How to deal with disappointing matric results

How to deal with disappointing matric results

Here's what your child can do if he/she failed or did poorly in their matric exams.

Pupils exam results

It's almost time for the class of 2017 to find out how they did in their matric exams. 

The Education Department will officially release the National Senior Certificate results on Friday, January 5. 

Pupils who wrote the IEB exams received their results on Tuesday, with 98.76% of learners passing.

But the NSC results are generally lower. The class of 2016 achieved a 72.5% pass rate.

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It will be an anxious wait for many learners, especially those who are not confident about their performance during the end of year exams.

Fathima Razack, from The Independent Institute of Education, says parents and learners should try to keep a clear head while waiting for the results to come out.

“The most important thing for both parents and learners having sleepless nights over their results, is to not panic. While it might feel like the end of the world at the moment, clear heads and a pragmatic approach are required to make the right decisions for the future,” she said in a press release.

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Razack has also advised parents to watch what they say to children who have done poorly.

“Although parents and guardians may feel deeply disappointed, they should know that their first words and reactions may leave a lasting impact. They should take stock and consider their unified position so that the energy can be focused on the learner and their next steps."

Razack, who is the Head of Programme: Faculty of Commerce at the private higher education provider, says there are several options for pupils who have failed their National Senior Certificate. 

  • Sitting for the supplementary examinations.
  • Sending papers for either a re-mark or re-check.
  • Returning to school and re-registering for matric.
  • Registering at another school to complete matric.
  • Completing matric via distance learning.

There is also hope for those who passed, but did not achieve the marks required for entrance into degree study.

  • Sending papers for either a re-mark or re-check.
  • Enrolling for a Higher Certificate at a higher education institution, which can give access to degree study.
  • Enrolling for a Diploma which can give access to degree study.

Razack says it is not always necessary to rewrite a subject as there could be alternatives available in your chosen field of study.

“It is also important to remember that while your marks may not have been good enough to get access to your first choice of course or institution, that doesn’t mean you have no other study options left. Quite the opposite in fact, so parents and prospective students should ensure that they have really investigated the offerings at both public universities and private higher education institutions.

“Each university and private higher education provider set their own minimum criteria, and these requirements vary between institutions. An institution where the demand outweighs the availability of space may set this bar quite high, which means they are likely to accept only students who are very strong academically. Other institutions may have made provision for students who require more support, and will therefore have more accommodating admission requirements."

Poor results are not the end of your child's future. 

“If parents and learners can handle this situation maturely, and strategise their next steps instead of getting stuck in a catastrophising mindset, disappointing performance could be just the catalyst needed to propel a learner in a new and better direction, with more determination and resolve than before," says Razack.

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