Dealing with Stress During Exams

As matriculants, your final year of high school is comprised of exams, exams, and more exams. Your Matric year is a formative event: it is a year in which you are under the most academic pressure you have ever encountered. You have a higher workload and less time to master the work. During this all you are aware that the results you achieve at the end of the year may very well be a determinant for your future. So what do all of these factors cause? A whole lot of stress.

Tales of Stress

During my Matric year and my first year at University, I was under immense pressure to perform well academically. This was brought on by aspirations to be accepted into a degree that requires good academic performance. Over these two years, I tried multiple tactics to stay afloat when it came to my workload. From sleeping 3-4 hours a night for weeks on end, and spending all my waking time working, to following a rigorous schedule of work and sleep, all with varying degrees of success.

One thing all my tactics did have in common: I was burnt out, and unable to work effectively and perform optimally in my academics. My inability to work effectively led me to apply more pressure to myself. This only reinforced this cycle of stress, until I one day decided that I had had enough.

exam stress matric

The Common Denominator

Most scholars and students at all levels of education experience academic stress. This stress, in the right amounts, can increase the physiological and cognitive functioning of a student, therefore improving their work ability and performance. Chronic stress and high cortisol levels, however, can impair brain functioning and suppress the immune system. Students with chronic stress may see a drop in their academic performance.

Students experience this stress for many reasons. It can be due to parental or financial pressure to perform well, pressure from educators to achieve good marks overall, or self-induced pressure to perform well. This stress can become debilitating to students. This is especially true in a year where such a large emphasis is placed on academic performance. It is, therefore, extremely important that this stress be managed effectively in students, to ensure good emotional well-being and, subsequently, good academic performance.

How to Deal with Stress

Managing your stress is a skill-set, and stress management differs from person-to-person. The following tips, however, can guide you in finding ways to effectively manage your stress:

  • Get enough sleep: Sleeping 6-8 hours a night is essential to maintaining the physical and cognitive functioning required of a high school student.
  • Organize: Make sure that you have a good schedule for keeping up with your work, and that you know the requirements of each subject before you start studying. Plan ahead for your Matric prelims and Matric final exams, so that you don’t need to rush through the work.
  • Practice self-care: Engage in activities that are fun, that make you feel relaxed and that distract you from your work. Whether it is to spend time with family, to read or to watch a movie with friends, guilt-free time spent away from your work will energize you and leave you ready to study as efficiently as possible.
  • Exercise: Take 20 minutes to do some light exercise during stressful times. Go you’re your dogs for a walk, or do a yoga workout on YouTube. The exercise will increase the release of serotonin in your body. In turn, this will improve your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.
  • Be kind to yourself: If you performed poorly, if you didn’t stick to your studying schedule, or if you feel like you didn’t work hard enough for a test, take a moment to consider how hard you have been working and use positive emotions as motivation.
  • Ask for help: Whether it’s something small like helping with a problem from a friend, or a cup of coffee from your mom, or asking help from a professional to help manage your stress and anxiety. Make sure to do what is necessary to manage your stress and maintain your mental health in your Matric year.

What BrightSparkz suggests to help lighten the load

  • A tutor can help you understand the work you’re putting so much pressure on yourself to excel in. Our tutors have been through Matric and know what it takes to do well. Whether you need to revise the basics or practice your logarithms, our tutors can help! They’ll fit around your busy schedule. This way you don’t need to worry about time spent getting to extra lessons at inconvenient times.
  • Our Study Skills Crash Course will help you get organized, and use your precious time most effectively. Most Matrics don’t know their learning style or which study methods work best for them. This can add hours on to your studying! Spend your time studying in the best way possible. Our Study Skills Crash Course also only takes 2 hours, and can be done via Skype – so it won’t take away from your study time!

Happy studies.

Written by Inge Ungerer, BrightSparkz tutor & blog contributor

Surviving University

Tips for Surviving Your First Year of University

Congratulations! You’ve completed school successfully and now you’re proceeding to the “rest of your life!” It is an exciting time of life for you! No more school bells, uniforms, book covering or teachers! Freedom calls.

