Kerala had a twin reason to celebrate when the final results of the all-India engineering entrance exam (JEE Main) were announced. The second rank in India and first rank in Karnataka went to Kevin Martin, belonging of Iritty, Kannur. Meanwhile, Vishnu Vinod from Idukki was the topper in Kerala.
While Kevin scored 355 marks out of 360 to achieve 100 percentile score, Vishnu finished with 99.99 percentile.
As Kevin and Vishnu are now busy preparing for the JEE Advance exam which clears the path for candidates to admission in the prestigious IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology), they speak about their achievements so far.
Son of Martin Poovakkulam and Lini, belonging to Velimanam in Iritty, Kevin studied at Nehru Memorial School, Jayanagar in Bengaluru.
Kevin says he achieved the JEE rank by sheer hard work over the last two years. Along with the lessons at school, he attended entrance coaching classes too. On an average, Kevin spent eight hours a day for his studies. "I gave much importance to NCERT textbooks," adds the youngster.
Taking as many mock tests as he could gave a major boost to Kevin's preparations. "Test materials from the coaching centre I attended and other places helped a lot. Model tests conducted online too benefited me," says Kevin.
According to Kevin, it was Inorganic Chemistry that bothered him somewhat. "I had to mug up that section," he reveals.
The youngster's plan is to join the Computer Science course at IIT Bombay or Madras. "Coding is something that interests me," he says.
Kevin regularly follows news reports regarding advanced and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and others. “Now I wish to learn such topics in depth," he says.
"I am yet to open an account in the social media as I don't find it much interesting," says the Bengaluru boy.
Kevin's hobbies are reading novels and listening to music. He earlier played tennis too.
The biggest encouragement for Kevin came from his mother. "She used to gently ask me to study and that was enough," he says.
A student of Mannanam K E School, Kottayam, Vishnu Vinod is the son of Vinod Kumar and Chandni. They belong to Sankaramangalam, Anakkara in Idukki.
Vishnu adopted a two-pronged strategy regarding his studies. During the days he had regular classes, Vishnu spent 4 to 5 hours studying. On holidays, the time went up to 10 hours.
During the initial stages of his preparations, Vishnu attempted one mock test a week. When the exam approached, he increased the frequency to every day. "That the mock tests were tough made the real exam easy," quips the youngster.
Vishnu found the Organic Chemistry equations a bit difficult to learn. "But I memorized it all by revisions," he reveals.
The youngster from Idukki hopes to join a Computer Science course in one among the IITs. "A revolution is waiting to take place in the field of computers," opines Vishnu.
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At present, Vishnu is focusing on forming an idea about all sections of technology. "After I strengthen my basic knowledge at the degree level, I will turn my attention to emerging technologies," he says.
Vishnu has not started using Facebook or WhatsApp so far. "But I am not against social media and might become active soon," he comments.
While studying hard, Vishnu says that he also found time to pursue his hobby of reading English novels.
Neither of his parents compelled Vishnu to learn. "My mother used to come and sit near me while I studied. It was support – not fear – that they extended to me," says the Kerala topper.