Failed matric? This is what you can do about it


When you have failed matric, it may feel like it’s the end of the world.

You start having feelings of incompetency and wonder if you will ever achieve anything in life. However, you need to know that it’s not the end and you can do better.


Jeffery’s Bay-based educational psychologist Marion le Roux says you need to share your feelings with someone you trust.

“You need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have failed. Do not deny or ignore your feelings or pretend that you do not care,” she says.

She adds that you must remember that you are not the first one to fail matric and that it is not the end of the world – there is still a future for you, even if it does not seem like it.

“Be as positive as possible and look for solutions rather than sitting around and sulking or becoming so discouraged that you make more wrong choices and wreck the rest of your life.”

Marion says it’s no shame to fail matric and admitting that you didn’t do well, but the important thing is that you must learn from the mistakes you’ve made. She says the reasons for failing a class vary from one person to another, so make sure you know what got you in the predicament you find yourself in.


“If you did not work hard enough or there were other reasons for not studying enough, resolve to find a solution to the problem and see the obstacle as an opportunity,” she encourages. Marion says trying to bandage your hurt feelings with alcohol will only do you more harm than good.

“Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs to numb the pain – it will only lead to more harm, guilt and shame. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal. It really helps,” she advises.


Study again: You can rewrite the failed subjects early in the new year to try and better your results. For that you have to go back to your school and re-register for those subjects. You can also enroll at an institution where you can do your matric through correspondence or online.

“Consider attending a college for further education where you do not need a matric certificate to enroll as a student,” she suggests.

Ask for re-marking: If you suspect there was a mistake, you can contact your school and ask for the relevant forms to apply for a re-mark of your papers. There is a cost involved in re-marking a paper, so make sure that you want to do it. However, if you decide to re-write the exam and want something to keep you busy on the side, you can find a parttime job that will not be a distraction to getting that qualification.

Be creative with your talents: Marion says find out what your talents are and what you are good at. Offer to work as a volunteer somewhere or with a person where you can learn skills and get experience. She says you will be more motivated to do it than just another job to generate an income.

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