How to prepare for your matric exam?

How to prepare for your matric exam?

Here are the best tips to help you prepare for your matric exams.

Tips to prepare for your matric exams

  • Relax
    Before you start worrying about your exams. It is important to keep yourself in a relaxed state. Find ways to keep your mind at ease.
  • Take walks and short breaks to relax your mind.
  • Create a study plan
  • Free study guides 

Download free study guides here.

  • Ask for help
    Do not suffer in silence. Seek help from your friends, parents, tutors and teachers.
  • Get enough rest
    The key is to study smarter, not longer. Make sure you get enough rest. Studying without breaks will lead to a tired brain

4 essential matric study tips from a psychologist

Raydene Naidoo, A Counselling Psychologist shares 4 essential study tips that will help you prepare for your matric exams.

  1. Know yourself
    Before you start any exam preparation. You need to self-reflect, think about the importance of getting enough sleep and the activities you need to keep your mental health in check. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you are able to create a study timetable that works around your strengths. For example,there is no use adding a 3 hour study time if you know that you will get restless after an hour. You need to know yourself well so that you can follow a study plan that suits you. 
  1. Identify your peak times
    We all have times in the day where we are more effective in how we work. These times might be different between you and your peers. Once you know your peak hours, study your most difficult subjects during your peak hours. This will allow you to use more time and concentration on the subjects you find challenging.
  1. Don’t just think about it, create your study timetable, share it and commit to it
    Create a study timetable that you will take seriously. Make sure it covers all your study times, study breaks and day activities. Your study schedule should be there to guide you through your studying. Share your study timetable with your friends and family, this will help you stay committed, and your family and friends can help monitor you.
  1. Commit to your well-being
    Studying for your matric exams can be very stressful. It is important that you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat healthy, get enough rest, exercise and make use of your support system. If you feel stressed or anxious, reach out to someone you trust who you can talk to. 

Study tips from the Department of Basic Education

  1. Have all of your study materials ready before you begin studying. 
  2. Keep a positive mindset. Remind yourself how important this is.
  3. Talk a walk outside. Some fresh air will help with your learning.
  4. Split your study sessions. Don’t try to study everything at once. Your brain needs to process the information coming in.
  5. Try use colours and pictures 
  6. Get some rest. You need to sleep at least 8 hours a night.
  7. Find someone who will help you revise by listening to your revision notes.
  8. Focus more on the parts that you struggle with and be confident in the sections you understand.
  9. Repetition is key! Keep studying and revising and you will get it.
  10. Reward yourself with some down time. Take breaks to relax.

Study skills to boost your learning

  1. Create your own note taking system
    Find out which way is best for you. You might understand your school work better by writing notes down and reading over them several times. You could also work better with mind maps and charts. There are several options to make your notes work for you. 
  1. Turn your reading session into active studying
    As you read through assignment materials such as novels, poems and articles, it is important to  take notes of the parts that you feel are important and the parts that stand out. This will help you grasp your work better.
  1. Use Active memorization
    Find creative ways of learning other than cramming. Say words out loud, use pictures in your head, you can also make your own acronyms to remember things.
  1. Take regular breaks
    Remember how important it is to take breaks to ease your mind from stress.
  1. Ask a lot of questions
    Asking a lot of questions will help you understand topics even better. Do not fully rely on your own understanding.  

Create a study plan

A study timetable can help you plan and manage your time. Here is an example of a study timetable:

Create a study timetable that works for you

A study timetable should be designed to fit your schedule and time. To create your study timetable you can do the following 

  • Think about your goals and what you will achieve by studying.
  • Decide which study environment is best for you. Decide whether you prefer a quiet space like a library, your bedroom or maybe, you might prefer studying outside.
  • Manage and break down your time into smaller goals. For example, if you have to read a book, instead of trying to read the whole book in one study session, plan on finishing one chapter in 2 hours.
  • Write down all your important day to day activities with their allocated times.

Use past exam papers

Past exam papers can be useful in testing your knowledge. Try to finish these past exam papers in the same amount of time as you would in the actual exam. To download past exam papers for all subjects, click here

Why it is important to take breaks while you study

Taking breaks can help you reduce stress, increases your focus and creates better performance. Study breaks can help you become more productive in your school work.

How long should I study for each subject?

Is 10 days enough to study for an exam?

Every student is different, there isn’t a specific amount of days for student’s study. The best option is to plan your studies while you have a lot of time. You do not have to wait for your teacher to hand you your exam timetable. You can access a final exam timetable draft here and start planning.

How many hours should a matric student study per day?

As a matric student,  you should spend about 6 – 8 hours a day studying. These hours will be split out according to your personal study timetable.

What is the best time of the day to study?

The best time of the day to study all depends on your peak times. Do some self-reflection to see which time of the day you work best.

Matric exam: Here's all you need to know

How to pass with maximum distinctions

  • It’s never too early to start studying. Make sure you are always up to date with your school work.
  • Stay committed to your study schedule
  • Avoid distractions 
  • Ask for help – If you struggle with a topic, make sure you ask for help.
  • Put in extra work – watch videos online, make study notes and revise repetitively.

How to pass matric with bachelor's?

To pass matric with a Bachelor’s pass, you have to:

  • Get at least 40% for your Home Language 
  • at least 50% for four other subjects excluding Life Orientation,
  • at least 30% in Language of Learning and Teaching 
  • at least 30% for one other subject,
  • Must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects.

How to pass with diploma

To get a diploma pass you have to: 

  • Get at least 40% for your Home Language
  • At least 40% for three other subjects excluding Life Orientation,
  • At least 30% in the Language of Learning and Teaching 
  • Must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects.

How to keep yourself motivated during exams

Keep yourself accountable

If you are a big procrastinator and you just can’t get started. Do not beat yourself up, that won’t do you any good. The first thing you need to do is admit and acknowledge that you procrastinate.

Do not compare yourself to your peers,  we all have different ways of learning. Try writing or  talking about your anxieties about studying, or talk about how hard it is for you to start studying.

Establishing a study schedule

Creating a study schedule helps you take responsibility over your studies. Share your timetable with a friend or a family member. Ask them to help you by being accountable with you. Knowing that someone else knows your timetable will help motivate you to study.

Prepare yourself and your workspace

  • Take a walk or move around to put yourself in a positive space. 
  • Prepare yourself by freshening up and putting on comfortable clothes. 
  • Prepare your workspace by laying all the study material you need. 
  • Avoid distractions by putting your phone on silent.
  • Keep a bottle of water and a small snack 

Tackle the study material

You can access study guides on the Department of Education website. You can also create your own study guide for each subject. Create flashcards with bullet points of all the important topics you need to know.

You can also make a list of all the questions you think might show up in the exam. Another option to help you study is to create mind maps and graphs to help you understand topics better.

Author: Omega Fumba 

Date Published: 13 August 2020