‘I was scared of Physics,’ says Riya Singh, JEE Advanced 2016 girls’ topper

Riya Singh (239/372, AIR 133), the JEE Advanced girls’ topper from Madhya Pradesh has dreams slightly different from her contemporaries. While most IITians look to pursuing an MBA or high paying foreign jobs, our topper aspires to work for the nation. In an interview with PaGaLGuY, Riya spoke about her trials in Kota, how she celebrated her achievement and her future plans. In her own words:

I was in Varanasi on a holiday with my family when the results were announced. It was a good feeling to know that I was the girl topper. We didn’t have a huge celebration party. We just went to the Kashi Temple and fine dining for celebration.

In terms of preparation, I didn’t do anything different or special than what my friends did. Physics was my weak point. I was scared of it, but I knew I had to deal with it whether I liked it or not. I kept practising the difficult topics until I wasn’t scared of them anymore. I attended Vibrant classes in Kota for two years (Class 11 and 12) where I dived completely into books and learning. We had about four-five hours of coaching daily, and the rest of the day, I spent in self-study. The thing about such coaching is that it compels you to push yourself to your limits. But unlike what a lot of people think, the coaching was a nice kind of pressure. I realise you can’t always be stress-free. I knew what it would be like in a coaching environment and it was my choice to go to Kota.

Now that I have got a good rank, I will be applying for Computer Science in either IIT Delhi or IIT Kanpur. I haven’t thought much about my future after college, but I would like to get into research or into civil services (IAS)). My choice of colleges also depends on this. IIT Delhi will give me a good background and guidance for civil services, and IIT Kanpur, I believe, has good facility for research.

Apart from that, I am looking forward to enjoy my college life, maybe take part in some extra-curricular activities, as we did not have much time for those in Kota. I am interested in literature and sketching and would like to join a related club in college.