You gotta do it right, son.

Matric is the climax of your 12 year schooling career and is probably the most challenging. There is so much to consider in your final year: trials, finals, applying to university, choosing a career, finding funding…the list goes on. It can be very overwhelming if you’re unprepared. Here are some of the top tips from past high achieving matriculants on how they achieved success:

Be organised and identify your goals for the year.

These goals should be realistic and achievable. It’s a good idea to write down your goals and display them where you can see them every day. This reminder of your goals will become your mantra for the year. Never lose focus of your goals, as they will drive and motivate you through the tough times.

Find a quiet space that you dedicate for studying.

Studying in a noisy space or around distractions is not conducive to studying. You need to create a space that is quiet and has zero distractions; where the only thing you can do is work. Trying to work on a couch or bed is a bad idea as you will tend to become lethargic and sleepy. It is important to keep your work space for working, your relaxing space for relaxing and not to mix the two. This will help your brain distinguish work time from off time.
If you cannot find or create this space at home, look for space at your school or public library. Then work your study times around their operation.

Be realistic about your weekly schedule.

Let’s be honest, between sport, cultural and extra-mural activities, part-time work, a social life; you’re not always going to have as much time as you think to dedicate to work. But don’t worry! And definitely don’t cut these things out of your schedule. It is vital to keep a balanced lifestyle. This will prevent burnout and demotivation. Just be sure to schedule this into your work timetable. Be critical about what is a good use of non-work time.

Start early and be consistent.

Be consistent in making notes throughout the year, after class summarise what was covered. By doing this you are consolidating what you learnt and developing your core notes from which you will refer to when finals come. Prepare for class beforehand, this was you can maximise your learning time during and after class.
Turn this into a routine, this way you will never have to think or remember to do it.
“Know that your discipline and dedication will pay off at the end of the year, when your excellent results enable you to choose your preferred course of study and career path.

[Adapted from Parent 24: Top achievers’ advice for acing matric]