Matric exam help: How to study for Language

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The pressure and stress alarms triggered in the brain as the end-of-year matric exam approaches can be tough to manage, and that's just from a parent's perspective! 

On the upside, it was probably those alarm bells that motivated you to go in search of useful resources for your matriculant, which you can find in the Parent24 exam hub.

Find free study resources, past papers and study guides, study methods and tips, advice on managing stress, proper nutrition and sleep, and anything else you may need to keep you calm and learning at your best. 

And since exams will be kicking off with languages, we've put together a few handy tips on preparing for a language exam provided by Step Up Education Centers' Cindy Glass. 

Transactional writing

It is absolutely essential that you practice the correct layout for the writing choices.

For example: Do you know how to set out a formal letter, an email, a speech or an obituary?

Do you know how to plan and structure an argumentative or narrative essay? 

Comprehension and Language skills

The best way to prepare for this paper is to practice past exam papers. Make sure that you have a memorandum available so that you can mark your own work.

Create a summary (mind-map or bulleted) of required language skills and learn these well. Practising with past exam papers will help you in applying the learned theory to exam questions.


Study guides and past exam papers can be beneficial in preparing for a literature exam. If you do not have adequate notes from school – for whatever reason – seek to find notes that will be helpful.

Your teacher should have provided you with detailed information about what you should focus on.

Summarise the important aspects of novels, short stories or poems using a mind-map or bullet points.

Must read: Grade 12 study guides: Languages

Hit those books!

"Learners who have worked consistently throughout the year should be adequately prepared for finals. Those who haven’t been as diligent, will need to hit the books," says Crimson Education's Rebecca Pretorius, advising that learners look to their previous exam successes and failures when preparing for their finals.

Here she provides her top tips for success: 

Review your study timetable

After prelims, you should have a good idea on how much time you’ll need to dedicate to preparing for each subject. This will help you draw up an accurate and realistic timetable.

Remember to allocate time for study breaks and exercise too.

Find your focus areas 

Based on your prelim results, you’ll be able to determine which subjects you’ll need to focus on. Build your confidence in sections you struggled with before, it is likely that the material will appear in your final exam. 

Consolidate your study methods 

Summarise work which you feel more comfortable with, and alternate revising these areas with more difficult subjects by tackling past papers.

Find alternative study methods like podcasts and YouTube videos that show practical application and interesting case studies for your chosen subjects.

Stay healthy

Getting enough sleep and eating a balanced diet is vital to managing stress and energy levels while studying and writing exams. Drink plenty fluids, take frequent breaks and make an effort to exercise during this time.


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