On Monday, thousands of NSC candidates across the Western Cape began writing the 2018 NSC trial examinations. The trial examinations are extremely important for matric learners and form an essential part of their preparation ahead of the 2018 National Senior Certificate examinations. Learners use the results of these exams to determine which areas they need to concentrate on ahead of the NSC. Once completed, District Officials will work with their schools to examine the results and determine which schools need additional support during the final stages of the Matric school year.“To the 2018 NSC Candidates, your success will depend on what you put into your studies. This, in turn, depends on how you plan your time, how hard you study, and that you stay focused, positive and healthy,” said Debbie Schaffer, Western Cape MEC of Education, in a statement.She added: “It is important for you to remain focused so that you can reach your full potential and achieve the best results possible. For those of you who are studying under difficult circumstances, please use schools, MOD centres and libraries in your communities as quiet, safe and secure areas to study. “With 40 days to go until the start of the 2018 NSC examinations, it is important for all candidates to make use of the resources available to them.The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says it is committed to supporting our NSC candidates in every possible way to pass matric and to achieve excellent results. To help candidates to pass their matric, the WCED have prepared a booklet, called “Tips for Success”, to provide advice on preparing for the exams, planning study time and what to cover in each subject.The “Tips for Success” booklet includes advice from those who excelled in last year’s exams, along with the exam timetable and information on bursaries and loans for studying after school. The full booklet can be downloaded from the WCED website - https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/documents/Matric/matric-n/tips.html“The importance of practising exam questions cannot be emphasised enough. This is why the WCED has made past exam papers available to all learners. Candidates should use their June examination results as an indication of what their strong and weaker subjects are.I encourage all candidates to work through these ahead of the exams. Candidates should also make use of the E-Portal resources on the WCED website to find other resources that may assist them – you can view these resources here - http://wcedeportal.co.za/There are also a wide range of matric revision videos on the WCED YouTube channel. These provide guidance mainly on how to tackle specific questions in the exam.You can visit the WCED website for a list of videos available -https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/documents/Matric/matric-n/videos.html The NSC Examination timetable can be found here -https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/documents/NSC-results/OctNov-2018-NSC-Exam-TT-3rd-amended.pdf“The matric class of 2018 is entering one the most challenging and arguably most important times of their lives – the build up to their final examinations. I therefore would like to thank all educators, family members and care givers for their support.