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How to optimise your matric final prep time

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The National Senior Certificate exams countdown clock on the Department of Basic Education’s website shows that the Class of 2019 will sit down to their last school exams in about 60 days. 

Although all schools should be providing learners with past papers during this final revision time, learners should go one further and gather additional papers, which can be found on various sites online, as well as at good institutions of higher learning. Learners attending upcoming Open Days at universities or private institutions can make use of the opportunity while there, to speak to student counsellors about accessing past papers available at the institution.

MAPPING THE QUESTIONS ASKED TO THE WORK COVERED IN CLASS & TEXTBOOKS
When revising – whether by reviewing classwork, textbooks, completing past papers or looking at prelim exam papers – take note of which questions are asked time and time again. There is an excellent chance these questions will be making their appearance in your own final exams, albeit potentially in a different format, so ensure that you pay extra attention to them.

HIGHLIGHTING SECTIONS & QUESTIONS THAT WERE PROBLEMATIC OR CHALLENGING
If you constantly find yourself struggling with specific questions or sections of work, and if these consistently arose in previous papers, it is time to do the hard work and face down the challenge. Compile a document for each subject, summarizing the hardest to conquer sections, and keep this close by at all times. Go back to it over and over, and in 2 months’ time you will be much more confident when faced with previously problematic work.

CREATING A DOCUMENT SUMMARISING THE SECTIONS WITH WHICH YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE
While work with which you feel more comfortable requires less of your focus, it is good to have a document summarizing these sections as well, to reference in coming weeks. Focusing only on the hard stuff, without occasionally going back to the easier stuff, could lead to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation. You need to maintain a good balance of hard work on the challenging material, with deep consolidation of the work which you have already mastered.

“Eight weeks is still a sufficient amount of time to get some decent revision and preparation done,” says Payne.

“Using this time optimally and strategically can bring about a substantial improvement in your results. But the key is to get going, and get going right now. While two months may feel like a long time, procrastinating for a day or two can have a snowball effect, and you may find yourself left with little time to do more than cramming

“But if you get started, today, on the steps above, you will be reaping the rewards of being confidently prepared when you step into the exam room in October.”

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