There was an equal amount of excitement and nerves as grade 12 learners across KwaZulu-Natal and the country sat down for the first paper in the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations on Monday.
Learners wrote English Paper 1 on Monday.
Nearly 200,000 learners across the province sat down on Monday to write the exam.
Speaking to IOL after her examination, Kharwastan Secondary School learner Kyriesha Reddy told IOL the paper was better than she expected.
The 17-year-old said the build-up to the exam was overwhelming and nerve-racking, but she calmed down after getting comfortable in her seat.
“When I entered school, I was really nervous because it was the NSC exam. When I got to the hall and started filling in all of those documents, it became a bit overwhelming, but once I sat down and collected myself, it was better and even exciting because it was the final.
“I thought it would be hard by looking at the past years' papers I studied, but when I saw today’s paper, it was much better than I expected it to be.
“The school handled everything really well. They first prayed for all of us and then sat us down. They were really organised about everything,” Reddy said.
The provincial government oversaw the first leg of the exam at uMlazi Comtech High School, south of Durban.
KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Education Mbali Frazer, and Deputy Education Minister Dr Reginah Mhaule addressed the pupils before the exam.
There was also a bit of song and dance prior to the address.
Frazer also attended a prayer ceremony hosted by the eThekwini Community Church before the start of the final exam.
KZN achieved an 83% pass rate in the 2022 NSC exams, marking a 6% increase from the 2021 instalment.
The national pass rate also improved from 76.4% in 2021 to 80.1% in 2022.
Learners will sit down for Economics Paper 1 on Tuesday at 9am and additional languages at 2pm.