You are looking forward to university (where you don’t have to wear a uniform, listen for the bell or cover books). You have far more independence and will be able to structure your own time. People are treating you more like an adult, and with that, they will also be expecting more from you.

Perhaps you are going to a university far from home and not only do you have to learn to adjust to university life, but also to living in a student residence far away from everyone you know. Even if you’ll still be staying at home, there are adjustments you should make, and things you should know.

Time Management

  • Managing your own time effectively is a vital life skill you will have to acquire quickly if you are lacking in that area!
  • Get yourself up on time in the morning. Get to classes on time – some lecturers may lock you out of the lecture theatre if you are late! They will NOT repeat anything that they have already said if you come in late. They will not prompt you or fuss over you like your teachers may have done.
  • If you are commuting by car or public transport, make sure you factor in that time. You may face traffic or the unreliability of public transport.
  • You will have to submit your assignments on time. If you don’t, or don’t apply for an extension (which you won’t always get), you will fail that assignment, and possibly even the semester.
  • Ensure that you have enough time planned for doing your studies and managing your social life.
  • You can, and should, get involved in activities at university as it enriches you as a person. However, don’t do so much that you have very little study time! Value and protect your time.

Money Management

  • Most students find that money is short. It may be a stretch for your parents to send you to university and there is no money left for entertainment or petrol. You will need to get a job. A great choice of student work is to become a tutor.
  • Tutoring offers you flexibility (only tutor in the times that suit you), and it is a great way to gain skills like time management, building relationships and goal setting with your learners. Some feedback from our tutors:

“I can schedule my own times for tutoring and the pay is really good” Steven H.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity to not just serve but in the process to build relationships as well”. Marlene v. H.

“I’ve had an amazing experience with Brightsparkz. There are always new opportunities to learn and expand your horizons and give back to the youth of today and leaders of tomorrow”. Chelsea S.

  • Petrol is expensive, so if your friends want you to drive them around, consider forming a lift club. If you are the only one with a car, everyone needs to contribute!

Managing your studies

You will find that university study is far different from studying at school. The work load is far more than you ever had before.

  • You will have to take notes during your lectures at the pace that the lecturer is speaking. Usually, lecturers don’t slow down and dictate notes at a speed suitable for you – they have a lot of material to get through. Learn to write quickly and legibly or try to record the lecture to play back later.
  • Get into the habit of reading over your notes after lectures so you can ensure that you understand the content and can do something early if you are lost. If you don’t act swiftly to get help, you will soon be faced with a huge backlog of work that you don’t understand!
  • If you are struggling in any of your subjects, get help fast! Check if your lecturer or mentor is available to assist, or hire a professional tutor who has already successfully passed the  module or degree you are doing.
  • When your study break comes before exams, make a study plan and stick to it! You will find it difficult to get away with studying the day before as you may have done when you were at school.

 

Your first year of university is indeed an exciting time for you! Enjoy every moment. It is a privilege not to be taken lightly as many deserving students do not have the means to study at a tertiary institution. Plan properly, and you will have a successful and memorable first year!

 

Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer

How to study most effectively based on your learning style

Get great results by using the best study methods for your learning style!

We are all so unique in so many ways, and the way we learn (take in, retain and use information) is no different! Knowing your learning style will help you to determine the best way to study to achieve the results you deserve. As part of our unique BrightSparkz approach, we encourage learners to complete a learning styles assessment as part of our tutoring process. If you want to find out what your learning style is, you can find out by booking our 2 hour Study Skills Crash Course

Types of learning styles and their study methods

Visual (Spatial) Learners

This type of learner is very comfortable in a spatial environment – they can easily understand the relationship between object placement and the environment (how objects fit into the environment). They enjoy colour, images, diagrams and maps.

Study methods for the visual learner

  • Mind maps
  • Summaries or outlines
  • Using colour and colour-coded notes
  • Bullet lists with stars
  • Graphs or charts
  • Using visual technology (online tutoring will work well for this learning style)

Auditory Learners

People who reinforce their learning through sound, enjoy music and often sing to themselves are auditory learners. They enjoy podcasts and recorded lectures.

