Top-achieving matriculant credits Parent24 with his success, and shares more top tips

"I've been using [Parent24] since Grade 11 to practice on some past papers."
"I've been using [Parent24] since Grade 11 to practice on some past papers."

Since 2016, we've been updating the Matric past exam papers section of our website for the sole purpose of providing South Africa's matriculants with the kinds of resources that often come with a high price tag. 

Sourcing the papers from the Department of Basic Education's website, we worked from the motto that: 

"Every child deserves the best, and if we can help one child understand a subject better and achieve a higher mark in their exams, we sleep better at night." 

That's why our hearts melted into a puddle of mush when one of the top matric 2019 achievers in the country mentioned the Parent24 site as one of the key resources he had used while studying. 

Coming in second (among achievers from SA's affluent schools) Gary Allen earned 9 A symbols, including a 100% passing mark in Mathematics and Information Technology, and 99% in Physical Sciences

The Rondebosch Boys' High School (RBHS) 2019 matriculant also scored well over 90% in English Home LanguageAfrikaans First Additional Language, Life Orientation, Engineering Graphics and DesignAccounting and Advanced Programme Mathematics. 

Talk about the cream of the crop!

Must-read: Matrics 2020, you can do it! Here's how Parent24 can help

'Shocked and overwhelmed'

"When I first found out about the news that I came second I felt really shocked and overwhelmed because I wasn't exactly expecting it," Gary told Parent24 of his stellar results, adding that he was relieved to learn that his hard work throughout the year had paid off.

The teen says his parents were equally as shocked when they heard how well he had done. 

"After the prize-giving, where we actually heard what result I got, my mom told me that she had started crying and my dad came up to me and gave me a massive hug saying 'well done'."

Gary's parents, Spencer and Charleen Allen, shared with us that they are bursting at the seams with how well their son has done. 

"We are super proud of him," they said. 

RBHS Headmaster Shaun Simpson told Parent24 that he couldn't be happier with what Gary and the RBHS class of 2019 had achieved. 

"We are very proud of Gary and the Matric group of 2019 who, through the combined efforts of pupils and teachers delivered our best results to date with a Bachelor pass rate of 98,7% and 468 subject distinctions."

'The strategy that helped me'

We asked Gary to provide a few of his top tips to acing matric, here's what he said. 

Start early 

"I've been using [Parent24] since Grade 11 to practice on some past papers because we would do some similar work, in Engineering Graphics & Design especially, but also in other subjects."

Visit Parent24's past exam paper section 

"I was searching for matric past papers and came across the Parent24 past exam paper section through Google. It's just got a very nice layout with lots of past papers of all the different subjects, especially the ones I needed. It was also very nice to have that all in one place." 

Click here to see the list of all past matric papers, which you can download for free.  

Identify your weaknesses 

"I got 94% for Afrikaans, but this was purely due to hard work. My Afrikaans mark in the past hasn't been the highest, and I knew that I had to work at it to improve if I wanted to place somewhere in the province."

Consistency is key 

"Remain consistent throughout the year because it makes it a lot easier when you get to finals. You could then just sit down and revise over your work." 

Test yourself

"Do as many past papers as you can, and use that as sort of a reference to review your progress and understanding of the subjects. I would go over and mark my work and see what I got wrong and learn why I got that wrong and just continued to make sure that I understood the work." 

Expect the unexpected

"I found the Engineering Graphics & Design (EGD) paper 2 the most challenging. There was one question which I think a lot of the boys were confused with, and the thing about EGD papers is that they can ask a wide range of things, and really test your skills and understanding of the subject, so that pushed my knowledge on drawing to the limit." 

Gary says his strategies may or may not work for everyone but hey are we really going to argue with a national top achiever? 

"Obviously, there are different strategies that work for different people, but I'd highly recommend giving this one a shot because me and a couple of friends stuck to it rather religiously."

What was your strategy for acing matric? Find our details below and tell us your story. 

Chat back:

Share your story with Parent24. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @

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Read more:

Highlights of matric 2019: Everything you need to know

Maths tuition, apps and videos for SA kids

Supplementary exams: everything you need to know

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