Tips for Parents and Students Ahead of Final Matric Exams

As many of us face stress due to work and general impending doom, Grade 12 pupils and their parents have another thing to deal with: the dreaded final matric exams.


Learners participating in the final examinations have less than 70 days left to prepare for their first exam for their National Senior Certificate. This might sound like enough time, but in terms of preparing for one of the biggest exams, it really isn’t.


The final matric examination period is set to commence on Monday, October 30, 2023, and will conclude during the first week of December 2023.


Tension is climbing in South African households as Grade 12 pupils embark on the critical final phase towards their final exams.


Not only is it a major academic milestone and checkpoint, but it often comes with emotions running wild for both parent and child.


Dr Linda Meyer, MD, of The Independent Institute of Education’s Rosebank College, said parents strive to ensure their children’s success, even with the challenges brought on by this time.


For students

We know that this is a tough time. But we’ve got you. Meyer has listed a few tips for parents and students so emotions don’t run too high over the next few weeks.


– You have heard this thousands of times in Life Orientation but you will hear it again: Establish a routine and plan your study schedule. It also helps to break down your subjects into sections to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

– Allocate more time for subjects you find challenging, but also incorporate short breaks to avoid burnout.


– Study techniques to try include but are not limited to: testing yourself regularly instead of passively reading; making use of mind maps; and teaching or explaining a topic you are studying to someone else.

For parents

Just as students have a role to play, parents do too. But how can parents support their child through this time?


Parents can provide meaningful support in the following ways:

– Draw up a comprehensive view of the exam timeline. While it sounds obvious, it can aid in creating a balanced study schedule.

– If possible, mimic actual exam conditions at home. This does not only help students become familiar with the conditions of the physical exam environment; it can also help identify areas that need further focus.

– Encourage autonomous learning. There is no denying that being available to address questions is important; students also need to think critically and find solutions by themselves, as you won’t be there to help in the exam room.


– Remember hobbies and fun stuff. The next few weeks should not be all about studying. Integrate activities such as meditation or short walks, or if they aren’t into that, try their favourite hobbies to mentally rejuvenate them. They also need adequate rest, a healthy diet, and to avoid excessive caffeine or sugar, which are known to give fake highs.


It is also important for both learner and parent to realise that while Grade 12 exams are huge, they’re just one part of the educational journey. So while it’s important to do your best, there will be other opportunities for growth and learning.


What do I need to get a Bachelor’s pass?

To attain a Bachelor’s pass, the student must achieve at least 40% for a home language subject, at least 50% for four other high-credit subjects (ie languages, history, business studies, accounting, visual arts, etc), and at least 30% for two other subjects.


Obtaining a Bachelor’s pass in matric indicates that you are qualified to pursue a bachelor’s degree course at a university or college. This is only if you have also met all the other admissions standards for the university.

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