Matric results: how to prepare

Exams are over! It’s now time to rest,relax and party! Or is it?  We will break down life after exams and waiting for matric results.
Matric results are different from exam results of years gone by.  These determine whether you get to leave school at last or if you have to face another year!  They could also be the defining factor in whether you will be able to study at a tertiary institute next year.

Matric Results: the Weight of the Work Done
Once the excitement of newfound freedom wears off, you’ll start realising that this is the last time you’ll write exams in high school. It’s over, it’s done. There’s no going back. Unless you fail. Oh, no, what if you fail?  Suddenly the elation you feel turns to dread as you face the long wait for your matric results – and begin second-guessing everything you wrote in the process! You can put yourself through a tough time.

Mental Preparation: get your head in the game 
The waiting game can be a hard one to play. It is important to focus your attention on how you can be mentally and practically prepared for both accessing your results AND the consequences thereof. What do you do with yourself while you wait? 

Sleep! – we’re sure that with the stress of final exams, you pulled a few all-nighters? Now is the perfect time to put that to bed – literally – and get some much needed physical and mental rest.
Get a hobby – you now have a lot of spare time on your hands and maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at painting or making fun changes to your clothes, like studs and strategic tears.
Exercise – working up a sweat is a great way to rid your body of tension. If you don’t like hitting the machines in the gym, round up some friends for a hike or volleyball on the beach.
Get some wise counsel – what you also have time for now is considering life after matric. Chat to a student advisor or school counsellor or even just an older family member or friend about your fears and aspirations. 

Beyond Matric Results: what are my Options?
So the day has finally arrived. You’ve woken up way too early and marched yourself down to the school because you just can’t take it anymore. You open the envelope and . . . it’s not what you expected. 
If you’ve failed matric, don’t be too discouraged. The weight of this news may fill you with despair, but once you get over the initial shock, you’ll realise that you’ve got options: 

Request a recheck of your results – there is a cost to this, however. To simply add up the marks again is around R20 per paper but to check every answer again is around R100 per paper.
Apply to rewrite – rewrites take place in February and March the year after you were meant to graduate and applications close in January. To qualify for a rewrite, you have to meet one of the following criteria:

1. failed up to two subjects
2. had medical reasons for missing exams
3. do not have good enough marks to enter into higher education
4. had traumatic personal problems during exams
You can study further without matric – numerous accredited distance learning institutes in South Africa don’t require you to have matric to study. But if you wish to go to university, you will have to pass Grade 12. Alternatively, you could do short courses or intern/work full time.
 If all else fails – no pun intended – you will have to redo matric.

If you’ve passed, congratulations! But you aren’t off the hook either. There are still some decisions to be made. Don’t fret. You also have the option to take alternative routes to studying further. You may want to also consider interning or working full-time if you don’t yet know what you want to study. A gap year is also a great option to travel and experience other provinces or countries abroad. But if you know what you want to study and are eager to do it now, then make sure you get your applications in on time. 
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There’s no doubt that there is more pressure on matric students now than there would have been in our parents’ time. If you’ve done your best, then no matter the result, you can face it with bravery. Just be sure to have fun while you wait! 🙂

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