Study methods for the auditory learner

  • Reading aloud to themselves
  • Teaching others verbally using their study notes
  • Study groups where the material is discussed
  • Reading their notes aloud and recording for study purposes
  • Making up rhymes or songs using their study material
  • Recording and listening to lectures

Verbal (Linguistic) Learners

Verbal learners tend to be articulate people who express themselves well and they enjoy words, both written and spoken.

Study methods for the verbal learner

  • Memorization (they have excellent memories)
  • Reading through notes and writing summaries
  • Using keywords (keyword cards)
  • Word games, rhymes
  • Brain dumping their thoughts onto paper
  • Acting out or role-playing concepts

Kinesthetic Learners

These learners are hands-on and learn best by doing activities using touch and movement. They are sensory learners.

Study methods for the kinesthetic learner

  • Drawing diagrams or pictures
  • Physically making a model of a concept
  • Using building blocks, or physically counting objects
  • Reciting whilst walking, running or being physically
  • Sitting on a medicine (Pilates) ball at their desk
  • Using interactive technology like our Mobile Maths & Science app

Logical (Mathematical) Learners

Logical learners are great problem solves who understand cause and effect easily. They often excel at mathematics and analyse and classify everything.

Study methods for the logical learner

  • Using numbers and statistics – numbers games
  • Classifying and organizing the information
  • Identifying reasons for the way things are
  • Solving mathematical concepts

Social (Interpersonal) Learners

This type of learner thrives in groups as they get positive reinforcement from others. They are often confident and great communicators who enjoy relating to others.

Study methods for the social learner

  • Studying in groups
  • Discussions or sharing knowledge verbally
  • Teaching others what they have learned
  • Acting/role playing

Solitary (Intrapersonal) Learners

Some people prefer studying alone, using their great goal-setting and time management skills. They need a quiet, undisturbed environment to study in.

Study methods for the solitary learner

  • Studying in a quiet environment without interruptions
  • Using a study timetable
  • Working alone and not in a group
  • Using imagery and their vivid imaginations
  • Using a journal or personal notes they have developed

Regardless of what learning style you may use, our skilled tutors will be able to assist you to achieve your best possible result with the upcoming exams. Our friendly consultants will assist you to decide on a tutor who best suits your needs, so get in touch today!

 

Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Author

Is It Worth Writing Matric Supplementary Exams?

Should you write supplementary exams?

If you have written your Matric examinations and your results were disappointing, you have an option to improve your results.  Perhaps you passed Grade 12 but failed to get the good results you need for university entrance for a specific course? Maybe you failed Matric and don’t qualify to get a Matric certificate, and you are concerned about not being able to get a job without one?  

Matric rewrite supplementary exam

Whatever your reasons may be, writing supplementary Matric exams is an option to consider. There are major benefits to do so, even though the thought of putting your life back a year is daunting. Yes, your friends may be moving on to greater things like tertiary study, working, or taking a gap year while you are stuck doing Matric work again! Yes, you can’t bear the thought of doing the same schoolwork again when you could not wait to put it behind you. Yes, you are disappointed at this roadblock in your life which right now feels like a devastating blow!

You have taken a serious knock to your self-confidence and you’re not sure which direction to follow. If you passed overall, should you give up your dreams of getting a university entrance or studying a specific field because your marks were not good enough? Should you settle for something else? If you failed your Matric exams, is it worth it to rewrite and get a Matric certificate? Should you suffer through the pain of trying to improve your Maths and Science marks? Will it really make a difference? Perhaps you were not planning to study further anyway, so why bother?

Good questions! However, you need to look beyond the here and now for your answers. Why give up your dreams if it is possible to still reach for them (even though it may be a little inconvenient now?). What happens if you settle for something else and you regret it later, or decide after a few years of working that you would like to study again but you don’t have a Matric certificate?

