PSLE top scorers get down to earth after the euphoria

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, Dr Livia Teo, Ms Soh Qian Ying, and Ms Mridula Sairam.
(Clockwise from top left) Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, Dr Livia Teo, Ms Soh Qian Ying, and Ms Mridula Sairam.PHOTOS: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES, BENJAMIN SEETOR, ALVIN HO, GIN TAY FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Ms Soh Qian Ying, 19, an alumna of RGS and RI, was among the top 10 in 2011, when the last batch of top PSLE pupils was announced. Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, 21, was the top Indian pupil in 2009 with a PSLE score of 277. His achievement was recognise
Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, 21, was the top Indian pupil in 2009 with a PSLE score of 277. His achievement was recognised in a poster that was put up in front of his school for the first six months of his Sec 1 year. The Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) alumnus is studying human, social and political sciences at Cambridge University in September. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Ms Soh Qian Ying, 19, an alumna of RGS and RI, was among the top 10 in 2011, when the last batch of top PSLE pupils was announced. Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, 21, was the top Indian pupil in 2009 with a PSLE score of 277. His achievement was recognise
Consultant ophthalmologist Livia Teo, a former Nanyang Primary pupil, had a PSLE score of 290. She was third in her cohort in 1993.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Ms Soh Qian Ying, 19, an alumna of RGS and RI, was among the top 10 in 2011, when the last batch of top PSLE pupils was announced. Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, 21, was the top Indian pupil in 2009 with a PSLE score of 277. His achievement was recognise
Ms Soh Qian Ying, 19, an alumna of RGS and RI, was among the top 10 in 2011, when the last batch of top PSLE pupils was announced. ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO
Ms Soh Qian Ying, 19, an alumna of RGS and RI, was among the top 10 in 2011, when the last batch of top PSLE pupils was announced. Mr Muhammad Saad Siddiqui, 21, was the top Indian pupil in 2009 with a PSLE score of 277. His achievement was recognise
Aspiring management consultant Mridula Sairam, 21, was the top Indian pupil in 2008, with a PSLE score of 281. PHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Snagging the highest scores does not necessarily mean a cushy future, they say

It should have been an overwhelming day for a 12-year-old with a shy smile, but Raffles Girls' Primary School pupil Rebecca Jeyaraj took the high-octane media attention and applause of her classmates all in her stride.

The reason for the adulation? Rebecca had topped her Primary School Leaving Examination cohort in 2006 with a score of 281.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2018, with the headline 'PSLE top scorers get down to earth after the euphoria'. Print Edition | Subscribe