John Cokayne and Amaya Lakmeeharan achieved outstanding results for their final matric examinations with 8 distinctions each.
Both students chose demanding subject packages when the year started, including Physical Sciences, Advanced Programme Physics, and Information Technology for Cokayne and Advanced Programme Mathematics and both Physical and Life Sciences for Lakmeeharan.
News24 chatted to both top students to learn more about the tricks and strategies they used throughout their matric year, and to find out what they plan to do next.
Tricks and strategies
These students told us that hard work remains the key to success, as there is no magic trick to passing matric.
Lakmeeharan went on to say that the most effective strategy she used during her matric year was paying attention in class. She utilised free lessons to do small homework tasks so that she can save time for studying, projects, and preserving her social life and mental health.
Sharing his study tips with us, Cokayne revealed that he started work as soon as he got it.
"Leave yourself more than enough time to study for tests. This is to ensure that you have enough time to work on any problem areas you may discover and to facilitate repetition of the work, which will enable you to remember the work much better," he added.
'Establish times where you are productive'
His fellow classmate, Lakmeeharan, shared that her top study trick was to establish times of the day when she was most receptive and productive. This allowed her to be more effective while studying and have more time for recreational activities.
'Have a routine'
Cokayne said that developing a routine when it comes to matric also helps. He told us that when he was doing his matric he did pretty much the same thing every day. The only different thing was what he studied, and he said that with time he got used to it, studying became second nature to him.
'Practice is the best preparation'
Lakmeeharan believes that practice is the best preparation and she encourage every matriculant to complete as many past papers as possible, as she believes that this teaches one how to time themselves in an exam and helps with the caliber of questions asked.
Echoing her sentiments, Cokayne added that the more you do a certain type of problem, and the more you cover a topic, the easier it will become and the better you'll remember it.
'Maintain balance in your life'
Cokayne said it's paramount to balance your life when doing your matric. "Matric feels long. It's arduous. It's tiring. And it feels as if it'll never end. Therefore, if you don't keep balance in your life, you will struggle to get through it," he said.
He believes that putting aside time for exercising, friends and family, leisure, and especially rest helps.
'Valuable skills obtained in matric'
Lakmeeharan shared that the most valuable skills she obtained in her matric year included learning to be present, asking for help, as well as growing from disappointments and criticism.
Cokayne, on the other hand, learned how to manage his time properly. "Learning how to manage your time so that you reliably fit in all the study time you need and make time for leisure and exercise and all the other spheres of your life," he said.
Where to from here?
Both students told us that they want to pursue their degrees locally.
Cokayne told us, "I feel I'm quite prepared for the year to come, and that's largely to do with the fact that I took both AP Maths and AP Science, so I'll be at least slightly familiar with some of the topics I'm covering in my degree."
Lakmeeharan hoped that this year would assist her in finding direction for her future, as her school has already done a little bit of work to prepare her for university.
Share your stories and questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
Don't miss a story!
For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up for our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.