Two top achievers at Durban IEB schools say that the secret to achieving excellent results is balance, and not overstudying.
"If you want to get good marks, you cannot study the entire time. You will get to June during trials and will be burnt out. You have to have a balanced life," Clifton School's top achiever Ebrahim Khan said on Tuesday.
The teen was among many at the Durban school on Tuesday who eagerly sought their results.
Khan racked up a whopping seven distinctions and was on the IEB outstanding achievers list – meaning he was in the top 5% for six subjects.
"It was not about excessive working. It was about working smarter. I also had a balanced life. You cannot be working all the time. There was a lot of sports and sometimes I would relax with friends."
Khan said he had also played sport including cricket, squash and soccer.
"It wasn't at the highest level, but it was good to destress and go out and have fun, instead of studying all the time. I took debating quite seriously. My team won a Durban debating tournament."
'You cannot study all the time'
The top achiever at Maris Stella School, Amy Randelhoff, said she was surprised by her results.
"I'm on the IEB outstanding list. I'm a bit stunned. The results are in and I've finally finished school. I am terribly relieved."
She said a support structure was vital to her success.
"A lot of work went into it. I was fortunate because there are many dedicated teachers here who were willing to answer many questions I had for them. I put many hours into my studies over a number of years – a lot of preparation even before matric went into getting these results."
Randelhoff said studying was not all she did during the year.
"I studied almost every single day, but during the holidays I took a week off. You cannot study all the time."
She said sport played a big role in her life.
"I played a lot of sport for school, hockey indoor and outdoor, and soccer and a bit of running."
Randelhoff encouraged 2020 matrics to "start your work straight away".
"Don't leave anything to the last minute. Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today. Write lots of past papers."
She said her family played a big role in her success.
"My parents are very supportive of my work, as are my two younger sisters. My mother is an accountant and I took it as a subject. She helped whenever she could."