CAPS Matric Past Papers: Physical Science


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Are you looking to download the matric past exam papers? Here is a complete list of Physical Science past exam papers to make your studies more effective!


As the Matric exam season approaches and Matric learners aim to get good results, being prepared is of utmost importance. If you are trying to prepare for the upcoming Matric Finals and looking to find some old exam papers to work through, then you have come to the right place.

What Are Matric Past Exam Papers?

Matric past exam papers are tests or exams that have been written in previous years.

If you are in matric (Grade 12), these can help you prepare for your final matric exams. They will help you understand the structure of question papers, and familiarise yourself with what to expect in your exam. 

Grade 12 past exam papers allows learners to review and consolidate their knowledge of the subject. By attempting questions from previous exams, matric learners can identify areas where they need further study and practice, simultaneously helping them to focus on specific topics and concepts that are likely to appear in the upcoming matric finals. 

If you are in Matric, the importance of using old exam papers in preparing for your National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams or for IEB exams, cannot be over emphasised when it comes to helping you pass Matric and achieve academic success.

By using Grade 12 past exam papers as part of your preparation, you can find out what you already know. By the same token, you also find out what you do not know well enough or don’t know at all.

What's more, Grade 12 past exam papers can also be used as an organisational tool to manage your time better, as you can plan according to each section of the exam paper. They also help familiarise yourself with the terminology and vocabulary used in the actual exam.

Grade 12 past exam papers don't only count as a good way to revise, but also gives you a feel of what's to come with your own final Matric exams.

Here are some Matric past papers for Physical Sciences

If you're a Grade 12 learner and Physical Sciences is one of your subjects, these past papers will definitely come in handy.

June 2019

November 2019

November 2020

November 2021

June 2022

November 2022

When To Do Past Exam Papers For Matric?

If you are looking to increase your final term or year mark, then Grade 12 past exam papers can be useful. After you have studied everything you need to know, you can challenge yourself by doing past exam question papers, for any subject such as Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematics, English Home Language, Afrikaans, Business Studies, Visual Arts, Life Orientation and others. 

Normally, it is better to try doing past exam papers two weeks before your set exam date. That way you can refresh your memory and revise all the work you have studied. 

Tips On Using Past Papers 

Being a Grade 12 learner means that you are under pressure. Finding ways to study smart and effectively will help you pass your exams with results and a Matric certificate you are proud of. 

These few tips for working through past papers will help to use your resources as effectively as possible: 

  • Prepare to write the past exam papers like you are writing your actual exams
  • Work through past exam papers and memos with the help of your notes if necessary
  • Set the time to work through past exam papers 
  • If the exam is 1 hour 30 minutes, then you should also work through it using that time frame
  • Check your answers to the questions

What are the advantages of using past exam papers?

There are loads of benefits of using Matric past exam papers and memos when studying. Since you’ll become more familiar with how the questions are set, you’ll feel more confident when you take your seat in the exam. Advantages of studying using past Matric exam papers include:

  • You find out what you know and what you still have to focus on 
  • Helps you set time for each section 
  • Prepares you for your Matric exams
  • Getting familiar with the exam instructions
  • Grasp different style questions 

Past exam papers are one of the most helpful tools available to prepare for both internal and external examinations as they provides learners with practical insight into how the forthcoming exam paper is likely to look and the key themes or subject areas most likely to be covered.

Before starting revision for a subject it is always worth taking time to seek out past exam papers along with the accompanying memos. Make the most out of your resources and use our tips on how to use Matric past exam papers.

What are the disadvantages of using past exam papers?

Using past exam question papers to study is detrimental if not done right. Some disadvantages include: 

  • Learners rely only on past papers to study, instead of alongside study guides and textbooks
  • Past exam papers do not focus on all the content or subjects 
  • Some past papers may contain older information that is not studied any more
  • Past papers tend to make you believe that you will see the same questions in your exam

When using NSC past exam papers, it's important for learners to approach them as realistic exam simulations, attempting the questions under timed conditions and following the instructions. Learners should also use them in conjunction with other study guides, textbooks, and classroom lessons to ensure comprehensive exam preparation to achieve a pass.

Where you can find past exam papers 

If you are looking for previously written/old question papers and memos, there are a few websites where you can get these, and which are available for download. These are some free websites with the best resources that you can visit:

The Department of Basic Education is responsible for distributing Matric certificates and allows access to Matric results online, via the Basic Education's website. 

Why should learners study with past papers?

