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It’s that time of the school calendar year where everyone’s eyes are directly pointed at the country’s Matric students. The time of reckoning for grade 12 pupils is here since what they write will influence their 2018 objectives. The school uniform will be a thing of the past. Often that is accompanied by realities and responsibilities of being an adult. With almost everything resting on the exams outcome a lot happens when preparing for final exams.

Our education system is often a subject of ridicule because of the policies, leadership, learner conduct and Matric results. With a reduced passing percentage over the years to a mere 30% mark; the Matric pass rate has improved, however not without controversy. The reduction of the pass rate has been labelled as lowering the standard in education. Many people do pass matric at the end of the year but do not make it to universities because they have scored fewer points than those required by universities. Passing matric with few distinctions means that your university path is cleared and can lead you to the University of your choice with less obstacles along the way.

Not doing too well on your matric means even if you do qualify for university studies, you might not make the grade for your initial chosen career/field of study, which leads to people studying fields they do not like. It means you have to rewrite your matric again in search of better marks. Therefore doing your level best in this exam will help you avoid such delays and implications.

Universities are not the only institutions that will give you best education. Government Colleges often give you education that has professional job training for the chosen field of study.  The Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges are an excellent alternative.

This is both an exciting and stressful time for the class of 2017. The excitement and the buzz around Matriculants because of the anticipation of going to tertiary can be overwhelming. The stress and pressure from within an individual as well as from outside collides in the mind of one person, creating a burden for most people. The goals set by an individual and the voices that keep reminding them not to mess up, swells up creating immense pressure.  Of course this pressure keeps you alert and focused but it can also be negative. It will keep you on your toes and working your socks off to achieve good marks but equally dangerous because you can burn out and be mentally exhausted during our exam, this creates panic attacks and anxiety. Say for an example you study every day for long hours and take fewer breaks in between, that tension is building up in your body to the point where it cannot be contained any long then you could crash or have a breakdown.

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You need a balance between hard work and enough rest.

Pressure from outside comes from people around you, could be parents comparing to the neighbors’ child on how they doing with their studies or when they keep showing you university brochures. It also comes from friends/peers/classmates. Like when you have just completed writing a particular subject, then you partake in a random group discussion on what answers everyone gave to a particular exam question. That triggers panic and stress when you realize that you may have given an answer different to what everyone says they gave. Therefore if possible avoid such random groups. Also these group discussions include plans after Matric, in most times this can drive you into another panic mode and could feel like you‘re missing out or you ‘re not adequately prepare.

Later in this article we have prepared few pointers to handle exams to help you get through the “exam fever”

For now let’s look at the positive pressure:  You may be the only one from your family to have a Matric certificate, first to go to University and later secure that professional employment. That is good pressure, a motivation if you will. Class of 2017 you need motivation you need to know exactly why are you writing the exams? A good teacher of mine once said “study smarter not harder” This doesn’t mean necessarily that you rest on your laurels but it means managing  your time well, do the things you should do at the time you should do them, discipline is key.

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To help you with exam pressure and with study tips here are 10 tips from Career Planet (2017)

 

  1. Find your style!

We are different and that includes the way we learn. Before you hit the books, ask yourself whether you are a visual person (see), auditory (hear) or kinaesthetic (hands on) learner.

  • If you are visual person (someone who studies best seeing things): underline or highlight key points in bright colours. Look at your teachers when they talk and write things down because you will remember them easier that way.
  • If you are an auditory person (someone who learns best by hearing things) recite things out loud and make up songs about your subject matter. Use your phone if you have no other recording device and play them back to yourself.
  • If you are a kinaesthetic or tactile person (someone who learns best by touching things) walk around the room, chew gum or squeeze a tennis ball while you are studying. Use role playing with a partner or demonstrate what you have just read or learnt.
  1. Study buddies!

Form study groups with friends and peers- it often helps to study in a group and can be easier than trying to do it alone, so says Janine Shamos, Resilience therapist and lecture.

 

  1. Location! Location! Location!

Whether it’s the library, classroom, community hall or your bedroom, claim your study space. It should be a place where you can concentrate and limit distractions. Turn off outside distractions like cell phones and computers so says Welmoet Bok a Cape Town clinical psychologist.

 

  1. Keep calm and collected!

While external distractions can interfere with your ability to study, inner worries can also get you down. Says Welmoet, ‘’Internal distractions such as intrusive thoughts, emotions or physical ailments or even hunger can distract from one’s focus. It’s therefore important to try to make sure that you are as calm and comfortable as possible before getting down to the studies.’’

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  1. Past papers!

Past or exemplar papers are a great way to get to know the type of question you will face in exams. They will also help you work out how much you already know or identify your weak areas ahead of time. Matric past papers are a great way to prepare for final exams.

 

  1. Find your guide!

Don’t be afraid to use study guides- they are there to help!

 

  1. Table it!

A proper timetable is essential party of your study survival guide. To draw up a study planner, divide a table into days and time slots fill in times when you are committed to doing something else like a part time job, regular assignments or exercise. Once you have filled in these areas, you will see gaps you have to study.

 

  1. Time it right!

Listen to your clock: if you are a night owl set study sessions at night; if you are an early bird, factor study time into your mornings but don’t over stretch yourself!

 

  1. Get physical!

Take time out. You want to study smart not hard. That means allowing time for physical activity.

 

  1. Reach out!

Never be afraid to ask for help, ‘’find someone in your family who you can lean on emotionally or talk to about any feelings you might have about exams and performance. It should be someone who can empathise and provide some helpful words of wisdom when you feel overwhelmed,’’ advises Dennen.

 

We hope you get much needed help from Career Planet’s tips and you get support from people around you. Now here are five motivational tips from Tag My School.

  • Think before you ink
  • Go an extra mile to obtain extraordinary results
  • Have faith in yourself
  • Enjoy this period in life, have no regrets
  • Represent yourself well as you are also representing your family, school, community and country.

As TMS we wish the best of luck to the class of 2017, we are behind you all the way and hope guys find this article helpful.