Having a Matric certificate gives you more options in life in terms of job opportunities, and who doesn’t like having options? You will find it difficult to find employment without Matric and even then, the most menial type of work possible. It may seem unimportant to you now as it is exciting to earn money, especially if you’re not used to having any, but it wears thin quickly if your earning potential never increases and you have to settle for anything you can get.

Although it seems like a big sacrifice to put your life on hold while you write supplementary exams, it is a small price to pay for all the years of a better future which lie ahead. It is worth doing merely to improve your options in life. (Particularly, improving on your Maths and Science marks if you have those as subjects, will allow you almost unlimited options in your study choices).

Matric rewrite supplementary exam

How to succeed in your supplementary exam

You will need to do things differently to ensure a better outcome than the first time you wrote your Grade 12 exams. You will need to be disciplined, to manage your time well, and to set some realistic study goals. Remember that a failed exam does not define you! The power is in your hands. If you feel like you don’t know how to study correctly, and you suspect that this has adversely affected your marks, try a Study Skills Crash Course. If you did not understand some aspects of the work, you will need to get some help – either enroll at a college which offers matric rewrites, or do it yourself with the help of past papers and a tutor. A highly qualified tutor will be able to offer you academic and emotional support. Your tutor has walked the path ahead of you and knows what it takes to get the Matric results you want!

Give yourself every opportunity for a bright future and consider writing supplementary Matric examinations! Book a tutor to help you now!

Supplementary Exam Infographic  Supplementary Exam Tutor

 

 

 

Written by: Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff and Blog Writer

On Set with BrightSparkz Tutors

Lights, camera, action!

BrightSparkz Location Tutors

In the year that BrightSparkz Tutors has been providing film production companies with on-set (location) tutors and childminders, our tutors have travelled all over South Africa, from Mpumalanga and the Drakensberg, to the Cederberg and all over Cape Town. No day is ever the same, with stunts taking place, weather being made, crazy costumes and crazier make up, and incredible sets being built overnight. One thing stays the same – this is a film set, not a school, and children partaking as lead actors or extra’s need to be kept occupied, safe, and ready to head to set at a moment’s notice.

Any minor working on a filmset must legally be accompanied by a childminder. This role frequently extends to tutoring, as the school-ages actors and extras are often out of school for days or weeks at a time while filming, and someone needs to ensure their daily schooling requirements are met!

Schooling starts when the children sign in, and location tutors check up on their schooling needs and homework, which subjects they need help with today and what their schedule will be like. BrightSparkz ensures that there is a tutor on set that can handle questions from any major subject (Maths, Science, English and Afrikaans, and others if necessary – this sometimes includes other countries’ curricula!). Once on set, and in-between takes, the books come out. BrightSparkz’ childminders and tutors help the children through any tough course work, helping them through any school-related problems they may be having, as well as supervising homework and studying. It’s important for the children to stay up to date with their school work, and do something productive with all the time spent waiting around!

Location tutors and child minders also act as a go-between for staff and school-aged actors/extras, shuttling them to set when needed, collecting them for meals and scenes, and ensuring that all children are where they should be, when they should be there! (Our tutors sometimes need eyes at the back of our heads, and on the sides!). A major concern on set is safety. Any set always has a great deal of heavy equipment, cables, cameras – and this just the smaller things. Stunts and explosions, fire or snakes and scorpions are just some of the things that threaten the children’s safety. It is also these things that amaze the children as they watch a stunt or listen to a snake wrangler explain the way the snakes’ poison works (a lesson they will never forget – no books or tests required!).

BrightSparkz’ location tutors and childminders have another important job – being an advocate and voice for school-ages actors/kids in an adult-dominated environment, making sure they have someone to turn to, to ask for advice, or even to speak up if the time between bathroom breaks becomes too long!

BrightSparkz ensures that tutors and childminders are suitably qualified, with university and teaching degrees or well on their way to obtaining them, as well as experience tutoring the subjects they are on set to tutor. They are also passionate about children and education, and aim to make the exciting experience of working on a filmset both fun and productive!

