Pass Matric with an A++

Are those mascara wands at the ready? Did you remember to buy that little red number at Edgars? Got a date yet?

Yes, we all know that the matric dance is approaching and right now that’s one of the things at the top of your list. As exciting as it all seems, remember that a number of matric students are focusing on the daunting final examination that determines what institution you are chosen to study at and the type of career you spend the rest of your life doing. Scary isn’t it? Although it may seem like this phase of your life is the be all and end all, it isn’t. Remember if something does not go as planned, there’s always plan B and if B fails then there are many more letters of the alphabet to consider. There are a number of things you can do to ensure that you pass matric with exceptional results.

pass matric in south africa

Be alert in class

If you want to pass matric well, make sure that you aren’t that kid at the back of the classroom catching up on some sleep as the Biology teacher covers the chapter on crossbreeding because that same chapter will probably meet you in the examination room. Before you catch the school bus, down a bowl of Kellogg’s with a fresh glass of orange juice.  A Norwegian study concluded that those who ate breakfast regularly had a reduced risk of reading, writing and learning difficulties. If you’re in a hurry to catch the bus, do what I do and refrigerate apple slices coated in peanut butter and eat it on the way to school; you might need a napkin, it gets messy but it is tasty and loaded with energy. You can also create apple dip by mixing peanut butter, Greek yoghurt and honey together and refrigerating it overnight and snacking on it in the morning as it is an easy and on-the-go snack. The recipe is created by Ashton on Something Swanky at .

Foods that boost brain power

Feeling sluggish? Remember your food intake determines the outcome of your performance whether that is on the sports field, gym or in the classroom. The following foods help keep the brain alert:


 The brain cannot function without energy.  Select wheat bran, brown pasta and oatmeal (avoid instant oats as it contains a high glycaemic index).

Oily Fish

I hope you love fish. Essential fatty acids are not made by the body and may be obtained by eating oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and kippers. If you’re lucky enough to live in Cape Town, visit Kalky’s ( that offers affordable freshly caught fish and a homely atmosphere (big on appetite, great for the budget!).  Oily fish is good for the brain, heart and joints.


I for one love broccoli. Just try dipping it into melted cheese (don’t overdo it with the cheese) and voila! Gone are the nightmares of broccoli.  Allow broccoli to sit for a few minutes in order to contain the nutrients and then steam it for five minutes. Broccoli is packed with vitamin C, B6, vitamin A and antioxidants.  Victoria Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at the University of Texas at Austin confirmed that the vegetable is high in protein.

Go crazy on nuts!

Avoid snacking on junk food. Push those Flings away and snack on almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews and brain-shaped walnuts. Nuts are loaded with vitamin E which helps prevent cognitive decline, you’ll thank us when you’re old!

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are packed with zinc and boosts memory. Toasted pumpkin seeds are great to snack on while studying. Try out the recipe provided by Food Network Magazine at .

Make notes in class

Writing down valuable information does not involve doodling. Unless you are in the visual arts class, no one would like to take a peek at your extraordinary Picasso copy; save the entertainment for break time.

Listen carefully to your teacher and write down the information that is most valuable and which is easily interpreted. Buy an affordable notebook at Pep and label it with the name of the subject. Avoid writing all your notes on an examination pad as all that valuable information may easily be lost in the trash.

Not a fan of lengthy sentences? Draw up a mind map that is clearly labelled and organised. A study conducted by Farrand, Hussain and Hennessey (2002) concluded that mind mapping improved the long-term memory of factual information and encouraged a deeper level of processing information.

The Importance of Past Papers

Practice, practice and more practice. To pass matric well, be sure to download past papers at  and start cracking if you want to pass matric for well. Your Mathematics paper can be equated to the Comrades marathon; you need to consistently train in order to achieve the best outcome. The teacher is the subject’s medium; don’t be afraid to ask questions even if you have to sit with an algebraic problem after school, do it!

Is it past your bedtime?

According to the National Institute of Health, young people between 12-18 years of age should be getting sleep of between 8.5-10 hours per day.  Sleep is a necessity and improves mental capacity. We all need to charge up just like that IPod of yours in order to prepare for the day ahead. Skimp on much needed shuteye and you’re headed for a mental breakdown. Watching television before bed is a big no no as it stimulates the brain which means no late night Walking Dead.  Put your phone off when you get ready for bed as it gives off electromagnetic radiation that keeps you awake.

Be Positive

Your last year in school should always be positive and it is best to finish high school with a bang! Amanda Owen Online Education offers great tuition packages for South African students in Mathematics and Physical Science. In order to pass matric well, remember to reach for the moon and make your dreams come true by studying hard and not being afraid to ask for help when needed.


By: Sasheera Gounden

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