10th April is being called ‘Judgement Day’ for IIT aspirants. Given the number of aspirants, this dramatic nickname seems almost un-dramatic. On that day, dreams will be shattered and only a few will emerge victorious. It’s the same with all the AIIMS aspirants. With fewer seats than in IIT, AIIMS is almost unavailable for perhaps 99% students. For every student, the month gone by and the next are crucial, not just for their careers but also for their life- they will, for the first time, know what it’s like to be in an intense competition with real stakes.
In such a scenario, anybody would ask- What exactly does it take for one to make it?
Unfortunately, I still don’t have the answer. But over the years, I have noticed that there are certain types of students. They have their own unique way of doing things, of preparing for tests and thinking of tests. Here is a list of five types of students:
Type 1: The Perfect Kids
If you’re in high school and belong to the second tier of acabemically brilliant students, you will probably spend your teenage years wanting to kill the perfect kids in their sleep. They are perfect as far as academics is concerned. Wen students come from 10th to 11th and the difficult course makes them forget their grades from their Board Exam, these kids, in some curious way, perform the same way in exams as they did in 10th. They never score less than 90% when the others are horrified by how hard academics has gotten. But still, they somehow never seem joyless. They are not necessarily bookworms with big glasses but they still perform like one.
Type 2: The Disciplinarians
If you don’t belong to Type 1, your route to academic success has to be through discipline. You must wake up at five, set time tables and stick to them, decide a precise number of hours for entertainment and perhaps focus less on friends. Sometimes, I think Type I and the disciplinarians are one and the same, except that the perfect kids do a good job at hiding their bookish nature. Unfortunately, the disciplinarians don't always come out right on top, and so, people think they are losers for having worked so hard.
Type 3: The Scientists
This is a rare breed of Science students who weren’t known for their marks until they came to eleventh. That’s because they are scientists by nature and couldn’t do well with the complusion of subjects like English and Social Science till tenth. There are people who still believe that Maths and Science are the real subjects that matter and that anyone can handle the rest, but the truth is that Arts subjects are hard too and some people are really bad at them. But as soon as these kids are done with their tenth Boards, they go from average students to fantastic students.
Type 4: The Artistic Souls
These are even rarer. The biggest mistake they can make is to take Science after tenth Boards because Science truly is not their natural inclination. They are mostly intelligent and so manage to stay in the list of top students, but they never come to the top because they, after all, are not cut-out for Maths and Science.
Type 5: The Happy-Go-Lucky
Their books come out of their bags only before exams. Their phlosophy in life is simple- All they have to do is be happy. They live in the moment. Entrances tests don’t cross their minds till they are staring them at the face. They are easy to spot. Just look out for the school pranksters and when you see their report cards, you’ll see that I’m right.
The irony is that most children grow up to be equally happy. The Perfect Kids get into prestigous institutions and lead the lfe we all dreamt of. The disciplinarians make amazing employees and could quite easily overtake the perfect kids. The country is in need of the true scientists. The artists have a long road ahead of them if they decide to become what they were perhaps originally intended to be, but if they don’t make it, they’ll always be happy they had a back-up plan. The happy-go-lucky students may not get into the best colleges, but who in the world can prove that their life in total doesn’t turn out to be just as fine as the others. So now, it’s time to embrace who you or your child is and just take one exam after the other in a relaxed manner. Chances are, you’re going to end up being happy no matter how you fare.