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Taking the madness out of matric

examExam time is on the horizon and it is a stressful time of year for students, as well as their parents and teachers. The thinking goes like this: your whole school career has built up to this moment. You just have one shot. Your future success and happiness is at stake. Don’t mess it up! A bit of stress can be a good thing – it focuses the mind and improves performance – but too much pressure has the opposite effect. High and persistent stress makes your body produce a hormone called cortisol which can lead to anxiety, depression and can also impair brain function. So here are our top five tips to de-stress, focus and take the madness out of matric:

  1. Be prepared. No amount of last minute cramming can replace slow and steady preparation. And the more prepared you are, the less stressed you will feel. But it is not too late to start the hard graft now. Do a little every day and it won’t seem like a big mountain to climb come exam time.
  2. Keep perspective. Yes, it is important to do well. Yes, it all comes down to how well you do in these exams BUT, if you don’t do as well as you wanted to, it is also not the end of the world. You can write supplemental exams; you can apply for a re-mark; you can do some of your subjects again next year. You have your whole life ahead, there’s time.
  3. Look after yourself. Think of your mind and body as a finely tuned machine which needs proper maintenance to perform at its best. Try to eat regular, sensible and balanced meals. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Take a mental break once in a while. And make sure you get enough sleep.
  4. Ask for help. There are no prizes for suffering in silence. If you are anxious, or you don’t understand something, or think you are going to do badly, don’t wait until the wheels come off. Speak to your parents, a teacher, an auntie, your friends but ask for the help you need now. Or contact Dial-a-Teacher on 0801 112 234 for free support from a qualified teacher over the phone.
  5. Have fun! Matric is not just exams and stress, it is also your last year of school FOREVER so make the most of it, live in the moment and enjoy time with your friends before you all head off in different directions. Your future starts today.

Are you stressed or struggling with exams? All LEAP Grade 12s have access to Dial-a-Teacher for FREE. If you have a question or a problem at school that you would like some extra help with when you are not at school, simply call the toll free number 0801 112 234 or send a Please call Me SMS to 081 487 9308.  A friendly, qualified and experienced teacher will help you with your problem in either English or your mother tongue over the telephone.

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