Interview round, where you are given a topic (I got “Film Censorship in India”), 5 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to speak, followed by a 1 minute QnA session with the judges. General Aptitude was a written test consisting of both G.K. and logic and reasoning type questions.Gen. Apt., Round Table Leadership Awards, 10th Standard Hot Seat, Round Table Leadership Awards, 10th Standard

    4. Gold medal in IAIS Science examination

      This was awarded to me for scoring the maximum marks in the Science paper in the entire state in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

      IAIS Science State Topper, 10th Standard

      IAIS Science State Topper, 10th Standard

    5. Gold Medal in IAIS English examination

      This was awarded to me for scoring the maximum marks in the English paper in the entire state in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

      IAIS English  State Topper, 10th Standard

      IAIS English State Topper, 10th Standard

    6. High Distinction in IAIS Computer Science examination

      This was awarded to me for getting a 99 percentile ranking among students of Kerala who gave the Computer Science paper in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    7. High Distinction in IAIS Math examination

      This was awarded to me for getting a 99 percentile ranking among students of Kerala who gave the Math paper in the International Assessment of Indian Schools examination conducted by the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    8. Excelled in Academics
    9. Excelled in Literary Activities
    10. Best Speaker, Debate competition, 8-10 Standard Category
    11. 1st, Essay Writing, English, Interhouse cultural competition
    12. 1st, Recitation, Hindi, Interhouse cultural competition
    13. 2nd, Recitation, English, Interhouse cultural competition
    14. 2nd, Instrumental Music, Organ, Interhouse cultural competition
    15. 3rd, Instrumental Music, Guitar, Interhouse cultural competition
    16. 3rd, Western Music, boys, Interhouse cultural competition
Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Life- In the 9th and 10th Standards”

  1. Arpit says :

    How do you apply for scholarship. I am also selected in ntse satge 2.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: