Matric learners all over South Africa have the finish line in sight as the race to complete their schooling career nears its end. Cindy Glass, co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, says: “There is no doubt that the upcoming trial and final exams can be a source of anxiety and stress for most, if not all, Grade 12 learners and their parents!”
“The task ahead can feel overwhelmingly challenging and the resulting fear of failure can and often does become counter-productive in the learning process,” she adds. However, it doesn’t have to be a negative experience at all! Glass shares a few tips to ensure success.
Don’t wait until the exam months to start study for the exams. Get hold of a calendar and mark trail and final exam dates. Use the calendar to plan a study schedule. Remember that some of the subject might be very close to each other. Ensure to start revising those subjects early.
Organise your programme
Set goals for every subject and make sure they are realistic. Stick them on the wall in your study area and take the time to remind yourself what you wish to achieve. This is a great way to keep you motivated.
You can also break the work for the exams down into manageable, bite-sizes. Tick off tasks as you progress to see how much has been done. This can be a great source of comfort as the exams creep closer.
Study past exam papers
Do as many past papers as possible with the memo close by to see if your answers are correct and in line with that the examiners want. These papers can be a good indication of the kinds of questions and the responses for which you should prepare. You can also try to complete a paper in the amounted time to see if you are working fast enough. An unfinished paper can cause a lot of panic.
Create a comfortable learning environment
Ensure you have a designated, comfortable study space with good lighting and all the necessary stationary. The best way to study is to put pen to paper. You are seven times more likely to remember information if you write it down! When doing practice or past exams, for example, write down the answers and practice the areas of which you are unsure in writing.
Take care of yourself
You might feel pressured to do an all-nighter to get through all the work or live on chips so that you can study more, but this would be a mistake. It is crucial that you take very good care of your body in this time. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get enough rest and do some exercise.
Be accountable and avoid distractions
It is important to hold yourself accountable. While it is important to still socialise and practice your hobbies as part of unwinding, it is also important to not lose track or fall behind with your studies. It helps to only socialise once you have finished a chapter of your work, for example. When studying, remove all distractions. Switch off your phone.
Glass concludes: “Matric exams need not feel like an insurmountable task. Don’t look backwards. Start working towards achieving the best that you can-today. Trust yourself and know that you can do this!”