The BrightSparkz team also provide regular updates and report-backs to the production team on academic matters, as well as personally liaise with schools and parents regarding examinations and assignments. We currently supply location tutors and child minders in Cape Town and Johannesburg, but tutors in other locations can also be arranged. Get in touch with us if you are interested in booking a location tutor, or becoming a location tutor!

The Crucial Importance of the Grade 11 Year

Setting up Your Future for Success

Coasting through high school and waking up just before your Matric finals to put forth massive effort may seem appealing, but it is short-sighted and unwise! Unless you (or your family) is abundantly wealthy, and you believe that you’ll never need to be concerned with earning a sustainable income, you need to be aware of the importance of the impact of your Grade 11 year on your future success.

Here’s why…

Grade 11 forms the platform for much of what you need to learn for Grade 12. It builds the knowledge you need to base your Matric material on. If you don’t pay attention throughout your Grade 11 year, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot later.

Studying is important in grade 11

If you intend to study at university, your Grade 11 marks are vitally important. You could possibly use these marks initially when applying for your degree or diploma of choice.

Granted, your Grade 11 marks can only give you provisional acceptance and you would still need to excel in your Matric finals, but it gives you a bit of breathing room in Grade 12 if you have a solid Grade 11 foundation – like a free headstart. You’d have to perform quite badly in Grade 12 to lose your provisional acceptance.

There is a critical shortage of places available at South African universities. For example, for the 2017 academic year, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) had a total of only 10 500 places to offer to more than 135 500 first year applicants, and the University of the Witwatersrand had only 6 200 first year places and around 69 000 applications!

Looking at these figures, it’s clear how foolish it would be to mess around during your Grade 11 year while others are working hard and gaining provisional acceptance at the sought after universities? Waiting for your Matric year to deliver the goods puts you on the back foot and makes your life unnecessarily difficult.

Does that mean that if you do badly in Grade 11 and extremely well in Matric, that you won’t get an opportunity to attend university? Not exactly, but you’ll have to wait in line. You may have to defer your studies for a year due to those with early acceptance getting preference, and improve on your marks even more.

University entrance is competitiveIf you are struggling to get the marks you need to do well in Grade 11, consider getting help sooner rather than later. Brightsparkz Tutors can help you to achieve the results you need with a hand-picked tutor especially for you. Your tutor may also be able to guide and advise you about university life as they may be studying themselves, or be a graduate who has been through it all.

Another bonus! Early application with Grade 11 results will give you the option to apply for bursaries, as well as one of the limited spaces in a university residence of your choice.

Taking your grade 11 year seriously and putting in your best effort serves as a “practice run” for your Matric year, and will make your life a lot easier in Matric too. It will help you prepare, and identify gaps in your knowledge. It also instils self-discipline which is needed not only for Grade 12, but also for study at university of college.

Use your Grade 11 year to put some serious thought into your future – what are you planning to study? Where would you like to study if you’re accepted? Are your marks good enough in the correct subjects to study what you’d like to do? (By now, you should’ve chosen the subjects you need, but if you need to make a change – the beginning of Grade 11 is the latest we’d advise this).

Now that you realize the importance of your Grade 11 year, what can you do to improve your chances of success for the future you want?

Develop a plan to put yourself ahead of the other approximately 800 000 of your peers who will compete with you for university places and jobs after school. Even if you do not intend to study further after school, you will still need to compete for employment, both in South Africa and abroad.

Start building a CVStart building a CV (curriculum vitae) for yourself. School leavers and even new graduates often struggle to obtain employment as they have no work experience. It’s difficult to get relevant work experience when you are still at school, but it can be done. Here’s how:

– If your school promotes a “Grade 11 Job Shadowing” project, participate wholeheartedly. If you don’t know what this is, it’s an opportunity for Grade 11 learners to spend a week (often during the school holidays), job shadowing the type of work they’d like to do (preferably) in an organisation which is willing to engage with school learners in this manner.

– If your school does not promote this initiative, be pro-active and approach some companies yourself to organise it. The experience will be invaluable in providing you with insight into working life, and whether you’re suited to a certain type of work. Bear in mind that some companies might not agree to your request, but keep trying.

