Sinlung /
06 July 2012

How I Made It: Mohammad Ismat

By Sonali Acharjee

Mohammad Ismat

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.

Overcome challenges
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.

Sharp focus
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 donĂ¢€™t 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.

Think healthy
I am an early riser and always believe in starting my day with maximum energy. I donĂ¢€™t 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.

Enjoy Success

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.


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