You don't need tuition. Hard work and focus is enough, says Mohammad Ismat, CBSE, 12th Board, All-India Topper, 2012.
How it all began...
I come from the Thoubal district in Manipur and am the youngest of seven children. My father, Moulana Bashirur-Rahman is a primary school teacher. During my childhood he tried very hard to provide me a good education. But his monthly income rarely exceeded more than Rs.2000. That was obviously not enough to sustain the whole family and fund my education at private schools as well.
I initially studied at a local English medium government school till class six when I switched to a Kendriya Vidhyalaya. Again in class eighth I moved to Sainik School in Imphal where I scored 94.2 per cent in my class 10th exams.
I really wanted to move to a good school after this but money was a problem. That is when the director of Zenith Academy in Imphal stepped in. He was kind enough to accept me in the school and mentor me at a minimal fee. The intellecutal exposure, constant support and good friends I found at Zenith played a huge part in my success today.
I believe nothing is impossible. It does not matter how difficult a scenario is, with faith, dedication and hard work one can overcome all odds. My life as a young student was never easy. Financial difficulties was just one problem. My village also had erratic power supply. When I was studying for my board exams there were days when we got power for only two to three hours. I was forced to studying under streetlights. Problems were aplenty but I never gave up.
What kept me going were my three sources of inspiration - Prophet Mohammed, former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Albert Einstein. Whenever I felt low, I looked to them and how they lived their lives and found encouragement.
I did not take private tuition nor was my family able to afford expensive reference books. Instead I gained knowledge from library books and whatever I was taught inside the classroom. I think that, by itself, is enough for someone to do well in their exams.
I feel the real key to my sucess was my ability to concentrate. I might have studied eight hours a day during my revision but prior to that I put in only four to five hours a day of pure concentrated effort. I would shut myself away from the rest of the world and loose myself in my books. I focused hard to understand every line I was reading and. That helped me retain a lot of what I studied. Concentrated studies for minimum hours a day can reap more benefits than hours and hours of work where your mind is distracted.
Another tip I can offer students is to never remain in doubt. If you donât understand something, always ask for clarifications instead. If you are clear with all your concepts then the last few months of revision will be easier and serve more as a kind of reinforcement. This is something I have followed throughout, even when I studied in public schools where teachers did not always like to answer questions.
I am an early riser and always believe in starting my day with maximum energy. I donât think you need to be on strict diets and exercise regimes to be healthy. I have never followed any, only eaten simple meals that my mother cooked at home, yet I have enjoyed relatively good stamina.
I think my health stems from peace and purity of mind. I keep my thoughts positive and happy. Good mental health does lead to good physical health.
When I scored 99 per cent in my Class 12 exams, I happily soaked up every second of it. I think one should enjoy happiness and sucess. At the same time remain grateful to God and those who have always stood by you.
Tips for success
- Work hard: There is no easy way out. Hard work is par for the course and always pays off.
- Concentrate: A few hours of focused study can reap far more benefits than several hours of distracted work.
- Fight for your dreams: Dream big and keep long term goals.Whenever you feel like giving up, remind yourself of these dreams.Tell yourself that your dreams are worth fighting a few battles for.
- Be happy: Keep your mind free of negative thoughts and always try to be happy.