Disappointing Matric Results?

Don’t fret! There are many options available to you.

The anxiety of the long awaited Matric 2018 results are over. We are sure both parents and students alike are very relieved that the moment has finally come and gone!

To those who achieved the results they expected or even better than expected, CONGRATULATIONS! For others, don’t fret, it is not the end of your dreams and there are many options available for those seeking to improve their marks or enter a specific institute.

It is important that both parents and students handle the situation regarding the results maturely and, together, strategize their next steps. It is also important to remember that student results could be a blessing in disguise, giving prospective students a chance to both look more closely at their intended career choices and investigate other options to study further. Parents and students alike must stay focused, calm, and positive as they explore the many options available.

As such, we have put together a few options for you. You’d be surprised just how many options you’ve got!

1. Get a remark

If you as a student are confident in your abilities and are disappointed after receiving your results, it might be a good idea to get your answer sheets remarked. Whilst it is not guaranteed your results will improve (at all) it’s worth a try. We recommend this if you’ve just barely missed your goal by a few percentages and require it for entry to a program or institute. So this is how you go about getting a remark:

Students wishing to apply for a remark (complete re-assessment of their paper) or recheck (re-counting and calculating the marks) must apply by Friday 18 January 2019 and register at either their school or district office in their province to do so. A fee of R105 for a remark or R25 for a recheck must be paid when applying. As such, we’ve put together a few options for any student interested in this route:

  • Students wishing to view their scripts may do so only after a remark or recheck is done. The closing date for prospecting students to apply to view their paper (answer sheet) is 7 days after the release of the remark or rechecks and costs R205.  Further instructions will be provided to students on the reverse side of the Statement of Results.

There are also things you can do to improve your results, like going back to school before rewriting your exams and then possibly getting into the institute of your dreams. Don’t give up just yet!

2. Register for supplementary exams

If a student has marginally missed the requirements to receive a Senior Certificate or university benchmark, they may retake the exams provided they meet the following criteria:

  • If they require a maximum of 2 subjects to obtain the Senior Certificate, they may redo those subjects, provided the subjects are the same two subjects taken in the previous end-of-year examination.
  • If they were unable to complete the exam period as a result of being medically unfit/incapacitated.
  • If there was a death in the family and were, therefore, unable to write the exam(s).
  • If they qualify for a higher education institute or for an occupation but fall short of entering without a Senior Certificate. If so, they are allowed to rewrite a maximum of two courses.
  • If an irregularity is being investigated, provisional enrolment for supplementary exams may be granted, pending the outcome of the investigation.
  • If the student was unable to complete one or more exams due to any other valid reason, provided that a written report is submitted by the principal of the school to the head of the assessment body.

When applying for supplementary exams, documentary proof must be provided for all absenteeism.

3. Consider the Second Chance programme

If one has failed the matric exams, it is not be the end of the world. Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced the launch of the Second Chance Matric Support programme in January 2015.

The aim of the programme is to provide FREE support to

  • Students who need to re-write a maximum of 2 subjects in February and March; and
  • Progressed learners – those who wrote 3 or more subjects in November and will complete the rest in June.

4. Redo some subjects

Students who didn’t do well in particular subject/subjects can rewrite that particular subject/s. Application forms to rewrite subjects are available at all secondary schools. You need to complete the form and it must be signed by the principal of the student’s school. The closing date for applications is the 31st of January 2019.

5. Take a bridging course

Much like redoing subjects, bridging courses allows students to take short courses to improve their marks and potentially get a pre-degree/diploma foundation which could then help them enter a higher education institute should they wish.

And while many public schools prohibit students returning to repeat just a few subjects and do a bridging course, these institutions do:

6. Try an extended degree programme

An extended degree programme is where an institution allows students to study their chosen degree provided they do it over an extended period of time. This usually adds an extra year to their studies and while some may feel like this is a bad thing, it just means the workload is lighter and slightly more manageable.

Most institutions have these programmes in places for those studying courses ranging from media to accounting and even medicine, just to name a few. So do enquire about them – it might make things a whole lot easier.

7. Reapply for university and use your time wisely before you do 

To students, it may feel like the end of the world when their results aren’t what they expect, often due to it barricading them from their dream/chosen institution.

We recommend that although, as a student, one might have their heart set on a particular institution, it might be a good idea to apply at another institution that could be a better fit for them and their talents.

While a student’s results may bar them from their first choice in courses or institutes, that does not mean they are out of options, rather the opposite in fact. From personal studies to secondary courses to online study, both parents and students should be aware that one’s matric results is not the “determiner of your future” as it is often made out to be by media and adults alike. We encourage all students to look at the options available and think carefully before diving head first into the first idea that seems plausible or appealing, even if it involves taking a gap year to find and explore all options.

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