Nischal Nadhamuni, the 11th grader from Mallya Aditi International School, spells out how to make sure that you can also be in his enviable position. After scoring a whopping 2,400 out of 2,400 in his SAT exam, he can set his foot inside any of the Ivy League schools of his choice.
Nadhamuni says having grown up for a while in America and having a chance to see the universities up close and personal helped him make up his mind about taking his SAT exam seriously. “You need to be motivated and have a goal right from an early age and have an idea as to how you want to pursue it. Motivation is the key,” he says.
“My parents took me on a visit to Stanford University and University of California, Berkley. I was impressed with the schools there, the kind of projects the students do and the emphasis they lay on entrepreneurship.”
“Since I want to become an entrepreneur myself, I thought this would fit me well. I visited National Law School and Indian Institute of Management recently but by then my mind was made up,” he says.
Nadhamuni is so focused that he has already his mind set on being part of a project similar to “the Bigshot project being conducted in Columbia University and created by professor of computer science, Dr Shree K Nayar.”
Internet and games
While preparing for his SAT exam, Nadhamuni, along with the help of his mother, kept turning time and again to the internet. “The internet has a lot of resources and if you go to the right websites, you will be able to get a lot of help. There is a website called Collegeconfidential.com which provides a lot of information of the SATs. I also took an online course from a website PrepMe.com which offers a host of resources,” he recollects.
According to Nadhamuni, colleges in the US look for good SAT scores and academics and they want a lot of extra-curricular activities. His strong foundation in tennis helped him in the long run. “I have been playing tennis for the past seven years ... I played in a lot of games at the All Indian Tennis Association,” he points out. He also participated in plenty of interschool competitions which, in turn, boosted his profile.
There is good news for Indian students who want to opt for SAT exams. Nadhamuni says they will most probably ace at least one section. “I think the Indian educational system is geared in such a way that most students will find the Math section extremely easy. I was very confident on that. But I found the English section extremely hard and advanced and prepared hard for it ,” he said.
Nadhamuni’s visit to schools such as Stanford and UC Berkley a few years ago with his parents helped him make his choice. “Even if you can’t go abroad and check out the colleges yourselves, the websites for most American colleges are detailed and you can research everything from there itself,” he asserts.
As for his future, he seems to even have that mapped out. “Even though I want to go to America for studies, I might come back to India after that,” he avers.