CBSE Class 12 Topper Karishma Arora: Anyone Who Works Hard, Tops!

Curious to know how this young girl from the little city of Muzaffarnagar topped CBSE Class 12 this year? Find out in this exclusive ParentCircle interview — Karishma Arora shares her winning story!

By Deepthi Balasunder

CBSE Class 12 Topper Karishma Arora: Anyone Who Works Hard, Tops!

"I was literally jumping for joy!!!" — this is how Karishma Arora, one of CBSE Class 12 board exam toppers, jubilantly reacted on hearing the fabulous news from her school!

It is not every other day that you hear of a quaint little city called Muzaffarnagar, tucked away in a remote part of Uttar Pradesh. And Karishma Arora who hails from this city and studied in SD Public School, has triumphantly put her school and city on the map, with her incredible achievement!

Karishma was short of just one mark from scoring a centum in this year's CBSE Class 12 exam. She scored 499 out of 500 marks! Passionate about Kathak, Karishma loves to watch movies and hang out with friends to unwind. But when it comes to her studies, this class topper is a pro in managing her time between her studies and extracurricular activities. 

We reached out to an extremely delighted young girl, who simply could not contain her bubbling excitement. She and her family are over the moon and cannot stop celebrating! And despite all the media madness surrounding them, Karishma and her mom took some time out to speak with us. This is a ParentCircle exclusive! 

Here are the excerpts from a short and sweet interview with the young achiever and her mother. Let's get right to it!

Congratulations on your success Karishma! How do you feel about this wonderful achievement? 

I did expect a good result as I am a class topper. And my teachers expected the same from me. But becoming a topper in India is a whole different kind of a feeling that I cannot describe. It has been a very overwhelming experience!!!

What was your first reaction when you heard your result?

I was literally jumping for joy!!! I couldn’t believe it – was wondering ‘is it really my results?’. My family and I were together at that time, when we received the phone call from my school informing that I topped CBSE exams. And we were thrilled beyond words to hear that!

Who has been your constant motivation and inspiration? What was the role your parents and family played?

My mom and dad of course! They worked so hard. Their sacrifices and support really means a lot to me. My mother, who has been my emotional support throughout, ensured that I was not under any kind of pressure. Even my teachers worked hard throughout the year so that we do well in our exams. 

My parents have played a very important role. They always supported me a lot, helped me focus on my studies and gave equal importance to extracurricular activities. I am fond of dance and since class 6, I have been learning Kathak from a renowned artist. My dad used to take me from Muzaffarnagar to Delhi, every Sunday for this dance class, even though it takes 3.5 hours just one way.  In fact, recently I performed on World Dance Day along with the artist's dance troop. So, like that, my parents have been an immense support in my life!

How about your teachers, how did they help prepare you and other students for this exam?

My teachers never put any pressure on me or my classmates. My friends and I went to movies and had fun. There were no worries or tension for the exam or results. Teachers handled us very well and told us to relax and stay calm. They never put unnecessary pressure on us. Grateful for that!

Why do girls do better in board exams? Any thoughts?

*Laughs* Not necessary girls always top. Anyone who works hard will do well!

How did you handle the exam stress just before the finals?

When you realise the board exams are finally here, you are bound to get a little tensed. But this tension is necessary as it makes you work harder. My mother was a big support through this time and eased my worries. She was my stress buster. Also, when you are better prepared, you are not that tense too!

What was your study plan like? How did you manage to unwind? Tell us more.

There was no special kind of strategy. It depended on the syllabus portions I had to cover on a day-to-day basis, and accordingly I would plan my time. Time management matters a lot. I always made time for studies, fun and extracurricular activities.

What tips do you have for the next batch of students gearing up for Class 12?

I would like to suggest to the students who will be appearing for their board exams next year, to work hard right from the beginning and not just the last two months. Don’t procrastinate and depend on the last few months. Instead, work hard throughout the year. Further, you should grasp concepts, understand what you learn, instead of rote learning and mugging up text. If you understand the concepts, you can write the answers on your own and in a better way. You can give creative examples to support your answers too. A lot comes from a better understanding of the subject.

Did you get in touch with your seniors for any help before your Class 12 exam?

My sister is studying at the Delhi University. She did well in her Class 12 too. So, I reached out to her and she gave me some inputs and tips to handle the exams.

What was your strategy in approaching the question papers? 

Time management is key and very important. We need to complete answers within the time period. I used to practise with sample question papers to help manage my time better.

Are you a night owl or an early bird?

No, I simply cannot study at night. I am an early bird!

What are your future plans?

I am planning to opt for psychology honours and hope to get a seat in Delhi University. I learnt Kathak and am very passionate about it. So, I want to continue my dance along with learning psychology. In terms of profession, maybe a psychologist, but I also want to see how college life goes and find out the different avenues I can explore.

We even had the wonderful opportunity to speak to Karishma's mother, Monika Arora. Here is what she had to say!

Congratulations on your daughter’s achievement. How are you feeling right now?

I am on top of the world! My dreams have come true! I always wanted to do something in life and today I feel like I have done it.

What has been your approach to Karishma’s studies from the time she was a little girl?

From Class 1 to 12, I have always taken an interest in her studies and helped her with it. Karishma has never taken tuition. For if she had opted for tuition classes then she would have had to limit her dance practice, which she is very passionate about. So, I studied math to help teach her and to avoid after-school classes. And over the years, she has either relied on self-study or me for help.

How did you help Karishma handle the pressure that comes with exams?

Whenever my daughter feels low with regards to her academic performance or experiences a tense moment, we would encourage her that she can do it. We have always been there for her and supported her in everything.

Further, Karishma enjoys dancing and is a very good performer. So, I would never let her skip her dance classes, as dancing helps relieve stress and rejuvenates you.

What tips do you have for parents of the next batch of students who are gearing up for Class 12?

The most important thing I would like to tell parents is to not push or pressurise your child. Karishma has always been good in academics and scoring well from a young age. In fact, after her Class 10 exam results which were very good, several people advised us to choose the science group. But Karishma was not interested in science and I did not see the point of forcing her to opt for it. So, I would like to tell parents to find out what your kids are interested in and give them the chance to pursue it.

Why do girls always seem to be topping CBSE exams? Would you like to share your views on this?

Yes, I would like to share. Actually, I have two daughters. Karishma is the younger one. When she was born, several people commented that the second one is also born a girl. I wanted to prove to the world that girls are capable and can achieve anything too. I wanted those who didn’t have a girl child of their own to say, “I want a daughter like that!” and this wish has come true for me today!

If you had to describe Karishma in three words, what would those be?

Adorable. Intelligent. Loving. Meri jaan hain. Meri dono betiyan meri jaan hain. (Meaning: both my daughters are my life!).

It was great catching up with this thrilled mother-daughter duo. Best wishes from ParentCircle!

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