– You can ask your family, your friends’ parents, your parents’ friends or your Life Orientation teacher for companies they may know who may be willing to give you an opportunity for job shadowing. Once you know who you’d like to approach, do it personally, either via email, phone call or visit. Do not let your parents ask for you – you are the one who needs to do the work, and it demonstrates maturity and pro-activeness.

Be on time!

– When you get the opportunity, treat it as a proper job. If everyone starts work at 8am sharp, make sure that you are ready to start work at that time. Do what you are told to do as well as you can. Do not walk around with your cell phone hanging from your hand. Be observant, and help wherever you can.

– At the end of the week, ask for a reference. Hopefully it will be a good one. Perhaps it will even open the door for you once you finish school for a job opportunity, or even a bursary. Add the reference to your CV.

– Don’t expect payment. You’re getting something better than payment – free experience (although they may pay, it’s unlikely).

– Accumulate other valuable references from doing weekends work or part time jobs. Anything that sets you apart from the masses will be to your benefit. Even working as a waitron and being on time and diligent can earn you a good reference as someone who is reliable and learns fast.

Volunteer!

– Volunteering at an animal shelter or a weekend job at the local vet for example, can improve your chances of being accepted into veterinary studies (a very specialised field). You will have relevant experience and be showing a keen interest when selections for places are made, provided you also have the necessary grades.

Volunteer

– Volunteering for community service work, or helping at church (holiday club or youth work), or helping at an orphanage may also lead to some great references for you. Most of your peers will not do this and it will set you apart.

 

Putting some thought into your future after school can go a long way in determining your success, and you are encouraged to start as early as Grade 11!

If you want to improve your marks (and increase your chance of getting into a great university) get a tutor or take a Study Skills Crash Course!

Supplementary Exam: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a 2018 Matriculant looking to be accepted into a tertiary institution or hoping to become employed, passing Matric and receiving your certificate is one of the essentials. However, due to various circumstances, Matric exams may have been an overwhelming struggle for you, resulting in you not meeting the minimum requirements to pass Grade 12 and step into your planned future. But all is not lost – you may qualify for a supplementary exam (now called a second national exam), allowing you a second chance to pass your failed subject/s.

Supplementary exam vs Rewriting your Matric

If you didn’t get the results you were hoping for in Matric, you qualify to write a second national exam (previously called supplementary exams) in the year immediately after your Matric final. You can also re-enroll for your Matric year, and retake the end of year exams, up to 5 years after you completed Matric. If you Matriculated more than 5 years ago, you can apply for an Amended Senior Certificate. All second national exams (for supplementary exams and Amended Senior certificate exams) will now be written in June, while re-enrolling in Matric will mean you take all Matric exams again (mid-year, prelims and finals at the end of the year).

Do I qualify to write a supplementary exam?

According to the Department of Education you qualify for a supplementary exam:

  • If you did not pass Grade 12 but need to pass 2 subjects to obtain your NSC. You can register to retake any number of subjects for your supplementary exam. However, you need to have written these subjects during their final year exam.
  • If you were medically unfit or had another special reason for being absent for an exam.
  • In the instance of a death in your immediate family, you may register for the supplementary examination.
  • If you provide evidence that you qualify for admission to a higher education institution/occupation but do not satisfy the requirements, or if you are one requirement short in meeting the minimum admission requirements for higher certificate, diploma and bachelor degree programs, you can register for supplementary exams. 
  • In a case where an irregularity is being investigated, provisional enrollment for supplementary examination may be granted, pending the outcome of the investigation.
  • If you were unable to write or complete one or more of the National Senior Certificate examination question papers for reasons other than illness or injury. The school principal will need to submit a report to the Head of the assessment body.

How do I register for a supplementary exam?

  1. Contact the Department of Education, via your school.
  2. Applications will close in January 2020. But avoid any further stress and register as soon as possible, after receiving your results.

