Top tips for the Preliminary Examination – Impaq Education
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Top tips for the Preliminary Examination

3 min read   •   
Prof. Rita Niemann

We know that most learners are becoming rather stressed as the Preliminary and Final Examinations are drawing near. How you prepare during these last few months is crucial to ensure that you will succeed. Here are a few valuable tips:

Understand the basic concepts

Ensure that the basic concepts are understood. This will enable you to apply them to different contexts and scenarios.

Do not spot

All the work needs to be studied. Do not SPOT! You never know what to expect in the Final Examination papers.

Create summaries and mind maps

Summaries of the content by composing comparative tables and drawing mind maps are VERY IMPORTANT.

Read through the tasks

Reading through the tasks and assignments are crucial as they represent the type of applications and extended thinking that are often expected during the Preliminary or Final Examination.

Take note of the mark allocation

Take note of the marks allocated for every question, as that gives you an idea of the extent of your answer, e.g. 4 marks in comparison to 20 marks.

Carefully read the verb

Take note of the verb in the question as that will guide you on what is expected, e.g. describe requires a description and not merely naming the elements, compare requires that you conduct a comparison between two or more entities, while analyse or critically evaluate means that you need to give YOUR interpretation of the facts or situation within a broader context.

Consult previous papers

Consult Preliminary Examination papers of previous years that are available on the Department of Education’s website. These examination papers will provide a valuable indication of how questions are formulated and what is required. SPOTTING of previous questions, just because they appear in previous papers, is NOT GOOD PRACTICE! Papers are set from scratch every year and it seldom happens that the same questions are asked in the same manner. The same content may need to be provided in a different context, e.g. the previous paper required a description, while the new paper may require you to apply that content to a particular scenario.

Base your reasoning on facts

Do not generalise, but base your reasoning on facts, e.g. “Why is it necessary to plant trees?”. Don’t just state that it is important for living or that they decorate the environment, RATHER state: “The chlorophyll in the green leaves of trees performs photosynthesis which replaces the oxygen in the atmospheric gasses to balance the carbon dioxide produced by respiration and combustion. Therefore, trees are necessary for the survival of all human beings and living creatures on earth”.

By following these tips, you are sure to ace your matric exams and get the matric results you have worked hard to achieve. If you are taking Physical Sciences and need some more tips, read our article on the Impaq blog for more on how to prepare for the upcoming examinations. We wish you all the best.