23/10/2017 09:14 SAST | Updated 23/10/2017 09:34 SAST

Hey, Matriculants, This Is Not The Time To Pull All-Nighters

And to parents, now is not the time to put pressure on your kids.

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The 2017 matric class starts their final examinations this week -- and the department of education says it's all systems go.

Nearly 800,000 pupils, including part-time candidates, will sit for this year's National Senior Certificate exams.

And while education experts say it would be a little too late to cram a year's work in just a few weeks, there are a number of ways to ensure a better exam experience.

1. Rest

Sleep is crucial. Research proves that a lack of sleep impacts on memory and concentration and can increase your stress levels. A minimum of six hours is recommended.

2. Mind the food you eat and keep hydrated

Eating the right foods can help improve your memory and focus. Fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrain foods are especially recommended, but not too much sugar, caffeine and energy drinks. Stimulants have been proven to negatively impact sleep and your memory. Instead, drink water.

3. Some exercise is good

Walking the dog, dancing and rope skipping are some of the more simpler exercises you can do.

Exercising releases "feel-good" hormones called endorphins, which help combat feelings of stress and anxiety. Some activity also helps you sleep better.

4. A studying structure is recommended

Break up your learning sections into parts you can manage. Trying to get to everything all at once may leave you feeling more stressed and eventually tired.

Further, you can't cram a year's work in one week. If you feel you are running out of time, focus your brain energy on the parts you find more challenging.

5. No comparisons

You are not your friend. Your study methods may differ and your strengths may lie in different subjects.

Aim to do your best.

Cindy Glass, director of Step Up Education Centres, has this advice for parents and guardians of matriculants:

  • Create a study-friendly environment for your child. Limit things that could disturb his or her study time.
  • Ensure your child eats, gets rest and, where possible, puts in some exercise.
  • Be encouraging. Do not put pressure on them as it is already a stressful time -- they must know that they can count on your for anything in this time.

All the best to the matric class of 2017!