CAPE top performers attribute hard work, dedication to their success


One of the two top performers at this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) has highlighted the winning combination he had used to attain his remarkable achievement.

“Hard work and dedication,” CAPE student Vamandev Hiralall said was his motto; and it has led to his success over the past three years – first at CSEC and then at CAPE.

Vamandev Hiralall

The Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) student secured eight grade ones at CAPE this year, sharing the top spot with St Rose’s student Shawn Shewram. Hiralall, however, amassed 13 grade ones and 3 grade twos in 16 CAPE units over the two-year period.

This awarded him a Government scholarship to the University of the West Indies, where he will soon pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery.

Hiralall explained that his passion for the medical field came from his involvement in a project which saw him conducting surveys on diabetes and hypertension in various villages, allowing him much interaction.

“I surveyed residents of a rural village and I gathered information on their lifestyle and physical body, and I did hypertension and diabetes screening,” he noted.

Hiralall’s academic performance over the last three years has been consistent with the 20 ones and the one grade two that he achieved at CSEC in 2015.

Commenting on calls to reduce or limit the number of subjects that candidates can write, the budding medical doctor suggested that capacity of each student must be considered.

“I disagree with that sentiment of capping the number of subjects. Every student has potential. I believe the better thing to do would be to assess every student’s potential to see how many subjects they can write. Knowledge is not a burden, so when opportunity comes to a person a lot, they should take it,” the young man reasoned.

“If you want to make a change for the better, you must be willing to sacrifice your time to dedicate to your studies, if you want to keep your goals,”Hiralall observed.

He also highlighted that avoiding the influence and frequent use of technological devices was among the sacrifices he had made in order to maintain his consistent academic performance.

“In order to achieve my goals, I had to consistently work on them, and have that mindset all the time,” he noted.

Hiralall added that the school he attended played an instrumental part in keeping him in line, and this had allowed him to remain focused.

Meanwhile, Shawn Shewram, in a brief interview on Tuesday, said he was relieved, and contented with his results after all the hard work he had invested to attain his success.

Shawn Shewram

“Sixth Form has been one of the biggest challenges that I’ve ever taken part of, and there were many times I doubted myself and wanted to close my books, but I knew that this was something I started and knew I had to finish,” Shewram explained.

The teenager has secured grade ones in 8 CAPE units, and noted that he intends to pursue a degree in Law.

“Be dedicated, put your best foot forward, and always believe in yourself,” was the encouragement that Shewram offered to others, echoing the sentiments of this year’s top CSEC student.


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