August 20, 2017 – Nigerian Girl Who Made 9As In WAEC Plans To Study Medicine, Reveals Success Secrets In New Interview
Former student of Shalom Academy in Nsukka Enugu State, Chinecherem Cynthia Ali whose WAEC examination success went viral few days ago has granted her first interview.
In this recent chat with Toluwani Eniola, Cynthia reveals how she was able to make 9AS in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
Can We Get To Know You?
I hail from Umuagama community in Enugu State. I am the third of eight children. I am 18 years old. I attended Shalom Academy in Nsukka, Enugu State. My parents are not so rich but they gave me adequate care. My dad is a teacher. He also has a poultry farm. My mother works as a medical lab scientist in a district hospital.
What did you say when you saw your outstanding result?
I was overwhelmed with joy. It was a record-breaking result because no one had ever made that result in my school. On that day, I was sleeping. My brother came to wake me up and broke the news. When I saw it, I thought I was dreaming.
How many hours did you study daily?
In our school, we were mandated to observe our preparatory classes for day students. From 2.30pm to 4pm, I would go home to cook and do other things I needed to do till around 7pm. From 7pm till 10pm, I was always reading my books daily. Sometimes, I could set aside five or six hours to read.
How did you cope with the distractions from boys in school?
I never had a boyfriend. One thing I learnt along the line was that once one is serious with one’s studies, it will be difficult for boys to approach one for a relationship. When I was in SS1, one day I entered the class. There was this male classmate of mine who was always disturbing me. I was reading my book. We had just finished the computer practical. Others were discussing while I was reading my book. Then the boy said, “What’s the problem with you? Is it that you cannot rest, at least talk to people.”
He said I didn’t need to be reading every time. I was able to overcome the pressures of male pupils because I didn’t entertain any unserious talks. They knew me for that so they avoided me. Also, I was a day student, so I spent most of my time in class. We had preparatory classes by 4pm so I was always at home when I was not in school. This made it impossible for any boy to approach me. Maybe if I was in the boarding school, it would have been a different story. I am a quiet girl. Because I rarely had time to chat with others, they said I was a proud girl. But I taught a few of my classmates in my spare time.
Do you think you are a genius?
I don’t think I am one. I think anyone who studied hard and relied on God can make a similar feat.
What is the next step for you?
I want to study medicine. I chose medicine because I believe it would enable me to save lives. It is also a noble profession.
What did you score in the UTME?
The UTME was out before I took WASSCE. I scored 266. I was discouraged when I saw the result because I felt I should have got above 300 marks. The good thing is that they also use the WASSCE result to select candidates. They grade prospective candidates, using 60 per cent for the UTME and 40 per cent for the WASSCE result. When I saw my UTME results, I was just praying to God to excel in WASSCE result a wonderful one. When our principal saw my UTME result, he didn’t believe that it was my result because he expected more from me. UTME was very easy for me and I was disappointed when I saw the score.
Which schools did you apply to?
I applied to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ebonyi State University. The universities have not started issuing admission letters. They have started uploading the results. The cut off mark for medicine is 290 or so in UNN last year. I checked my result and it was 319.6, so I am hopeful I would be admitted.
Why don’t you study abroad instead?
I want to study in Nigeria first. I guess I am too young to study outside the country all alone. But I would like to do postgraduate studies abroad.
Was cramming part of your studying methods?
I am not good at cramming books. I develop many codes to remember what I read.
What are the most remarkable lessons you have learnt from your success?
I think the most important part of my success story is to do one’s best and to trust in God. I always believe that it’s only God that can enable me to fulfill my destiny.
How did you feel meeting the Enugu State governor?
I thank God for the privilege to meet the governor at my age. I am grateful to God for making it possible. Thousands of pupils in our state would like to meet the governor. For me, it is one of the most memorable moments of my life as I shook hands with the governor. The governor congratulated me and said the commissioner for education would reach out to me.
Later, I was told that the governor had given me a scholarship to study in any university of my choice in Nigeria and a prize of N1m. I felt overwhelmed. I never believed that I would be a beneficiary of a scholarship. I appreciate the government for this noble gesture.