Durban – Summarising class notes and working with past papers was how 14 pupils from 10 schools in KwaZulu-Natal say they made the commendable achievement list for Independent Examinations Board (IEB) examinations.
Pupils who made the list achieved within the top 5% of pupils in five of their subjects, and also scored at least 80% for life orientation.
IEB results were released across South Africa today.
A selection of pupils told The Mercury that their recipe for success was good time management and consistent studying.
“I just did what I usually do – I made notes and read aloud, almost like I was teaching myself,” said Meaghan van der Velden.
Meaghan, 18, completed her matric at The Wykeham Collegiate in Pietermaritzburg and was also head of the theatre crew at the school, which put on a production of The Sound of Music this year.
“I am surprised at how I did. I’ve been a bit nervous for the past few weeks,” she said.
She plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Pretoria.
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Another pupil planning to study chemical engineering is Sarah Herrington from Maris Stella.
The 18-year-old said: “I first started off by summarising my notes. I also did a lot of past papers. I started quite early, about a few weeks before (finals).”
She plans to study at the University of Cape Town.
“I’ve worked really hard and it was a tough year, and I’m glad my results reflect that,” she said.
Olivia Keirby-Smith from Maris Stella also made the list.
Gabriel Desjardins, 18, from Hilton College, said: “I worked at a constant level and worked hard for trials, so I was well prepared when finals came around.”
Gabriel said he had to back off his sport activities during exam periods to focus on his studies.
He wants to study medicine at the University of Witwatersrand.
Following him to study medicine at Wits could be Sabrina Miljus, 17, who matriculated at Our Lady of Fatima.
“I had to have great time management because I was so busy with school duties. I was head girl, cross-country captain and involved in sports,” she said. “Keeping it all in line was a challenge.”
So, too, could Rachel Sarafidis, 18, from Ashton International College in Ballito.
“I did a lot of past papers and I worked hard all year,” she said.
Rachel was deputy head girl and was also part of the Rotary Club.
Keilidh Clapperton, 18, from St Mary’s in Kloof, said: “All through the year I made my own notes using notes from class and what was in textbooks. I went through them until I felt confident.”
She plans to major in anthropology and history at the University of Stellenbosch next year.
Also from St Mary’s were Robyn McKenzie and Madelaine Postma.
Chia Chi Chen, 17, from Durban Girls’ College, said: “My goal was to achieve results that would get me into a university in America. They will let me know in March or April.”
She had also applied to do mechanical engineering at the University of Cape Town.
Cameron Rencken, 18, from Kearsney College, also made the list. He is a head of house and has made the KZN under-18 hockey team for the past two years.
“I’m very chuffed that the hard work paid off,” he said.
He plans to study law at Stellenbosch University.
Joining him from Kearsney was Gianluca Pauselli, 18.
Jesse Pretorius, 18, from Maritzburg Christian School, said using note summaries had worked a treat for him, too.
Also making the list from KZN schools was Kenan Petersen from St Benedict’s School in Pinetown.