did it our way
Sachie Fernando talks to the students
who shone at the A/L exam held this year
It is the most
exigent barrier to overcome and the most nerve-racking time in life.
Facing the A/L examination is a challenge. It’s a defining
moment in a student’s life.
is the secret of doing well in this exam? How do the students who
succeed prepare for the exam? How do they overcome the stress? And
is this the very best way of deciding one’s talent? These
were the questions we put to the students whose names were blinking
at the top of the A/Level exam list.
Dinesh Soysa (Richmond College) who came first in the physical science
stream says, “This is the most competitive exam in the country;
it decides one’s future.” This achievement seems to
be something Madushanka was expecting, having won prizes for every
subject while in school, since grade five.
like Gayani Malsha Perera (Visakha Vidyalaya), ranked as the Island
first in the bioscience stream, one exceptional. “I never
attended those big classes but I still managed to cover everything,”
said Malsha. This is where most of the students go wrong and for
the best students in the country, this is secret of success. What
every one of these students believe in is ‘working hard by
yourself’. “You should have most of the time for yourself,”
said Malsha. The meaning of ‘studying’ is not dragging
yourself at the table till two’o clock in the morning, collecting
hordes of notes or attending a number of tuition classes. It’s
about learning with the heart and dedicating yourself to what you’re
should work with desire and an urge to do well,” stressed
Madu-shanka. And the rest agreed. It’s a matter of believing
in yourself and finding the best in you. The A/L examination in
Sri Lanka is tough. Not just because of the competition but also
as a result of the weight of the recommended syllabus and the complicated
sums and theories to understand. To complete everything on time
there is a rhythm to follow, which only a few manage to grasp.
Dirukshi (Kiribathgoda Vihara Maha Devi BV) who topped the Commerce
stream said that she made daily short notes and charts for each
section. This is another thing one must do, she says, keep up with
daily schoolwork and complete homework everyday. Even as a senior
prefect, she had coped with schoolwork and the extracurricular activities
she engaged in.
followed the work from the beginning and at the end I had nothing
much to cover just before the exam” she said. She also said
that this made her more confident of herself. The students who pass
the O/Level examination without much sweat tend to think the same
thing may continue at the A/Level exam too. By the time they realise
it is not the same it is too late to cover up everything they’ve
missed. This is how the syllabus becomes tedious and studying becomes
a burden. The secret: there is no ending to this process of studying,
“the more we apply ourselves the better we become.”
best tip the top students have for students is to attend school
daily. They believe the finest place to be inspired is school. Although
the A/Levels are about an individual, group studying helps. “I
worked with my friends and we always held discussions,” says
Mohamad Alavudin (Mannar Central College), the student who topped
the Arts stream.
management is another area to focus on. “Dividing one’s
time is essential,” said Indika Ganga Kumari (Sujatha BMV,
Matara) who came second in the Island in the Bioscience stream.
The students should be able to balance their daily activities with
system is different in Sri Lanka. Passing the A/Level exam does
not necessarily mean that you can enter University. That is why
the examination creates the environment for cutthroat competition.
This year out of the 199,937 students who sat for the exam 108,357
students have qualified for University entrance. This is a favourable
increase when compared with last year’s statistics. But it
is sad that every one of these students won’t get the chance
of entering university.
believes, “There is not much of a difference between students;
we are all the same.” Luck also plays a part in the scheme
of things, but it isn’t everything. “You can rely on
yourself to some extent,” said Mohamad Alavudeen. There is
no time to look back or wonder what to do next. Give it everything
you’ve got! These guys did just that.