Build Familiarity with the NSC Exam Style

Deciding to study past papers (along with other study materials) gives learners an opportunity to become familiar with the style and format of the final exams in their Matric year. Learners can get a sense of the types of questions asked, the level of difficulty, and the structure of the exam. This familiarity helps reduce exam anxiety and allows students to approach the actual exam with confidence.

Content Revision

Going through past question papers can be one of the best resources for Matric exam prep, as it covers a range of topics, subjects and concepts that are typically included in the matric exams. By practicing with past papers, learners can revise and reinforce their understanding of the subject matter. It helps them identify areas where they need further study and practice.

Application of Knowledge

Past Grade 12 exam papers require learners to apply their knowledge to solve problems and answer questions. This application-based approach helps students develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and enhances their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Time Management Skills

Attempting past exam papers under timed conditions helps learners develop effective time management skills. They learn how to allocate their time wisely to each section or question, ensuring they complete the paper within the given time frame. This practice improves their speed and helps them avoid time-related stress during the actual exam.

Identification of Weak Areas

By working through Grade 12 past exam papers, learners can identify their weak areas and areas where they commonly make mistakes. This self-assessment allows them to focus on those areas during their study and revision, ensuring they have a thorough understanding of all the necessary topics.

Exam Technique and Strategy

Past exam papers and memos provide an opportunity for learners to develop effective exam techniques and strategies. By reviewing the solutions and marking criteria, students can understand the expectations of examiners, learn how to structure their answers, and gain insights into the level of detail and depth required for each question.

Confidence Building

Regular practice with past exam papers and memos builds learners' confidence. As they become more familiar with the exam format and content, and as they see improvements in their performance over time, their confidence in their abilities grows. This confidence translates into better performance during the actual exam paper.

How Do You Pass Matric?

You pass Matric by obtaining one of the four Matric Pass Levels. These are: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree Pass
  • Diploma Pass
  • Higher Certificate Pass
  • National Senior Certificate Pass

When you pass Matric, you will be awarded a Matric Certificate, which is issued by the Department of Basic Education. If you fail Matric, you have the option to rewrite your exams or ask that your exams be remarked.

Study tips

Here are some study tips to help you prepare for the exams:

  1. Have all your materials ready before you begin studying – pencils, pens, highlighters, paper, etc.
  2. Be positive. Make sure your brain holds onto the information you are learning by reminding yourself how important it is to remember the work and get the marks.
  3. Take a walk outside. A change of scenery will stimulate your learning. You’ll be surprised at how much more you take in after being outside in the fresh air.
  4. Break up your learning sections into manageable parts. Trying to learn too much at one time will only result in a tired, unfocused and anxious brain.
  5. Keep your study sessions short but effective and reward yourself with short, constructive breaks.
  6. Teach your concepts to anyone who will listen. It might feel strange at first, but it is definitely worth reading your revision notes aloud.
  7. Your brain learns well with colours and pictures. Try to use them whenever you can.
  8. Be confident with the learning areas you know well and focus your brain energy on the sections that you find more difficult to take in.
  9. Repetition is the key to retaining information you have to learn. Keep going – don’t give up!
  10. Sleeping at least 8 hours every night, eating properly and drinking plenty of water are all important things you need to do for your brain. Studying for exams is like strenuous exercise, so you must be physically prepared.

What To Do On Exam Day

  • Make sure you have all the necessary stationery for your exam, i.e. pens, pencils, eraser and calculator (with new batteries). Make sure you bring your ID document and examination admission letter.
  • Arrive on time, at least one hour before the start of the exam.
  • Go to the toilet before entering the exam room. You don’t want to waste valuable time going to the toilet during the exam.
  • Use the 10 minutes reading time to read the instructions carefully. This helps to ‘open’ the information in your brain. All questions are compulsory, unless indicated otherwise, but you do not have to answer them in order. Start with the question you think is the easiest to get the flow going.
  • Break the questions down to make sure you understand what is being asked. If you don’t answer the question properly you won’t get any marks for it. Look for the key words in the question to know how to answer it.
  • Try all the questions. Each question has some easy marks in it so make sure that you do all the questions in the exam.
  • Never panic, even if the question seems difficult at first. It will be linked to something you have covered. Find the connection.
  • Manage your time properly. Don’t waste time on questions you are unsure of. Move on and come back if time allows.
  • Check weighting – how many marks have been allocated for your answer? Do not give more or less information than is required.
  • Write big and bold and clearly. You will get more marks if the marker can read your answer clearly.


Suggested Article:

Technical Science

Today we bring you CAPS Matric past papers for Technical Science. Matric past papers are a great way to prepare for your Matric final exams.

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