Prepare for trials with the PROVES method

MATRICS 2018 should now be deep into preparing for their upcoming mock exams — which are only a few weeks away — and ultimately the final exams of their school careers in two months’ time.

“Pupils now need to go beyond reading and re-reading their textbooks and notes, and employ a more holistic strategy which will position them to bring their very best to the exam room,” says Wonga Ntshinga, Senior Head of Programme at the Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, South Africa’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution.

Ntshinga says that, at this stage of the game, the PROVES method is a great approach to follow, as it helps to cement the academic work in the learner’s mind, while expanding understanding from different angles.

Additionally, it gets learners in the right frame of mind to withstand the anxiety and stress which can negatively impact performance.

The PROVES method can be broken down into six components.

* PRACTISE by writing past papers or example questions rather than just reading. Most schools should make past papers available to their learners, but it is also a good idea to get ones in addition to those provided by your school.

* REFRESH by making sure you are eating, sleeping and exercising enough. Cramming into the early hours of the morning before an exam will leave you stressed, exhausted and unable to focus. It is important now to look after your physical and mental health as well as throwing your weight behind your books.

* ORGANISE yourself, your time and your work. Having a neat working environment and a clear plan for what you need to do and study every day, as well as having the relevant materials sorted and on hand, will go a long way to reduce anxiety and optimise learning.

* VISUALISE by using colour and mind maps and other strategies rather than just words, so that you can use more of your brain.

* EXPLAIN by answering questions or telling friends or relatives about your work. It is not until you have tried to explain what you know that you can assess if you know enough to answer the questions.

* SOCIAL MEDIA can be used as an academic tool to expand your understanding and grasp of your work. This can best be done by getting together a study group of equally dedicated and committed peers, and using the various platforms for specific purposes.

Some of the various channels and apps that can be used include Google, Whatsapp, Facebook and YouTube.

GOOGLE to find a wealth of online resources. From how to handle exam stress, to self-marking mock papers, study timetable templates and content/concept lists. Do a search for “Matric Exams 2018”, which will provide many excellent results which can assist you in your preparation and motivation.

A dedicated WHATSAPP study group enables discussion, last minute clarifications and sharing of notes. It is best to align study breaks within the group, and put your mobile on airplane mode while you’re hitting the books. When taking a break, connect with your peers via WhatsApp to share your understanding, successes and concerns.

FACEBOOK groups for specific subjects is a great way to share materials and visuals, while enabling group discussions.

When it’s time to take a break from the written word, go to YOUTUBE to find videos related to the content you are studying. Sometimes seeing something explained in video format will clarify things you just weren’t able to pin down while going through your textbooks.