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‘I overcame Math phobia to become the school topper’

Manraj Singh Sethi from Apeejay Svran Global School, Faridabad didn’t let the fear of numbers stop him from chasing his aviation dream



A month before CBSE class 12 Term I examination, Manraj Singh Sethi suffered from dengue. He was hospitalised for 3-4 days, and it took him at least 20 days to recover from illness as well as resume studies. After the Term I results were announced, Manraj was disappointed to see his scores. He couldn’t do well in the examination and for the first time in his academic journey secured a low score. 

But, he didn’t stop there. He decided to work towards his goals. In a dramatic turn of events, he ended up scoring in the 90s in the Term II examination and became the school topper. How? Read On:

Initial trials and difficulties

Manraj enrolled at Apeejay Svran Global School, Faridabad in Sector 21-D in class 9. The change of school happened due to his family shifting their residence from Delhi to Faridabad. In the new school environment, Manraj was just about adjusting. Once, his math teacher, Ms. Urvashi called him to ask why he was consistently scoring low in the subject. He informed her that he was gripped by the fear of math and had come to develop a phobia of numbers. And so, Ms. Urvashi decided to help him. To begin with, she encouraged Manraj and advised him to practice regularly. She also began to prepare a bank of questions for him and kept on increasing difficulty levels.

Working on the weaknesses

Since class 9, Manraj began to consistently solve Math problems. Due to the efforts of his teacher, he even opted for the subject in +2. But, to ace his class 12 subject combinations, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology and Physical Education, it became crucial for him to overcome his lasting fear. He followed the same methods and techniques taught at school to score well in the class 12 exams.

 “Since childhood, I have dreamt of clearing Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) examinations to become a part of the aviation industry. Everything during Board exams seemed difficult to me. My aviation dream almost shattered. But in the Term-II examination, I practiced more. After taking the exam, I was confident that I would score well. After all, my ambition relied on it,” he added.

Passing with flying colours

Overcoming these academic setbacks, Manraj welcomed back his dream of flying and love for aircrafts. Currently, he is preparing for entrance examinations to join the aviation field. He says, “My inspiration is my father Mr. Gurbeer Singh, Partner-Director at Radius Logistics, a global logistics and freight forwarding company. He encouraged me a lot. When the academic stress began to affect my health, he told me, I am more important to him than the scores.  And, I wanted to make him feel proud of me.” Manraj further credits his mother and school teachers for their immense support during CBSE board examinations.

Tips for fellow juniors

“Don’t stress, it is a negative spiral that takes you away from your friends and family. Focus on the future and don’t let short-term setbacks hinder your academic progress,” says Manraj.

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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