Preparing for your matric exams | Western Cape Government

Preparing for your matric exams

Matric ExamsYour upcoming matric examinations are very important for your future. The success of your exams will depend on how much you have prepared for them. The results of your matric examinations will determine whether you'll proceed to your next level of studies.

The Western Cape Education Department's (WCED) Examinations Support website provides Grade 12 learners with the following information and tips: 

The Matric Support website provides;                       

  • advice on preparing for the exams,
  • planning your study time,
  • what to cover in each subject, and
  • advice from those who excelled in the previous year's exams.

There are also other Matric support resources available:

1) Our exciting ePortal provides access to a growing resource of online content, including content relating to the Grade 12 curriculum. Browse the content via the drop-down lists of subjects and topics, or search by keyword using the search function.

2) The National Education Department's education portal, Thutong also provides study support. You will find an extensive variety of resources for Grade 12 learners on their Support for Matrics page, including:

  • Self-study guides
  • Links to other matric support websites

Some overall tips and suggestions to help you prepare for your examinations:

Preparation is key:

  • Draw up a special study schedule.
  • Study in 50 minute blocks, with 10 minute breaks.
  • Select fixed study times for each day, including a time slot over weekends.
  • Use school holidays wisely.
  • Study for at least 3 hours a day during holidays.
  • Practice study skills and strategies regularly to ensure they become study habits.
  • Break up topics into manageable sections.

Design a plan:

  • Decide when you work best - for example, early morning, afternoons or evenings.
  • Pick a place where you're most productive. This can be at home, at the library, or at school.
  • Select a study area where you can work undisturbed. Set up a place to study, with a table, chair, uncluttered workspace and good lighting.
  • If you work well with others, you can arrange with a friend to be your study buddy.
  • How do you best remember information, seeing, hearing, or through action? People have different preferred learning styles, it's best to use them all.
  • Make your studying active by using writing, drawing, summarising, flow diagrams, mind maps, or teaching your study buddy.
  • Concentrate fully and try not to allow your mind to be distracted. This improves with practice.
  • Avoid last minute cramming.

On exam day:

  • Arrive early and ready to begin.
  • Read and understand the exam instructions.
  • Preview the question paper and allocate your writing time appropriately.
  • Tackle each question systematically.
  • Write down something for every question.
  • Set out your answers clearly.
  • If you feel you're unable to answer a question, don't panic or allow anxiety to affect how you answer the rest of the paper.

Dealing with stress

Your final matric examinations can be a stressful time, so you should start preparing well ahead of time. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed chat to someone you can trust, like a family member, friend, schoolteacher or counsellor.

For more information

If you need any more information, please visit the Western Cape Education Department’s examination page, or call the examination hotline at 021 467 2300 or email them at

Past papers and matric revision videos

Past papers and eLearning resources are available to you online, as well as videos that will help you prepare for your upcoming examinations.

Matric Exams


The content on this page was last updated on 3 October 2019