Tips To Manage Your Matric Year

Why your Matric year is vitally important for a successful future

You will remember your Matric year for your entire life. It ends your school years and unlocks the door to your future, whether you are intending to study further or start working after school.

Grade 11 was a tough year, and you may even have been told that Grade 11 is the toughest and most important year of your high school career. If you have any intentions of tertiary study, you would have been told that your final Grade 11 results give you a provisional acceptance into university study.

Matric year

While this is true, your Matric year is vitally important to your future in several ways:


  • Your admittance to university ultimately depends on your final Matric results. Although you may have got straight A’s in Grade 11, if you goof off in Matric and all your marks drop, you have no guarantee of a university acceptance.
  • There are far more university applicants than there are places on offer, so you will not be accepted with mediocre marks. Work hard in Matric!
  • Grade 12 has a high workload which you will need to negotiate in order to fit in all your studies. You will need to develop some time management skills which you may have not used or developed before. These will be so important in your future.
  • Remember that you have a short teaching school year due to all the exams you will be writing this year. You will write mid-year exams in June/July, prelims around September and finals in October/November. You will thus be writing exams most of the year!
  • Pay attention in class. Ask your teacher if you do not understand anything. Your teachers are keen to see you do well and are normally more than willing to assist you.

Tip 1: develop a study plan to ensure that you cover all your subjects and stick to it! Tweak it if necessary but stick to it otherwise! See our tips on how to create a study plan here.

Tip 2: Start working from the beginning of the year! This will take some of the strain off you. Do your homework and ensure that you are understanding the work as you go along. If you run into any trouble with hard-to-understand work, get help sooner rather than later. Hire an experienced and supportive tutor from BrightSparkz Tutors to assist you. They have already successfully negotiated the path that you find yourself on.


  • You will need to manage your time well in order to fit in sports or extra-mural activities as well as some time for a social life with your friends.
  • The better organised you are, the easier it will be to fit everything in. It is good to have balance in your life and not only study all the time. Be sure to factor in some rest and relaxation into your schedule as well.
  • Even if you don’t like sport or exercise, it is vitally important to you when you have such intense study to focus on. All the oxygen your brain will get from you exercising will improve your concentration, as well as give you a healthy, fit body! Choose any form of exercise you prefer, whether a team sport, jogging with a friend, or working out alone in the gym.
  • The Matric Dance or Matric Farewell is on the cards and it is the social event of the year! It is a time that most Grade 12’s look forward to. Even if you are not looking forward to it, it is important to attend the event as it is something which defines an end of a phase in your life and you may always regret not attending. It is also an event that many people reminisce about in years to come.
  • The Matric Dance can be an expensive event, but with some forward planning and saving towards it, you can make the financial impact more bearable. It is also any opportunity to learn about working within a budget and prioritising the elements important to you.

Personal growth and experience

  • Matric is an intense year, full of growth opportunities. It is likely the year where you become old enough to vote in the elections, get a driver’s license – and some independence!
  • You are now a young adult, although still dependent on your parents as you are not yet earning an income and most likely you still live at home.
  • You are beginning to realise that life is opening up for you, and you have many choices to make. The choices you make in this year can set you up for a successful life in the future, or conversely, set you back. This is a daunting thought and might scare you.
  • Remember though that you still have support and resources from your family, school, and friends before you are expected to test your wings and fly on your own. Take advantage of the support you have to grow in life skills, maturity, and even to gain some work experience in your areas of interest if possible.
  • Put some thought into how you’d like your future to look. How are you going to earn a living as an adult? Getting some part time work experience can help you decide!
  • If you intend to study further after Matric, put some serious thought into what you will study. You will likely be doing that work for many years. How will your studies be funded?
  • Students are often short of money and you may need to take on a part-time job to help fund your studies or at least your social life. Consider tutoring as an option. It is a way to learn valuable life skills and give back to others who can benefit from your skills.

BrightSparkz is a great way to gain work experience and help young people excel in life”. (Stephen M.)

I have had a very positive experience working with BrightSparkz. The reps are friendly, every email exchange has been pleasant. They are exceptionally organised, and I feel comfortable knowing I’m working for a serious, reputable company” (Molly J)

Plan to make your Matric year amazing! Learn to manage your time and develop important life skills. Enjoy your friends and family. Plan to study from the beginning and do your best. Make this year memorable for all the right reasons!


Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer

Tutor of the Month: December 2018

Moahi M is our December 2018 Tutor of the Month!

