The Matric Class of 2020 is entering the final stretch of their school careers and their exams, after facing down one of the most disruptive years Grade 12s have arguably ever faced as a collective.
While the pressure is slowly lifting, and the end is in sight, now is the time to double down and give the final push to achieve to the best of their ability, says Natasha Madhav, Senior Head of Programme: Faculty of ICT at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest private higher education provider.
“This year has been so hard, and brought up so many different challenges for Matrics, and they must be applauded for getting this far given all the uncertainty, missed school days for many, and losing out on all the big events and milestones that make this year so special,” Natasha adds.
Here’s how you can help your child through the final stretch:
Help your child to maintain momentum
Remind your child that she has already come this far with everything that COVID and the lockdowns has thrown at her. Natasha says we should remind our kids that they’re already set up for success with their newly developed resilience and grit, and that they should use these new skills to maintain their momentum in coming days to ensure they score every single mark they can in their remaining papers.
She points out that with most of the papers behind students, it is mostly the comparatively less challenging subjects remaining, which may lead Matrics to approach the next few weeks with a more relaxed attitude towards revising.
Remind your child that every mark counts
Natasha says it’s important to remember that every mark counts toward improving your child’s aggregate, and therefore their options for their future, whether in terms of which higher education institution they can gain access to, or whether they can gain access to their chosen qualification.
“Given the massive competition for limited opportunities, even small differences between candidates can have a substantial impact on outcomes,” she says.
Help your child combat fatigue
Natasha says the most important thing to combat now is fatigue – physical and emotional – to ensure your child finishes strong.
She says parents should make sure their matric child gets enough fresh air and exercise and takes regular short breaks that don’t involve a screen.
The next 2 weeks still matter
Remind your child that regardless of their performance in previous papers, whether it was good or less than satisfactory, their performance over these next 2 weeks can still make a positive impact on their overall results.
On the other hand, if your child did well in previous papers, remind them now is not the time to relax and let the chips fall where they may.
If your child didn’t do as well as they have hoped until now, tell them to let that go and focus on what they can still make happen. Tell your child not to panic, because every mark makes a difference and there is still opportunity for them to improve on their general result, Natasha says.
Focus on the here and now
Natasha says that students should apply a single-minded, laser-like focus to their studies right now, and leave their hopes and anxieties for the future to one side while they complete their exams.
She says this will allow your child to start investigating their future path armed with the best results they could achieve, and to discover all the interesting and exciting study and career paths for which they may now likely qualify as a result of their final determination and drive.
“Greater options don’t equate to lessened competition, so putting in the work during these final days can make all the difference in future,” Natasha concludes.
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