There is absolute silence. One can hear the tick-tock sound of the clock, as the hours slowly trickle into minutes. Time is of the essence. You hear the noise of the female invigilator’s heels as she slowly walks through the narrow passage of compact school desks filled with potential future leaders…
It’s that time of the year again where more than 60 000 students will put pen to paper to write one of the most important test of their lives−Matric examinations.
Writing this exam is very much like getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time− the excitement of independence, mixed with fear of the road ahead.
It’s not a myth that this is a very stressful time for any grade 12 learner, especially those who wish to excel academically.
18-year-old Shireen Koks is a grade 12 pupil at DF Malan High school in Bellville. She said: “At my school we get loads of homework and class tests. This ensures that we study often throughout the year.”
In my opinion it’s safe to say when you’re in matric you don’t really have a social life. The only thing you’re compelled to like is your books. The only thing you’ll poke is your brain.
No Twitter. The only tweet you’ll hear is that of an actual bird- confirming that it’s time to wake-up again, even though you’ve hardly had any sleep trying to prepare for a test. No BBM. The only person you chat to is yourself. This is considered to be normal; in matric it’s called studying. There is no time for leisure.
However, you must learn to strategize. Koks says, “I believe that there need to be a balance between studies and your social life, I do get leisure time but you should know the right time for that.”
Each student occupying a seat has a different view of the road. Those who’ve studied will accelerate from one question to the next, while those who didn’t study, sees flashing red lights the whole paper through.
Want some good advice from a retired matric student? Start studying now.
Another pupil agrees with this. “I try to study everyday, though I don’t always achieve this goal but I’ve already started studying for the finals”, says Ashleigh Petersen from Belhar High school.
Parents become the encouraging passengers as they journey with their kids, wishing they could switch seats with them. Petersen says her mom temporarily relieved her from some of her chores just so that she can have more time to study.
As for teachers, they deserve some credit too. They are the driving-force behind every learner.
Being a matriculant requires dedication and commitment. You need to be the driver of your own academic vehicle. Truth is, no-one can write this exam on your behalf. Steer away from thoughts and friends that try to distract or discourage you. As you take your seat on October 28, let pride overtake your fears and anxiety.
Don’t speed through the paper. Take your time. It will all be worth it when you see your name in the newspaper, signalling that you’ve made it!