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After Light got the Death Note, he started writing criminals' names and killing them. Even after L made his first appearance and said that he would find Kira, then Light was thrilled up and accepted that as a challenge.

As we all know Light was the 1st performer in his academics from the start. But when he got the Death Note, then he was certainly spending a lot of time on planning how to kill, and also observing how the Death Note works. But even after all this pressure of killing and L coming to find him, he maintained his academic performance.

So does that mean Light was so talented that even without studying he was able to come first in his academics, or was he spending enough time in academics as well? Is there anything specified in the anime or manga about how he was managing his time between his studies and by writing names in the Death Note so that he would not get caught?

  • He was pretty talented in studies and I think he could afford to spend a lot of time off it. He did say at the start of the series that he was bored in life. It could probably be because he was at the top of everything he did. Besides, he scheduled the time of death for his victims so he could write the names of many criminals at once and then spend the rest of his time on academics. – Nameless Person Mar 11 '16 at 17:08
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Light was the top in his class is academics and also in tennis, which just goes to characterization to express the point that he is the all around A+ student. On top of all that Light also works as a civilian consultant for the police and he employs his amazing logical deductions to help him solve crimes. Again this goes to show that Light is extremely intelligent, very hard working, and can multi-task exceptionally well. There is a scene where L has Light's room bugged and Light is using one hand to do his math home-work while his other hand writes names to kill people, as if it were nothing. Light was able to keep up his grades because the tests and work he was doing was beneath his intelligence and might as well have been "what is 2+2" because that's how easy Light's classes were to him.

Over time Light starts to go psychotic as the stress finally gets to him and he's trying to get all suspicion away from him as he tries to kill L and I believe that's because Light has never really been challenged or stressed before; for the first time ever Light is having a hard time controlling the situation and at first he enjoys having to actually try but as the series progresses he fades into madness as he can't control the situation and he refuses to accept that as an answer because he is used to being on top of everything and never getting over-whelmed.

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I also think that in one episode, he tells Ryuk that he cannot just keep writing names in the notebook. He has to study also to keep up with his grades, and I think he tells Ryuk that he spends part of the day on academics and uses the rest of the time for writing the names. It's been some time since I watched Death Note, but I guess that this is what he did, and that he could not let his grades drop since that would also lead to suspicion.

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