Good start to exams for most, with positive feedback on English 1

2013-10-29 00:00

WITH social media being the overriding theme of yesterday’s English first paper, some local pupils say it was a good start to the exams.

More than half a million pupils across South Africa sat down for their English paper one exam yesterday, commencing the much-anticipated matric exams.

Nicholas Vels of Durban High School (DHS) said he only felt the pressure when he stepped into the exam room.

But it was smooth sailing after that and he didn’t find the paper that difficult.

Nicholas was also glad that there were no errors in the English question paper, as was the case in previous years.

Two of Nicholas’s friends, William Roldy and Adam Estriado, felt cramped for time trying to answer question one because they had too much to say.

In Section A, which was a comprehension, pupils had to read and understand an article about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“Are emoticons replacing body language? Is social media an ally to befriend or an adversary to be wary of?” was the sub-headline to the article.

Question four was about the Madam and Eve comic strip.

In spite of the mounting pressure for pupils to do well, William said there a sense of community amongst his peers that they are in this together, especially on social networks with messages like “come on we can do it” doing the rounds.

“It’s like we’re forcing each other to study. When we’re chatting someone would say, ‘why are you chatting to me, go study’,” Adam added.

The language section proved to be challenging for some.

Gareth Subromonien of Maritzburg College said: “I felt the language was difficult, the comprehension wasn’t so bad because it was about how social media affects communication between others. All round the paper wasn’t that bad”.

Senior English teacher at Durban Girls’ High Antoinette Dannewitz said the paper looked reasonable, of the standard they expected and the themes were accessible.

Durban Girls’ High head girl Roanne Moodley said the themes such as graffiti as an art form were interesting.

When asked about how the other exam preparations are going, Raine Gerber joked and said: “It’s not going”.

Riven Rogunandan of Glenwood High School said the paper was challenging due to not having enough time, but he could relate to topics because they were modern.

Cameron Beer said it was easier than their internal exams, but he is worrying a bit about his Afrikaans exams tomorrow.

Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said the exams went well and it was a good start despite their fear of rain. He said there was no need to use the services of police and soldiers who were on stand-by just in case pupils could not get to their exam centres where there was flooding.

In KZN, about 150 000 pupils sat the English paper yesterday.

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