How to prepare for your matric exam?

Matric can steer the direction that your life takes. It is important that you prepare well for your Matric exams. Prepare well and enjoy a better future.

How you perform when you write your Matric can determine your long-term future. It is therefore important that you prepare well for your Matric exam. Here is how you can prepare well for your Matric exam:

  • Start to prepare early
  • Choose a study space
  • Practice with old exam papers
  • Set goals
  • Use charts
  • Study with friends
  • Take breaks
  • Do not cram
  • Ask for help
  • Suit your learning style
  • Take care of yourself
  • Arrive early on the day

Start To Prepare Early

Do not wait until the last minute to start preparations for your exams. Start preparing for your exams two to three months prior to the exams. The earlier you start, the more ground you will cover. It will not work well for you if you rush through your preparations. If you do this, you will likely miss some aspects of your revision. 

Choose A Study Space

Make sure that you will prepare for your exams in a space that is free from distractions. If possible, this room must be accessible to you only. You must have a desk and a comfortable chair. There should also be a good circulation of air in the room that you are going to use. Your books and stationery must be readily available.

Practice With Old Exam Papers

Attempt old exam papers. Go even further to attempt the old exam papers under exam conditions, if it is a three-hour paper, attempt it in the required time. Make sure that the atmosphere resembles that of an exam hall, peaceful and quiet. Give your tutor your answer sheet to find out how you will have fared.  

Set Goals

Set goals for each study session that you do. Set goals for each subject. For your Maths, you can set goals like:

  • Go through the 5 geometry questions
  • Complete chapter 32
  • Go through the marked past exam paper

Use Charts Or Diagrams

At times, using different presentations can help you to recall concepts quickly. For example, you can compress your notes into charts and diagrams or any other form that you can understand. A five paged topic can be summarised by a chart or diagram on a single page. You can also use a highlighter to give emphasis to certain points.

Study With Friends

Studying with friends can also help you in preparing for your exams well. As they say, two heads are better than one. Remember, that you can understand a concept better if it is explained in another way. 

That concept that you are struggling with can turn out to be easy to understand when your friend explains it to you differently from the way your tutor explains it. Use the time that you are together wisely. Avoid getting into the trap of not digressing.

Take Breaks

You can not study continuously without a break. If you do this, you can easily lose concentration. Break for 15 minutes after an hour of study. Take a break by going out of your room, taking a walk, drinking a cup of water or anything just to break away from your study. When you come back, you will realise that your mind will has been reset for another stretch of study. 

Do Not Cram

Study to learn and not to cram. The danger with cramming is that if you forget a line, you can lose everything that you will have crammed.  Avoid cramming, especially when you are doing your final revision. This can easily stress you out. It can also drain all the energy out of you. You can avoid all this if you start revising well ahead of time. 

Ask For Help

Asking for help can also help you prepare for your Matric exam well. Ask for help from your tutor. If you have study groups, you can ask for help from the group members. When you study with friends, you can also ask for help from them. Keeping quiet will not solve your problems, it will lead you to fail your exam

Suit Your Learning Style

Adopt a study style that suits you. Some learn better when they record their notes on audio. Others learn better when they follow lessons on video or by reading the notes that they would have prepared. Some prefer reading straight from a textbook. It is therefore advisable that you use a study method that suits you well. 

Take Care Of Yourself

Taking care of yourself means that you should eat well. It also means that you must exercise. Giving yourself time to sleep is also another way of taking care of yourself. Eat healthier foods and avoid junk food as much as possible. 

Make sure you also get enough sleep. Sleep for at least (7) seven hours. Exercise is important as well. When you exercise, you refresh your body and mind.

Arrive Early On The Day

When you go for your exams, make sure you arrive early. Sleep early the night before your exams. Check to make sure that you have got all things that you will need on the day of the exam. Do not read anything on the morning of the exam. 

Show confidence because of the preparations that you will have done. Tell yourself you are a winner and indeed you will pass your exams. 

How Many Hours Should A Matric Student Study?

The recommended time for preparing for your Matric exams is between (6) and (8) eight hours each day. But remember that these hours cannot be continuous. A 15-minute break for each hour studied should be  ideal

Which Is The Best Time To Study?

It can depend on individual preferences. However, studies have shown the following;

  • Morning – studying in the morning is recommended because the human brain tends to be most efficient and alert during this time. It is the best time to learn new theories and grasp concepts.
  • Afternoon – studies have shown that critical thinking and analytical skills are at their best between 02:00 pm and 05:00 pm. The brain will be very efficient at processing new information.
  • Evening – Some students tend to have high energies towards the end of the day. Studying at night is also recommended if you live with your family. Studying at night is a good time as most family members would have retired to bed. There will be few distractions. 

Does Music Help You Study?

Studies have shown the following facts with regard to playing music when you are studying:

  • Try to get used to working in silence as these are the conditions in which you will be doing your exams
  • You can use music to wind down after or between periods of study
  • If you must listen to music, make a study playlist of the following tracks:

    • Relaxing music
    • Instrumental, that is, no lyrics or up-tempo beat
    • Acoustic or ambient music
    • Light classical music 
    • Play at a low volume

  • Turn music off when you are focusing on the most complicated part of your studies 
  • If household noises interfere with your concentration, use noise-cancelling headphones to create a silent space

What Foods Help Your Brain?

These foods are linked to brainpower:

  • Green vegetables
  • Fish
  • Berries
  • Tea and coffee
  • Nuts
  • Fruits 

What Have I Learned?

To prepare for the Matric exam, you have to find out what suits your needs best. You cannot follow another student’s study method because it might not work for you. Find out which study method works best for you by implementing everything you have learned in this article. So what are the main things that I should look out for?

  1. The study method that works for me
  2. The time of the day I study best
  3. The food that I eat and the amount of sleep I get
  4. Using all the tools necessary to get the help I need to be successful in the exams

Author: Collin Wilbesi
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: June 15, 2022