My child failed matric - help for parents

Most of the kids that completed matric in 2016 will pass. Last year the pass rate was over 70%. But that does not mean your child will get the results you wanted. Or get the results they need to be accepted for post-matric studies.

So, whether you have to cope with a "fail" or with results that are not as good as you wanted, here are some things you should do.

It is not the end of the world

In life things do not always go as we want. Things go wrong, and we have to pick ourselves up. Your child will be devastated, so now is your chance to show them you care. How do you both move on?

You need to make sure you understand:

1) What went wrong

2) What are your options

What went wrong?

If you understand what caused the bad results, then you can do something about it. If your child doesn't really understand why she got bad results, then chances are that she will try and rewrite or re-do matric, and get the same bad results a year from now.

What are your options?

If you have not passed matric, then you have four options.

a) Re-marking your matric papers (or re-checking)

b) Supplementary exams

c) Re-do matric

d) Study something that does not require matric

Re-marking or re-checking

If a student thinks their exam was marked unfairly and he is sure that he can get a higher mark if it was re-marked, then he can apply to have one or more exam papers re-marked.

If you think not all the questions were marked, you can apply to have it re-checked. That means that an examiner will check that all the questions have been marked, and that the marks have been added up correctly.

For both of these there are a fee and a deadline. Usually the deadline is before the end of January. So if you want to apply for one of these options, then you must act right away once you have the results.

Supplementary exams

Students can apply to write a supplementary exam if they failed no more than two subjects. They can also apply for supplementary exams if they were medically unfit to write the exams in November. Make sure you have evidence of this in the form of a letter from your doctor.

A student can also apply for supplementary exams if she did not meet the higher education admission requirements.

Note that the student must apply for supplementary exams. And the cut-off for applications will be before the end of January. So, if you want to apply for supplementary exams, you must act immediately once you have the results.

Supplementary exams are written in February and March and the results are usually released towards the end of April.

Re-do matric

If a student does not qualify for a supplementary exam, he can re-do matric. That means going back to school for another year. If you want your child to re-do matric, you must contact the school soonest. They will have to figure out how to accommodate you. Remember that your school already has a class of matriculants for 2017.

If you don't really understand why your child failed, then going back to school will not help much.

Study something that does not require matric

At school students often do not get to study subjects that really interest them. And they lack the discipline to keep going, even when they don't enjoy their studies.

For some of these students the better option is to find a career direction they are truly interested in, and to start studying towards that career right away. In South Africa there are many public and private institutions where you can study career-related courses without needing matric as entry requirement.

Not happy with your Matric Results? Here are alternatives.

More advice for Matrics who failed.

About the Author:

Jan Badenhorst works as the CEO of Skills Academy. Skills Academy offers Home Study Courses to people who never completed Matric, or who cannot get entry into Universities.

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