Third time lucky at software programs

Even today when many grownups struggle with the slides while preparing a PowerPoint presentation or fiddle with the mouse to reach the desired cell in MS Excel, these 16 - and 17-year-old youngsters have won the prestigious Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship awards!

“I was expecting only to be in the top three,” says Arjit Kansal who has bagged the first prize in PowerPoint 2010. While Shashank Batra, his schoolmate, who has won the second prize in MS Excel 2007 says, “It was an unforgettable moment of my life
to be there in the United States, participate and win a prize in the competition and, also get to see Disneyland in California.”

Both students of Maharaja Agrasen Model School, Pitampura, they have come back making their country and school proud by winning the prizes at the competition organised by Certiport.

Though they agree that the competition at the national-level was harder than the international one, yet their parents, friends and everyone is proud to say that they have won these awards among 123 finalists from 130 countries!

While Kansal was confident of the “accuracy that was required in preparing the slides for the finals,” he wasn’t sure if he had completed his task in lesser time.

“Participants from Thailand and Vietnam, who have been awarded the second and third prize respectively, were confident about having completed their task much before the 50 minute time given to us,” says Kansal who was worried before the results were declared, since he took 40 minutes to complete his presentation.

“The lesser the time a contestant took, the more marks he got,” he informs about the rules.

He decided to “copy the content as it had been provided in the reference file and utilise maximum time in formatting images and movies that had to be included in the slides,” he informs.

Contrarily, Batra was confident about his time. Says the young lad, “In order to qualify for the world finals, I had to compete with brilliant minds at the national level. I managed to complete my test in 20 minutes for which 50 minutes were allotted.”

Undoubtedly, he bagged the chance to go to the US and was confident about
faring well in the finals.

“This time they have changed the pattern a bit and made it a bit tougher. But we were sure to make it to the top positions, since the pattern was similar to the finals that were conducted in India. Whereas students from other countries sounded a bit nervous because that pattern was new to them,” adds Batra who doesn’t feel sad being awarded the second prize instead of first.  

Both Batra and Kansal have participated in this competition two times previously. But it was only this time round that they managed to make it to the final championship.

Of course their joy knew no bounds and winning the top awards at the world-level acted as the cherry on the cake. While both of them are happy to have been able to visit Disneyworld after the competition, they confess with a smile to having brought back Disney merchandise for friends and cousins.

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