Matric results -

How to Embrace the Matric Results
by Dr. Akashni Maharaj
With the release of the matric results comes an array of emotional responses. Some learners are
ecstatic, as the year of hard work has just paid off for them. To those who have done well,
Congratulations!! Well done! For others the release of the matric results could be a time riddled
with anxiety, fear, sadness and disappointments. Many may not have done as well as expected,
not achieved their expected symbols and then there are those who may not have made it through.
So what?? So what if you did not pass or did not get the mark you strived for? To those who did
not make it, this is not the end of the world. Many people have failed and yet went on to become
successful people. One person who failed matric, made the Forbes list of African Celebrities, DJ
S’bu. He went on to become a household name in the entertainment world. He now gives
motivational talks at schools about how failure is not the “be all and end all” of life. He went
back to school and with more determination and passed. And look at where he is now.
The key to coping here is to embrace failure, failing matric can never be the worst thing that has
happened to anyone. Failure, if embraced, can be a great opportunity to learn and develop. If you
ask many people about their matric year, they will tell you in detail about the friends, memories
and wonderful times they had , no one ever tell you what marks they got or whether the failed
matric. In the greater scheme of things, failing matric is a small setback, but what distinguishes
success is not the failure of matric but what you do from there onwards with that failure. It’s
about taking this negative experience and transforming it into something magical and wonderful.
It’s not impossible, it’s there within your reach.
Some ways in which you can handle this slight setback.
When you see that your name is not in the paper, or its shows you did not pass, go and
check immediately with the school. Sometimes mistakes happen in print. So clear that up
first and if the result is the same then you plan for that.
Speak to your principal and ask him/her the way forward from there. Ask about writing a
supplementary exam. Query about remarking the paper.
Look at other options if a remark is not possible or when the remark comes back with not
the expected results.
Ask about the FET colleges. Call them and enquire about the possibility to redo matric.
Call the universities and see if they have a bridging programme if your results were not
good for university entrance. Many universities have bridging modules. Unisa has a nice
one in the Business School. There are always avenues to explore
What not to do!
Failure can lead to lots of self loathing; you might end up feeling depressed with
sadness and maybe even thoughts of suicide. THAT’S NOT THE ANSWER!!! It’s
normal and natural to feel sadness and disappointment. But this will pass once you
start to take charge of your life once again. Once you start to acknowledge that failure
is not life and death and that there is a life after matric. It will happen.
Parents, do not judge, blame or make assumptions about your child. They did the best
they could. You were not writing the exams and you were not walking in their shoes
to understand the enormous stress they may have been under from grade 11-12.
Unless you have walked in their shoes, you should not blame, be angry or judge them.
It has happened!!! As much as your child has to deal with it, so will you!!! Get over
YOUR disappointment as a parent and take charge and give your child what he or she
needs right now which is love, support and guidance. Your child already feels bad
about letting You and Themselves down, don’t kick them more whilst they are down.
Be the best parent you can be by helping them pick up their lives and give them the
support and encouragement which they need right now.
Some advice for grade 11 learners!!!
Grade 11 is the foundation for grade 12, develop a game plan as to how you will
tackle this year. Be accountable for your mistakes and rectify them
If you feel that you are not performing in one of your learning areas, ask for help,
seek extra tuitions. Become Proactive rather than reactive after you fail the
Start joining study groups with people who are good at the subject. Ask for help
from a peer who is good at that task.
If there are stressors in your life, talk to someone. Allow then into your world so
that you have a springboard to vent your thoughts and feelings and a cushion to
soften the landing.
This is the make or break year for matric. You master your anxiety this year
(grade 11), grade 12 will be smooth sailing for you. So no matter what your
results in your matric year, you will embrace the news mentally strong.
Dr. Akashni Maharaj is a psychologist in private practice and can be contacted on 076 694 3661 or 031
459 1940 or visit her website on or like her on facebook on Bellair
Psychology Centre.
Copyright: Dr Akashni Maharaj