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Matric exams begin today!

How ready are you and your teen for the challenging exam time?
By Adele Hamilton

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
At 9am this morning, matrics who are writing English will file into their exam rooms and kick off this year’s exams.

The next few weeks will pass in a whirl for students of subjects as diverse as Gudjarat , Nautical Science and Equine Studies.

For those of us who rode to our own final exams in an ox wagon, the whole thing seems pretty daunting, while for our kids it is the culmination of what they have been working towards for the past 12 years.

Visit the department of Basic Education’s website to download a copy of their useful study booklet, which offers a breakdown of the study areas for each subject, comprehensive study and exam-writing tips, and a sample of a study timetable.  It also contains the full exam timetable.

Along with advice on staying fit and reading regularly, learners are also advised to brush up their writing skills: ‘We are all judged, every day, on our writing – we can inspire, impress, persuade, congratulate and express love in writing. Write at least 400 words every day – carefully, accurately and beautifully.’

That’s quite a tall order, but presumably a good tip to impress examiners who must get annoyed by the hideous scrawl many entrants present them with.

Here’s our advice for parents

Take it and you just might make it to the last exam, which happens to be Design on 1 December.

Make sure:
  • That your household continues to run in its usual routine; that food appears on the table and there is enough privacy for your teen to hit the books.
  • That you get enough sleep. Seriously, this is not the time to get insomnia-cranky.
  • You are on time to fetch and carry your son on exam days or that he has enough money for transport.
  • You are a coach, not a slave driver. If he wants to watch a football match or she wants to go swimming one afternoon, it is not the end of the world as long as the studying is clearly top priority the rest of the time.
  • You don’t make it about yourself. This is your matric’s time to shine. Avoid speeches like: ‘Why do you do this to me? Haven’t I TOLD you to make a study timetable? Now look at you, you’re going to fail!’
  • You have a plan to celebrate the end of exams as a family (in addition to your child’s plans with friends.) Pass or fail, it is a huge achievement to have made it this far and it deserves a special meal around the table together.
Updated 24 October 2011.

How does your family get through exam time? Share your memories of your own matric exams below or mail us at

Read more on: matric  |  teen  |  care  |  nutrition


The end of shotgun parenting

2015-08-11 15:19

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