She walked 70km daily, Akansha topped the nation in NEET exam with 720/720

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)-UG 2020 results were declared by NTA(National Testing Agency) on October 16. As soon as the results were announced, two candidates Delhi’s Akanksha Singh and Orissa’s Soyeb Aftab surprised everyone by scoring full marks 720/720 with 99.99 percentile.

While Akanksha was given 2nd rank, Soyeb was declared topper due to NEET’s tie-breaker policy where preference is given to the candidate who is older in age.

Hailing from Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, Akanksha has achieved something incredible in his life which others can only dream of. She faced difficulties in her career before touching the pinnacle of success. Akanksha has always been a brilliant student, and her mother has always helped her in making all her dreams come true. It is said that Akanksha used to travel 70 km to her coaching institute at Gorakhpur every day.

Akanksha said, “I always wanted to become a doctor and study at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Since there was no big coaching institute in my town, I have to travel for four hours to reach my institute in Gorakhpur. After passing class 10, I shifted to Delhi for plus 2 and joined Aakash institute”.

After appearing for NEET, the 17-year-old was confident of scoring around 700. “I studied 10 to 12 hours daily and followed my institute’s study material. Apart from it, I also checked online classes of edtech platforms. To feel motivated, I watched public speaker Sandeep Maheshwari’s videos.” Akanksha also followed books by Anurag Mishra, IE Irodov for physics, Campbell for biology and relied on NCERT books for chemistry.

Lockdown has been a gift for Akanksha as it gave her extra time to revise her notes, or else balancing the board exam along with entrance test preparation was a tough task.

Akanksha wants to pursue research on neurosurgery. “After completing MBBS, I plan to take up research and practice medicine later.” Akanksha was also moved by the role of health practitioners during this COVID-19 period. “The way doctors have performed risking their lives is an inspiration for thousands like me. It has made me realise the importance and responsibility of a health worker,” she said.

Her father Rajendra Kumar Rao is a retired IAF officer, and her mother, Ruchi Singh is a primary school teacher.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.