The supplementary examinations usually take place in June 2020, however, the 2020 dates have not yet been finalized, so keep an eye on the media releases posted on the Department of Education website, as well as updates posted via our BrightSparkzSA Twitter page and BrightSparkz Tutors Facebook page.

 

2018 IEB EXAMINATION RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE

03 JANUARY 2019 at Midnight

2018 NSC (NOT WESTERN CAPE) EXAMINATION RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE

04 JANUARY 2019 at Midnight

2018 NSC (WESTERN CAPE) EXAMINATION RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE

05 JANUARY 2019 at Midnight

Individual results available at schools and www.education.gov.za

 

If you’d like to receive an instant Email or SMS as soon as your results are released, sign up via the eNCA website – the official partners of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) for 2019 Matric results.

*For answers to other frequently asked questions about supplementary exams, visit: http://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/NationalSeniorCertificate(NSC)Examinations/tabid/338/Default.aspx

How do I prepare for my supplementary exam?

  • Past Exam Papers

Past exam papers are some of the best form of revision. Get access to a number of papers for various subjects via YOU Online or directly from the Department of Education’s examinations page.

  • Tutoring

This is also an excellent time to consider tutoring. Our tutors will assist you with those difficult sections of work you just can’t seem to grasp on your own. They will help ensure you cover all the material needed before your rewrite. You will improve your chances of improving your marks by getting support systems in place well in advance.

Get in touch with us via our supplementary exam page and we’ll set you up with a tutor who will be there with you every step of the way.

We want to see you succeed, and assist you in achieving the marks that you not only need, but are capable of.

What do I do if I don’t qualify to write a supplementary exam?

If you don’t meet the criteria for a supplementary exam (listed above), you have the following options:

  • Re-enroll for the NSC at a school without delay, if you are younger than 21 years old. Enroll as a part-time candidate at a Public Adult Education Centre, if you are older than 21
  • Register for the Senior Certificate (SC) examination which is a school leaving qualification for adults and out-of school learners
  • Alternatively, if you were not successful in your examinations, you could consider vocational education and training. There are 50 Public Further Education and Training (FET) colleges across all provinces of South Africa comprising over 300 campuses or teaching sites.

 

Find out more information, or book a tutor for your supplementary exams now!

Still not sure if a supplementary exam is for you? Read our blog article to decide!

Supplementary Exam Infographic Supplementary Exam Tutor

 

 

 

Written By: Ashleigh de Jager, BrightSparkz Blog Writer (containing inserts from the DoE website)

So You Think You Failed a Matric Subject: What Next?

Your Options If You’ve Failed a Matric Subject

Passing Matric is essential; it is the culmination of twelve years of education, and a basic requirement to access tertiary education. Many employers are reluctant to hire those without a Matric certificate, and if you have failed a Matric subject, things may seem pretty bleak.

Fortunately, you may qualify for a supplementary examination (i.e. a Matric re-write), allowing you to have a second go at the subjects you failed. According to the Department of Basic Education website, you may qualify for a supplementary exam if you:

  • Were medically unfit on the day of the exam;
  • Do not meet admission requirements for Higher Education;
  • Experienced personal problems such as a death in the family; or
  • Failed a maximum of two subjects

If you meet these criteria, and want to register for a re-write, then contact the Department of Education, via your school.  The deadline to register for a supplementary exam is the end of January, but it is best to register as soon as possible after you receive your results. The supplementary examinations now take place in June. The 2020 dates have not yet been finalized so keep an eye on the media releases posted on the Department of Education website once the Matric results are released.

This is also an excellent time to consider tutoring, to assist you with those difficult sections of work and to help you cover all the material needed before you write your exam. By getting support systems in place well in advance of your Matric re-write, you will improve your chances of improving your marks and passing your subject. It is important to know, however, that it is also up to you to pass, so start observing good study habits: make up a timetable; give yourself a good, clean, well-lit study area, away from the hustle and bustle of the house.

Get in touch with us soon (don’t wait until the last minute) and we’ll get you set up with a tutor who will be there with you every step of the way. We want to see you succeed, and assist you in achieving the marks that you want to get!

