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Why Grade 11 is as important as matric

After closing during the lockdown, schools reopened today for more grades.  While the spotlight is always on matrics, an education expert has warned that Grade 11s should not underestimate the importance this grade because it is the foundation upon which matric success is built. “The last two years of school should not be viewed in …

After closing during the lockdown, schools reopened today for more grades.  While the spotlight is always on matrics, an education expert has warned that Grade 11s should not underestimate the importance this grade because it is the foundation upon which matric success is built. “The last two years of school should not be viewed in isolation,” says Peter Kriel, a general Manager at SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education provider. So any idea that your performance in Grade 11 doesn’t count, and that you can chill and make up for it next year, should be discarded,” he further warns. Your grade 11 result can help you gain provisional access to public universities or private higher education institutions. “This means that you can get in the gates before the flood of applications come streaming in the following year,” he advises.

Put your best foot forward

Your Grade 11 performance could mean the difference between having a wide range versus a restricted range of options. “But more than that, if you put in your best effort now, and invest in getting to grips with the study methods that work for you while ditching those which do not, you’ll start to get a good idea of your current capability. If you find that, despite your best efforts, you don’t do well, you’ll know that something needs to be tweaked or adjusted going forward,” Kriel says. If you don’t realise your full potential while in Grade 11, you will enter your matric year not understanding your what you are capable of.

Use your results to strategise

When you get your grade 11 results, you get a chance to honestly assess your situation and check where you could have done your best and in which subjects need you to pay extra attention. “The key here is to look at how you performed, and your experience writing these important exams, and then use that information to plan your final year. Sometimes, if you identify serious red flags, it may even be necessary to consider your subject choices. But bear in mind that only one subject can be changed in Grade 12, and it must be done within a few weeks of school opening.” Kriel advises that Grade 11 learners should therefore take a week or so timeout to rest after their exams, but then get to planning their post-school life. “The benefit of doing it now, during your holidays before you enter Grade 12, is that time is on your side. You will be able to do extensive research about the job market and opportunities in the field or fields that interest you. You’ll be able to visit campuses and speak to career counsellors, you’ll also likely find careers and qualifications that you’ve never even heard about.”

Sort out the university admin

Choices about qualification and institution are major ones, which will have a substantial impact on your life after school, and your future prospects. Too often, the decision about what to study and where is left until way too late, because it seems like such a straightforward thing to decide and apply. “Doing proper research now means you’ll be able to make an informed choice about your future, and, should you come to a decision, you’ll be able to get the extensive and exhaustive admin of the application process out of the way. Then you will start matric on your strongest foot, and without the mountain of planning and additional stress that will be waiting for those who decided they’ll cross these bridges when they get there the following year.”

 

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