Moahi has been a BrightSparkz tutor since May 2018, and he has done an amazing 121 hours of tutoring since!
Moahi matriculated from Andrews Academy excellent results all-round, including 3 distinctions, which were for Physical Science, Life Science and Maths. Moahi has been accepted to study a Bachelor of Science through the University of Manchester, where he will specialise in Biotechnology. He is a versatile tutor who has tutored Maths to learners in grade 8, 11 and 12, Physical Science to a grade 11 learner, and AP Maths to a grade 11 learner, as well as English to a grade 8 learner. Moahi assisted one of his students in achieving 90% for Maths. Moahi has proved himself to be a hard-working, dedicated and patient tutor and we are so proud to have him on our team as one of our specialist Maths and Physical Science tutors. Thank you for all your hard work Moahi!

Tutor of the Month: November 2018

Sonia M is our November 2018 Tutor of the Month!

Sonia has been a BrightSparkz tutor since November 2016, and is one of our top University-level tutors! 
Sonia is about to graduate with her Post Graduate diploma at the University of Cape Town. She holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree, majoring in Finance with Accounting. She has assisted a number of learners and students with Accounting, and has been tutoring through BrightSparkz since August 2016. She has a love for numbers, however understands that it is not everyone’s strong point and is happy to share her knowledge to help others. She has been nominated twice to be a class representative for two of her University courses. She has also recently received a training contract to do her Accounting Articles at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. Sonia is a friendly, bubbly person who enjoys cooking and reading in her spare time.

Sonia’s clients and learners love her:

“I really enjoy being with Sonia and I intend to be tutored by her in future because she is loving and always patient with me since I have a learning disability. I rate her 10 out of 10.”

“She has been amazing so far, and I think it has helped him a lot.”

“The lesson went very well! Sonia was on time, well turned out and well prepared. She and my daughter had a good report between them. I believe Sonia is an asset to your business.”

The Final Push – Don’t Give Up Now!

Perseverance is a Life Skill

We are almost at the end of a long year – everyone is tired. We are certainly all looking forward to a well deserved break!

If you’re at school or university, you’re most likely writing exams now. You can’t wait to finish your exams. You are feeling fatigued and drained. The thought of your final exam for the year followed by a few weeks off to just sleep in and do whatever you like doing is the most appealing thing right now!

The danger is to get into that “holiday mode” too soon. If you do this, you will lose focus on your upcoming exams and not be able to do your best. It’s not over till it’s over – sorry for bursting your bubble!

Now is not the time to lose focus! These exams comprise a major percentage of your year mark and may determine whether you pass or fail, or even get a higher symbol on your results. A final push is so worth it.


How to Finish Strong

  • Play for the full game! Don’t let up the effort until the final whistle is blown and your final exam is written. Perseverance is a valuable life skill to learn. You can still win just before, or even after, the final whistle.
  • Shake off the bad! If you have written one or two really tough papers which have thrown your confidence a little, remember that you can recoup some of the “damage” by crushing the next papers! Keep a positive mental attitude.
  • Rework your strategy. If what you’ve been doing has not been working well for you, change what you’re doing. Do a Study Skills Crash Course if your study method is not working or get a tutor to help you finish your last exams strong!
  • Prepare. Ensure that you have all the supplies you need for the forthcoming exams. There is nothing worse than arriving for a paper and realizing that your calculator batteries are flat when you need to use it, or your pen is out of ink!
  • Keep up your strength. Eat healthy food to increase your focus and concentration. Cut the junk food which weighs you down and makes your brain sluggish. Foods which increase your focus include, for example, fatty fish, dark chocolate, leafy green vegetables, blueberries and nuts. Keep hydrated with lots of water and not fizzy drinks.
  • Get some oxygen to your brain. Exercise daily in whatever style you like. If you don’t normally exercise, try to go for a daily walk. Breathe in plenty of fresh air.
  • When it’s done it’s done. Avoid negative exam postmortems! It’s unproductive to beat yourself up about what you should’ve, could’ve and would’ve done better. If you know that you did your absolute best, there is nothing else you could’ve, should’ve or would’ve done to change that. Put it behind you.
  • Strategize for next year. You will start next year on a positive note if you have a plan in place. This may include hiring a tutor for next year (tip: the sooner you book a tutor the more likely you are to get an excellent tutor), booking for a Study Skills Crash Course, organizing a dedicated study area at home to use and, above all, setting academic goals. You might neglect goal setting and planning at the start of a hectic new year.  


Once the academic year is over, ensure that you spend some time relaxing. The end-of year holidays are often a mad rush around, without a chance to rest before the mad rush begins again in the new year!

The effort you put into your final push makes your year-end break all the better when you can relax with peace of mind knowing that you have finished strong.


Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Author