 

Written by Conor Engelbrecht, Maths & Science Tutor

How to Write an Essay

We all know the basics of how to write an essay and most of us are pretty confident in our abilities to write a decent essay. However, there are certain points that are easily forgotten and let’s not forget those annoying little mistakes that sneak their way in and take away marks. Our tutors have offered us a recap of effective essay writing and clarification on a few errors that are easily fixed.

What is the difference between a discursive and argumentative essay?

Discursive Essays: Discuss different views of one particular topic. Every point FOR should have a point AGAINST. It is important not to communicate your own opinion in discursive essays so stay away from using the words “I” and “me”. Be as objective as possible.

Argumentative Essays: Are an argument either for or against something.

The Writing Structure

Introduction

The introduction is specifically for introducing the topic that your essay will discuss. At varsity level, your introduction should briefly state the aspects of the topic that you will be writing but it won’t hurt to start doing this in high school. For example, if you are writing an essay discussing the pros and cons of the death penalty, then you will introduce what the death penalty is. You will then state, very briefly, the aspects of the death penalty that you will be discussing.

In an argumentative essay – State what you are arguing in the introduction and give a brief explanation of how you will validate your argument.

In a discursive essay – State what you are discussing and the different views that relate to the topic.

Body

The body of the essay should be the bulk of your writing.

Argumentative Essay – The body of your essay should have one paragraph per point that you make. Then each point must be emphasised and tie back to the introduction.

Discursive Essay – For every point that you make FOR something, you need to make a point AGAINST. Try not to convey any feelings of bias. Use words and phrases such as: However, this said, contrary to, and so on.  You should have one point for and one point against for every paragraph. These two points need to relate to one another in some way and every paragraph needs to relate back to the main topic.

Conclusion

Your conclusion sums up everything that you have discussed in the body of your essay; you MUST NOT make any new points or arguments in your conclusion. Some essays may require you to voice your own opinion in the conclusion but only do this when required.

Other NB Things to Remember

  • Always write short and concise sentences rather than long and pretty ones! While high English may seem like a good idea, essays are most convincing when sentences are short and to the point. Rather make one long sentence into two shorter ones! If you can, then use a period instead of a comma. The same goes for wording; if you can use one word instead of three, then do so.
  • Do not use the word “however” too often. Rather mix it up with; “this said”, “in relation to the above”, “as aforementioned”, “while so and so said this, X and Y said this” and any other similar examples that you can come up with. Varsities are especially strict on this!
  • Do not use word contractions; rather write out the two words. Write, “Do not” instead of “don’t” and “is not” instead of “isn’t”.
  • Never start a sentence with the words, “but” or “and”.
  • Don’t use the same word twice in a paragraph to explain or refer to the same thing
  • Write in the active voice rather than the passive wherever possible.
  • Validate every “fact” that you make (where did you get it from, why is this true?)
  • Book titles are italicised and poem names are in inverted comma
  • Do not use two words together that mean the same thing – this is redundant. How many times have you heard someone say, “I need to enter my PIN number.” PIN is an acronym for personal identification number; so, in the statement quoted above, the word “number” is redundant. Some other examples include ATM machine, HPV virus and ACT test.
  • State what “it” is. Don’t assume the reader knows
  • Eliminate comma splices: When a sentence includes a comma separating two distinct thoughts, it is referred to as a comma splice. If the two parts of the sentence will each stand independently, use a period instead of a comma. If the parts are loosely associated and together from a complete thought, use a semicolon.
  • Do not confuse “who” and “whom”: “Who” and “whoever” are subjective pronouns; “whom” and “whomever” are in the objective case. This means that “who” (and the same for “whoever”) is always subject to a verb, and that “whom” (and the same for “whomever”) is always the object in a sentence. The two sentences below illustrate the easy usage in which “who” is clearly the subject and “whom” is clearly the object. In such simple cases, virtually everyone can determine the proper choice:

If you are still not 100% sure how to write an essay, our tutors are available to help you.

Happy writing 🙂