HARD AT WORK: Nonhlanhla Mhlapho, 18, of CR Swart High School studies for her exams in the library in Pretoria.

Johannesburg - Matric pupils undoubtedly have fellow South Africans 100 percent behind them. 

Monday saw the start of the National Senior Certificate exams and messages of support and encouragement flooded Twitter for those who were writing their finals. The messages were followed by tips on how to conquer the exams.

Exams started in 881 schools and centres across the province and the last paper will be written on November 28.

All the Grade 12s wrote English home language on Monday.

Keodirelang Lefutswe of Rostec Technical College was studying hard in the library. The 18-year-old said he was ready for all his subjects, except physical sciences and mathematics.

He was preparing for his maths exam when The Star’s sister paper, Pretoria News, spoke to him. “The only subjects stressing me are mathematics and physical science. They are difficult subjects

“I started studying a long time ago, but even now I’m not ready for them,” he said, adding that he was aiming for at least 70 percent in the subjects, but didn’t think he would achieve it.

Also studying in the library was Tshegofatso Mashilo, who will only be writing on Friday, as she is upgrading her maths marks. She too said she wasn’t ready because she has been procrastinating.

“I kept saying my exam is far off and I will only start weeks before, but here I am. I got 30 percent last year, but I’m hoping for a 60 percent plus now.”

She said she was confident that she would make it this time around even though time was not on her side.

TV personality, singer and songwriter Nandi Madida was among the people who wished the matrics well. She took to Twitter and wrote: “To the matric class of 2017 breathe, do past papers, relax, read carefully and don’t let your anxiety take over.”

@Lady_Thanyani said: “All the best to the class of 2017. Make your parents and family proud. But most of all make yourself proud.”

@MarionKafuko wished them luck and said she was praying for their success.

@u_hazee shared Bible verses to encourage the pupils, among them Mark 9:23 and Psalm 23. Among other tips given to candidates was not to let anything distract them.

“Have your eyes on the prize, be wary of things meant to distract you and lead you astray. Look out for your best interests,” wrote @Angela_Kondile.

Social media users also found the funny side in memes mocking pupils who have not been taking their studies seriously.

@SSbudaDuma wrote: “When you have been the coolest kid that attends gigs instead of focusing on your books, while doing nothing,” accompanied by an image of a pupil in an exam room, thinking hard and sweating profusely.

Khangala Mpho said: “Dear #Matric2017, If they give you questions you don’t know, give them answers they don’t know.”

The minister of basic education is expected to release the results of this year’s exams on January 4, with education MECs releasing the provincial results the next day.

The Star