Revision Tips For Matric Exams

With your finals looming on the horizon, you should probably be thinking about revising your work. But it can be difficult, so here are some revision tips for all you Matrics out there.

Everyone is different, and that means that there’s no magical study method or revision method that works for everyone. However, there are plenty of techniques, tips, tricks and hacks out there. The trick is finding one that works for you.

That said, here are a couple of tips and tricks for you to try that could push you from a B to an A, or a C to a B, and so on.

Notes don’t have to be pretty

Revision is supposed to be a quick process, refreshing you on the work you’ve done throughout the year. As such, the notes you revise from do not need to be works of art; keep it simple and you’ll save time.

Use your study leave wisely

I know, I know. But it’s true: when you’ve got a week off between exams, it’s easy to put the revision off and just chill. Resist the temptation! Get up early (say 8:00 AM or earlier) and start working as early in the day as possible.

Revise in short bursts

Our brains are silly things; sometimes, it can difficult to stay focused on one thing for a long period of time. The best way to get around this is to revise in sessions of 45 minutes each, separated by 15 minute breaks.

Use your breaks wisely

Just because you’re taking breaks doesn’t mean you should just sit yourself down in front of the TV and veg out for 15 minutes. Take the time to stretch your legs, get yourself a cup of tea, a glass of juice, whatever. Get some fresh air and try to avoid watching TV or playing video games.

Form a Revision Group

Teaming up with friends can be a great way to revise. Working with others allows you to test one another and check your progress. Maybe one of your friends is great at Maths but sucks ass at History – share your knowledge! Team ups are always fun: just ask the Avengers, the Defenders, the Justice League, the X-Men, etc, etc.

No revising in bed!

Forgive the profanity, but you’ve heard the saying “don’t shit where you eat”, right? Resist the urge to revise while propped up in bed; sit at a desk or a table, where you can keep your space more orderly and avoid nodding off.

Practice makes Perfect

Past papers. You probably hiss at the very mention of them by now but they’re worth it. Working through past papers is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for your finals; it doesn’t matter how well you know the work if you don’t know what kind of questions to expect!

Avoid the Worriers

We’ve all been there: we walk out of an exam room and we all start comparing answers. All of a sudden you hear that the answer to question 2.1.1 wasn’t “4.5” or “3.2” but “Nelson Mandela” and you’re left questioning yourself for the rest of the day. Try to avoid the post-exam debrief and definitely don’t study with people known to go to pieces around exams.

Healthy snacks are where it’s AT

Revision is taxing work. All that mental work takes a toll and that means it’s important for you to stay hydrated and well fed. But avoid energy drinks (as best you can), candies, chocolates, soft drinks, etc. Stick to water, fruit juice and healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruit.

Your social life is dead

As sucky as it is, you need to accept that until you hand your very last exam paper in your social life is effectively dead. No parties, no nights on the town, nothing of the sort. Right now, your focus needs to be on revision and passing.

That said, the occasional chilled gathering of friends can be beneficial: relaxing and taking your mind off of exams for a couple of hours can leave you feeling refreshed afterwards. Just be responsible.

And there you have it: 10 top tips for Matric revision!


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3 tips on dealing with matric stress

St Peter’s College education psychologist Laila Jeebodh-Desai has given candidates some tips on dealing with matric stress. 

Try these three steps to create a positive and powerful response to your exam anxiety:

Stage 1: Acceptance
Try not to fight the fact that exams are around the corner, and will be a part of your academic journey to help you get to your next stage of achievement. Accepting this fact will allow you to shift your mindset to become less resentful and more accepting about your approach to the exams.

Stage 2: Stop procrastinating
Stop thinking about studying and get started on your prep today. Trust your instincts and study using a routine that works best for you. Some students like to work in their room, others in a library or some while listening to music. Find the one which makes you most productive, stick with it, and get started.

Stage 3: Strategise
It helps to be organised. Stress tends to grow in chaotic circumstances, so if you know study is required for an exam, then make a revision timetable or schedule.

Timing is important. Try to give yourself enough time in your schedule to cover all the work required, and if you have already run short of time, then prioritise. Work out which are the most important topics you need to cover. Is anything compulsory? Is there anything incomplete? Is there something that you can ask your teacher to clarify? Use the opportunity to organise your schedule and make use of your time wisely.


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Matric Study Tips

The upside is that in being tested this way, you have the opportunity to discover new and deeper aspects of your strength and resilience. You can think of the experience as being on a ‘Hero’s Journey’ where you want to be facing challenges with all your wits about you, so that you can achieve the best possible results. For that to happen, you need to ensure your physical and emotional health.

Remember that Well-being means it’s important to:

  1. Eat Healthily
  2. Get Enough Sleep
  3. Be Physically Active
  4. Connect to people who are Supportive
  5. Remember to have down-time

Parents and Matric Exams

Parents can play a role in supporting a matriculate’s journey. Especially with regards to ensuring that they go into their matric exams in the best possible frame of mind. As such, Naidoo has some matric study tips aimed at parents of matriculants:

  1. Understand and Encourage: When facing a stressed and anxious matriculant, replace a ‘been there, done that, now you can too’ approach with ‘I understand’ and encouragement.
  2. Acknowledge your child’s efforts: Noticing and affirming their choices such as turning down a party to study or going for a quick run before getting back to the books can lift the spirits and instil confidence.
  3. Manage Your Expectations: Keep your expectations about this particular child’s matric process and outcomes realistic and make adjustments if they are not. Each child is different, and your child currently going through matric won’t be going through it like older siblings might have.
  4. Review Responsibilities: See where you can help by temporarily relieving your matriculant of time-consuming family responsibilities. For instance, it is likely to be appreciated if they are not expected to babysit younger siblings as they might usually do.
  5. Maintaining Balance: Model a healthy balance by inviting them out for walk or suggesting watching a favourite TV programme when they’ve been locked in studies for hours

“Parents can play a role in supporting the mental well-being of a matriculant.”

Once you’ve conquered matric and completed your trial by fire, it’s time to contemplate the next stage your journey. Consider studying counselling and psychology. SACAP offers a wide range of qualifications, including and a one-of-a-kind approach to learning: academic rigour and applied skills.

For more information on how to successfully get through your matric exams, watch as our expert speakers give advice on emotional well-being, healthy eating and movement here.


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