DURBAN - GLENWOOD High School matric pupils said they were pleasantly surprised by English Paper One which they wrote yesterday.
The pupils, who spoke to The Mercury, said if the rest of their exams were as simple as the first paper, they were bound to do well.
They said they were anxious before getting into the exam room because they thought the English exam was going to be difficult but they relaxed when they saw the questions.
Daniel Ball, who looked happy, said the paper was short and easy. He said his matric year was not as hard as Grade 11 because he had adapted to the new way of learning.
“I did not expect the English paper to be this short. Preparing to write the exams was stressful and hard because we didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
Tyla Rorich said: “When preparing for the exams it’s important to manage your time, this helped me. When I saw the questions I relaxed a bit and I was more confident.”
Luc Langlois said he was more confident about the exams after writing the first paper.
“I’m looking forward to finishing my exams and starting my life as a young adult,” he said.
Owethu Mngomezulu said the exam was a good start for him. “I expected the English paper to be harder, but to my surprise it was not. It was a relief for me,” he said.
There are 201 107 candidates writing the National Senior Certificate exams in the province.
Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said this is the largest cohort they have had to administer exams for in the past six years.
“There are 178 262 full-time candidates in 1 702 centres, and 22 845 part-time candidates in 75 centres, writing the exams,” he said.
Mshengu said they were confident that the pupils would perform to the best of their abilities.
He said that there would also be revision when pupils were not writing.
“We have agreed with them and their educators that on those days (when they are not writing) they will be coming to school for revision,” he said.
Speaking during a visit to Nhlakanipho High School in KwaMashu, north of Durban, yesterday, Mshengu urged parents to allow their children to go to school and give them space and time to concentrate on their studies.
“Parents must give their children support and not put pressure on them, because if the child does not get the results you anticipated, it could lead them to suicide,” he said.
Mshengu was out with his officials monitoring the exams yesterday.