Some of you might remember the pressure of CXC exams back in high school. Well, the top achievers at today’s National CXC awards ceremony are very familiar with it. Except that while most of us just break into a cold sweat, these top students just dig deeper into their books. And today their were honoured for their hard work and outstanding accomplishments. Courtney Weatherburne spoke with the top finishers.

Siian Rancharan- First Place, CSEC

"Make sure you believe in yourself because the moment you have any self doubt, that's when you fail yourself. You have to push on, it's a lot of work, a lot of sleepless nights, it really is tough and intense; But at the end of the day when you go up on that stage, when you get that award, it's just that satisfaction you get from achieving from what you have wanted."

Outstanding candidate in the CSEC exams category, Siian Rancharan had those inspiring words for his peers.

He garnered 1st place after sitting 16 CXC’s, passing 14 with grade 1, and 2 with grade 2. It’s an exceptional performance but he says it’s simply the product of developing a work strategy.

Siian Rancharan

"Accomplishing 16 is no different from accomplishing 1. It really has a lot to do with time managment; I realised that from the beginning of the semester in fourth form, you have to be prepared, you have to take your time with it. It makes no sense for the night before my SBA's due to hand it in and being a zombie the next day in school. So what I decided is every single week I did a part of each SBA or at least you try to do something and I had my SBA completed on time. At the end of the day I would review over anything that was said in the class because that really helped a lot, so it's constantly reviewing."

Apart from perfecting a system of study and revision, family support greatly impacted his life.

Siian Rancharan

"I think a lot of my motivation comes from the support that I get because, yes expectations can be a hard thing but it really does motivate you knowing that you have people expect something from you."

For second place achiever Yan Ullrick Cattouse it’s a combination of familial influence and natural curiosity.

Yan Ullrich Cattouse- Second Place, CSEC

"I’m a cattouse so I am raised in a competitive family, everything is who can do it better. So growing up in cycling and I brought that competitive mentality to school. My personality, I was always besides the competition, curious to learn, curious to try new things."

And where will his curiosity lead him next?:

Yan Ullrich Cattouse

"I'm planning to go into the field of medicine, that's my career in the future. I want to be a doctor. I'm not sure yet exactly what field of doctor but I'm thinking nuerology or cardiology, but i'm still finding my way."

While the journey to achieving such extraordinary grades may seem to be the product of rigid schedules, it’s not! According to Siian, there must be a balance in youth life.

Siian Rancharan

"Right now it is not enough just to be smart, you have to be a well rounded individual. It makes no sense for me to be very academically strong and being to have good social skills. I realise you need a balance. They way I balance my life is I make sure I do things that are fun and I enjoy. I like student council, I like interacting in school, involving in peer counselling, doing community service.”

The ceremony was held at the Orange Walk Sporting Complex. Plaques were also given to 4 CSEC subject awardees, 5 Regional Top Individual Awardees as well as CAPE outstanding candidates.

Channel 7