Meet Chryss Anika C. Bersabal, the ten-year-old student who bagged a gold medal at the International Mathematics Contest in Singapore, where the Philippines placed second overall. The Colegio San Agustin fifth grader and AHEAD student not only talks to us about how she prepared for the competition, she also shares some useful study tips.
AHEAD: How did it feel to win a gold medal at the 2014 International Mathematics Contest?
Chryss: I was happy and proud; all the hard work paid off.
AHEAD: What do you think set you apart from the other competitors?
Chryss: I knew all of us really trained hard. I just devoted extra time for reviews, stayed focused, and prayed to God for guidance.
AHEAD: What do you feel set the Philippine team apart from the other competing countries?
Chryss: We had the talent, skills, and determination to win. Plus we had excellent trainers!
AHEAD: What would you remember most about competing at IMC? What did you take away from that experience?
Chryss: It was my first time to compete in Singapore. When my name was called to receive the gold medal, it was such an amazing moment. I was also happy for my Math Traniers’ Guild (MTG) friends who won.
The MTG and IMC are not just about numbers; they’re also about making friends with other students who share the same passion for numbers.
AHEAD: What have you learned from competing at IMC?
Chryss: Hard work combined with sincere prayer truly pays off.
AHEAD: What other competitions have you joined in the past? How did you do?
Chryss: My first international competition was in Hong Kong in 2013. I’ve won several awards: gold at the 22nd King of Mathematics International Tournament Finals 2013, silver at the 9th Asia Cup of the Olympic Math Finals, and a Merit Award at the Gifted Mathematics “Green World Cup.”
AHEAD: How did AHEAD help prepare you for the IMC? What have you learned at AHEAD that you feel helped you in scoring that gold medal at the competition?
Chryss: I got the chance to spend a few training hours with Teacher Jerome of AHEAD before my competition. He was able to impart a few more tips on problem solving.
AHEAD: How would you describe your study habits?
Chryss: I really don’t have a fixed study time. I adjust whenever I feel I have to devote extra time on a particular subject. I make sure I devote extra hours for math—at least an hour per day, especially when I am preparing for a competition. I also go to AHEAD for advance review for most of my school subjects.
AHEAD: How did you develop your study habits?
Chryss: I used to study my lessons with my mom. She would always tell me to spend at least an hour per day to study, then I could spend the rest of the day for other things—XBOX, football, etc. I also make sure I finish all my daily homework. I’ve also been attending Kumon since preschool and that has further helped me develop my study habits.
AHEAD: How does AHEAD help you with your study habits and schoolwork?
Chryss: I enjoy reviewing my lessons with my teachers at AHEAD that I really don’t mind spending more time studying. AHEAD has also helped me become more focused.
Also, since the K to 12 program has already been implemented in our school, AHEAD has helped me bridge the gap and cope with the changes.
I love my interactions with my AHEAD teachers and tutors and they impart valuable information and tips. I’ve also gotten used to devoting at least an hour of study time per subject with AHEAD’s flexible schedule and one-hour-per-subject policy. Learning that kind of discipline has allowed me to become more focused and better understand my lessons.
AHEAD: How would you describe yourself as a student?
Chryss: Well-rounded, since I am both into sports and academics.
AHEAD: What are your favorite subjects and what subjects do you feel you need to work on more?
Chryss: Math and Science challenge me, they stimulate my brain. I am fascinated by their contribution to mankind and the world we live in. I still have to work on my English and Filipino subjects.
AHEAD: What do you love most about school? Why?
Chryss: My school has become my second home. My clubs, friends and favorite teachers, football practice, and the school library—they all make me love my school more.
AHEAD: What do you like doing during your free time? What do you do for fun?
Chryss: I just play my XBOX at home (FIFA and FIBA are my favorite games). On weekends, I spend time with my family; we take out-of-town trips or hang out at the mall.
AHEAD: What career do you plan to have in the future?
Chryss: I want to become a Chemical Engineer. I want to discover something that would have an impact on the lives of other human beings. After taking Chemical Engineering, I want to be a lawyer.