Matrics focus on your exams and cut out the noise

Learners in class.

The Class of 2021 is being encouraged to focus on studying and writing their exams. Picture Cindy Waxa.

Published Oct 27, 2021


Cape Town – The end is near as the Class of 2021 takes on the final stretch in their schooling careers by writing the National Senior Certificate examinations.

Matrics have started their examinations with the languages papers on Wednesday, October 27 and will conclude the examinations on December 7.

While matric results will be released on January 20, 2022, by Department of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, and the following day provinces would release the results.

But what can be done now, to help this group of matrics write their exams stress-free without any external noise?

Peter Kriel, general manager at The Independent Institute of Education said matric learners needed to remain as focused as possible during exam time, to ensure they achieve the best possible marks to allow them to progress successfully beyond Grade 12.

“Unfortunately, our children over the past two years have had more than the regular share of concerns senior high learners normally need to deal with, and this has had an impact on the way decisions about the future are made. In particular, forward planning has taken a hit, with many parents and students adopting a wait-and-see approach.

“As parents, it remains important to provide guidance and a measure of certainty in this regard, so that children can go ahead and make plans for the future, while keeping in mind that flexibility and resilience may still be needed,” said Kriel.

Some of the concerns that should be dispensed with to ensure matrics can focus single-mindedly on their exams, include the following:

Concern about performance and its impact on post-matric options

Kriel said now is the time to put all your attention on doing as well as possible, until the very last paper. “Don’t dilute your attention by worrying about what you will do if you do not perform as well as hoped.

“Regardless of your performance, there are always paths toward achieving a degree. Of course, the better you perform, the more options you will have straight out of the gate; however, it is important to know that if you do not perform as well as you wanted, there are always doors open.”

Concern about whether 2022 academic year may be again impacted

Many matrics are uncertain about their future, and can’t decide whether they should pursue the studies they wanted to pursue next year or rather just wait and see what the new year holds before making a decision.

“If you have not yet settled on whether you should further your education, make use of the time after examinations to investigate your options, talk to higher education institutions, and get yourself excited about your next steps. A good insurance policy is to make sure that you find an institution that is able to continue with the curriculum without interruption to ensure you’ll finish the academic year successfully even if unforeseen events arise,” said Kriel.

Concern about results and release dates

No matter when your results come, keep your eye on the prize and do what needs to be done, regardless. Currently, dates are always in flux, so it is possible that results release dates may again be impacted.

Kriel encourages parents to remind their children (and themselves) not to get distracted by external noise and logistics.

One way to get focused and feel less anxious, is for parents and students to act on the things they know will happen, even if they don’t know when they will happen, says Kriel.

“Wild speculation about what curve balls may arise is unhelpful and serves no positive purpose. By creating an ocean of calm and certainty about your purpose and direction, knowing that you will handle whatever may arise when it arises, you’ll be able to successfully continue on your road to academic and career success.”