The importance of high school mid-year exams


We all tend to put so much attention on the importance of end-of-the-year exams that we forget that mid-year exams are just as important. 

Mid-year exams play a significant role and should be taken as seriously as final exams, says Peter Kriel, general manager at the Independent Institute of Education. “If the foundations you lay at the start of your senior high years are not solid, or you neglect to ensure your walls are solidly built in subsequent years, you can attempt to put on the most beautiful roof in your matric year, but it just won’t work.”

He says that each exam plays a unique role as learners progress through high school. 

Also read: Our kids need unconditional love and support during exam time – not added pressure

Grade 8

These are the first significant exams for a high schooler. They get a good feel for the exam process and a clear indication of their interests and strengths. Kriel states that learners must apply these to start focusing their thinking on what they'd pursue beyond school. Before settling on a future path, these exams will allow learners an appropriate amount of time to start exploring all their options for higher education and entry. 

Also read: Useful exam resources for all grades in SA

Grade 9

Students are made to be hyper-aware that they'll be choosing their subjects for grade 10-12 during this year. It is important to achieve good marks in those subjects or chances of being selected will not be great. The mid-year exams in grade 9 provide an indication of the likely future success the learner will have in a subject. Learners should keep in mind to not drop subjects that could potentially open doors for them unless they're very certain they will not need it as an entry requirement for their preferred institution or qualification. 

Also read: Printable: 5 things to remember when studying for exams

Grade 10

Poor results for the mid-year exams in Grade 10 may be a signifier that the learner should drop the subject and replace it with one that may provide better results. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

Also read: Teach your kids to see difficulty this way and they're more likely to succeed

Grade 11

Mid-year exams become even more significant during this year. Learners will use these marks to apply to their chosen high education institutions. This will help alleviate the stress and admin they will encounter in the following year. They'll be able to focus all of their energy on matric preparation.

Also read: What if I don’t get into my dream institution or course?

Grade 12

These marks can and should be used to apply to higher education institutions. If learners have not done this yet, Kriel urges them to do so as soon as possible. "Focus on your exams for now, but resolve to use the June holidays to visit all the good registered and accredited institutions in your area to investigate what they have on offer, and get your application in before the stresses of the final months of your final year of school. "

These exams also provide learners with a valuable insight into which subjects need more of their attention so they can get the best marks in their matric final exams. 

Also read: Back off, mom – and 3 other things you need to hear right now as a parent of a matric student

Exams are an opportunity to get feedback about the learner's progress so they can continue to practise and better their skills. 

How do you help your children during mid-year exams? Tell us by emailing and we may publish your comments. 

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