Prepare well for exams

MATRIC pupils all over South Africa have the finish line in sight as the race to complete their schooling career nears its end.

Cindy Glass, director and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, said: “There is no doubt that the current trial and upcoming final exams can be a sources of anxiety and stress for most, if not all, Grade 12 pupils, and their parents. The task ahead can feel overwhelmingly challenging and the resulting fear of failure can and too often, does become counter-productive in the learning process.”

It need not be a negative experience at all. Glass shares some tips to ensure matric trials and finals success.

• Start today. Get hold of a calendar. Identify your trial and final exam dates. Use the calendar to plan your study schedule for each day. You must tick off each completed task as you go as this will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

• Set your goals for each subject. Ensure that your goals are realistic. Be creative in writing these goals on an A4 piece of card which you can stick on the wall in your study area. Take the time to remind yourself of what you wish to achieve, every day. This will keep you motivated.

• Get hold of as many past exam papers as you can. Working through past papers (and using the memos to check that you are on the right path) will ensure that you are ready for the actual exams. Past exam papers are key to effective exam preparation.

• Looking at the enormity of all that needs to be done for the exams can feel overwhelming. Use your calendar to break this big task into smaller, more manageable, bite-size pieces. Be consistent and hold yourself accountable for making sure that you cover the work needed.

• Ensure that you have a designated space to study. A small desk, a comfortable chair, good lighting and the stationery that you will need must be in place before you begin.

• The best way to study is to put pen to paper. You are seven times more likely to remember information if you write it down. Again, focus on past exam papers. Write down the answers and practise in writing, in the areas you are unsure of.

• Look after yourself. This is a time to eat healthily, exercise, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep.

• Avoid distractions. Be self-disciplined and switch off your cellphone. Remember that you honour yourself by being intrinsically motivated and disciplined.

Glass concluded by saying: “Matric exams need not feel like an insurmountable task. Don’t look backwards. Start working towards achieving the best that you can, today. Trust yourself and know that you can do this.”