New Delhi: Delhi girl M. Gayatri topped the list of candidates who cleared the Class 12 CBSE examinations, the results of which were declared on Monday.
The second spot was shared by three students -- Amity International (Noida) student Mythili Mishra, B. Arjun from Kendriya Vidyalaya (Pattom) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, and Saurabh Bhambri from Delhi's K.R. Mangalam World School (Greater Kailash).
All three scored 99 percent -- 495 out of the total 500 marks, a mark less than the topper.
Sarthak Aggarwal had scored the highest-ever marks (99.6 percent) in CBSE's Class 12 exams in 2014.
Gayatri, a student of New Green Field School in Saket, said she worked really hard, but never expected to top the exams.
"I was expecting about 95 percent, but this was a shocker. I wish to pursue Chartered Accountancy (CA) after this, for which I have already started taking coaching classes," Gayatri, who scored 99.2 percent marks, told IANS.
Her mother Lakshmi Mohan told IANS that her daughter used to study for five-six hours a day -- from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m and then again from 4.30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
"I was expecting her to score between 95 and 96 percent, but she definitely deserved a 99 percent," Mohan added.
Mythili Mishra, who came second with two other students, told IANS she was yet to decide what subjects she wanted to study further.
"I was expecting the worst so that I could savour the moment when I got the best (marks)," Mishra told IANS.
The Humanities student, who scored a perfect 100 in economics and history, said she was not the type to study round-the-clock.
Girls went on to outshine boys once again this year with a pass percentage of 87.56, compared to 77.77 percent for boys.
"You can see the difference (between the pass percentage of girls and boys) is 9.79 percent. So, as usual, girls have outscored boys this year as well," said Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) public relations officer Rama Sharma.
The performance of Delhi's government schools (88.22 percent pass) was the best nationally among government schools this year, marginally behind last year's 88.78 percent.
Government-aided schools in Delhi recorded a pass percentage of 84.42, down from 86.66 percent in 2014.
Shubham Garg, a student of Rashtriya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya at Raj Niwas Marg, and Mahima of RPVV Nand Nagri shared the top position among Delhi government students with a score of 96.8 percent.
Garg told IANS he was planning to take up engineering.
"I am interested in computer science engineering," said Garg, who spent five-six hours a day studying.
Delhi's private schools continued to lag behind with a pass percentage of 38.52 percent, but this was an improvement over the past year's score of 35 percent.
Delhi Kendriya Vidyalayas' (KVs) pass percentage slid to 95.87 from 98.02 percent in 2014.
Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) in Delhi had a pass percentage of 92.37.
Nationally, JNVs stole the show with a pass percentage of 96.82, followed by KVs (94.72 percent).
Overall, the CBSE's Thiruvananthapuram region recorded the highest pass percentage of 95.41, followed by Chennai with 91.14 percent, despite a drop from the past year's 91.63 percent.
Delhi stood third with an overall pass percentage of 86.13.
Delhi's pass percentage for boys was 81.59 and 90.87 percent for girls.
Of the 2,66,661 registered students in Delhi, 2,63,361 appeared for the exams, and 2,26,838 passed.
In the list of differently-abled candidates, Vidhi Maheshwari of Chettinad Vidyashram in Chennai topped the exams with 98 percent marks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated all successful candidates.
"Congratulations to all my young friends who have successfully passed the CBSE Class 12 board exam. Best wishes for a bright future," Modi said.
Delhi recorded just three cases of cheating this year compared to 13 in 2014 and 25 in 2013.
The total number of cases of using unfair means this year was 36, compared to 41 in 2014 and 63 in 2013.
The compartmental examination will be held on July 16.