"Matric is the gateway to further study and an indicator of success at the end of 12 long years within the school system - a student who does not pass matric will have no proof of their educational status. It is no wonder that there is such pressure before exam time," says Natalie Rabson, Marketing Manager at Boston City Campus & Business College.
Due to limited space available at tertiary institutions, the stress of being successful in the matric exams becomes more severe. For example, at three of Gauteng's leading tertiary institutions only one in four applications will be accepted. Having to make a career choice, the affordability of studying further, bursary applications and securing study loans, also adds to the pressure.
"Yes the pressure is on and unfortunately learners go to extreme emotional lengths to make things worse for themselves. It's as if the fear of failure suddenly takes centre stage. But matric exams shouldn't be like this - exam time should be a positive academic experience," says Rabson.
So, how does one best approach this final step in one's school life and give oneself the competitive edge to be accepted at a tertiary institution? Here are a few tips:
- Condition yourself not to stress and panic. Normal levels of stress can help you think faster and more effectively, but if anxiety becomes overwhelming it can have the opposite effect.
- Today it's proven that alternating study locations improves retention. This happens because of the way the brain makes associations between what it is studying and the background sensations that are occurring. Forcing the brain to make many associations with the same material provides the support needed to improve memory.
- Research shows that it's better to study different but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing. Thiswillhelpleave a deeper impression on the brain.
- Writing more, including making class and textbook reading notes and creating review sheets, and of course mind-maps,helps imprint information andwill improve retention.
- Avoid cramming- rather space your studies in a way that helps you take in information. This improves memory and doesn't require more effort.
- Do use the Internetwhen you need to, whether you seek more advice on how best to study for exams or if you need greater explanation on a subject. Continuously test yourself. It will help you store the information better and make it more accessible.
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and remind yourself of those times when you were successful, and what you did to be successful. Stay calm, stay positive, and prior to your matric exam, just focus. Try and set the challenges of the year that follows aside.
Now is also a good time to remember that no CV is complete without experience and a relevant education is not always enough to kick-start one's career path. What's more, and because in-house training is so time consuming and expensive,most employers look for candidates with some form of job-related experience.
"Boston recognises the importance of this and has created a unique and innovative internship programme in which it partners with businesses to give its students the ultimate edge when entering the workplace. With theExperience It programme,Boston ensures that students are employable from the moment they have completed their studies. Made possible through the great relationships Boston has nurtured with various companies over the years, the simple wish to get a foot in the door can now become a reality for all graduates," adds Rabson.
The internships offered by these companies is a first step in that direction and may even lead to job offers if the students are able to prove their competence. Choosing Boston therefore means choosing the ultimate edge when entering the workplace.
To read more about these course options and the many others available visit
, like us on Facebook, or call 011 551 2000