Our Math Genius: Aakash Datwani, Grade 10

With an ACT score of 35 out of 36 points and an AP Calculus BC exam score of a perfect 5,

Aakash Datwani studying in Grade 10 at B.D. Somani, is on a journey to ace as a Mathematician par excellence. While the rigor of preparing for the Cambridge IGCSE exams is high on Aakash’s priority, his passion for Math allows him to scale all the distractions that a regular school schedule brings for him. More significantly, he accomplished these two feats in 2021 (May and December) – a year ridden with the uncertainty of the pandemic and challenges of distance learning. Aakash, with his focus and determination to make the best of given circumstances, has yet again proved the old saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”

Following is an extract from a conversation with Aakash:

Question: Aakash, how do you balance your school curriculum studies with practice for such competitive exams?

“I’ve had a passion for Math since the 7th grade which far eclipsed any other interest I had. To accommodate it, I managed my time and tried to find a balance between the rigor of my school work and preparing for the AP Calculus BC Exam. I think that regularity in my schedule made this task a little less daunting. It was definitely scary at first to think of attempting it, but on the way I gained confidence in myself.”

Question: How do you plan to leverage the ‘perfect scores’ for admissions into higher education?

“Though I’m happy with my scores in both the ACT and the AP Calculus BC exam, I feel that my university application should reflect other strengths as well. The schools which I intend on applying to in the future would definitely look favourably on these results, but I’m not under the illusion that this alone would suffice or lead to immediate admission. I think great IGCSE and IB results would certainly strengthen my chances as well as further accomplishments, including but not limited to Math (i.e olympiads and various other competitions like AMC 12), Trinity piano grades, community service, and perhaps something in the sciences? Everything is tentative currently; the road is tenuous but full of possibilities. As Robert Frost said, there’s “miles to go before I sleep.”

Question: Would you share a few tips to guide future B.D. Somani math aspirants?

“I believe that before studying anything, one should always try to gain an appreciation for it. Try to find out what interests you in Math and make a sincere attempt to learn it. Don’t constrain your ambition: dream big! Try to think of what you would like to learn and do if there were no obstacles in your way. Then ask yourself why it isn’t possible and attempt to learn it. In this age, there are many, many resources, both in-person and on the Internet (Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, EdX, Coursera, Udemy, countless free PDFs of textbooks covering countless topics etc.) and one can even obtain guidance from there (eg. discord servers and online forums). A love and desire for learning makes it much easier to achieve your aspirations. I feel this advice also applies to any subject in general.”

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