IT is a week into the matric trial exams and Nelson Mandela Bay Grade 12 pupils are confident they will pass – but are equally aware that a lot of hard work is needed.
The exams, which serve as a precursor to the national senior certificate (NSC) ones written from October, began in earnest this week as technical subjects were written last week. Major subjects like languages, maths and history were written this week.
For Gqebera High School pupil Nkosikhona Mlondleni, the history paper was the easiest thus far. "I love history. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the teacher explains it well," he said.
However, the same could not be said for maths. "That was quite a tough paper, because I generally struggle with maths.
"But I know I must work hard if I want to make it – and I'm glad that we're getting an idea of what is up ahead."
Dylan Erasmus, 19, of St Thomas Senior Secondary School, said the exams were "okay so far", although he hit his first hurdle with the English paper.
"So far, so good. Maths was the best paper for me, but I battle with English ... so it was a tough paper," he said.
Principals said the exams started off smoothly, but one expressed fear the big matric class could hamper their pass rate.
Ludwe Dingiswayo, deputy principal at Khwezilomso Comprehensive School in Zwide, said the school had the biggest matric class in years, with 262 pupils.
"We are a very organised school, so our exams have gone off with no irregularities," he said. "This is the largest group we have had in years, which can be quite risky in terms of pass rate. But we are confident we will maintain our above-60% pass rate."
Alexander Road High head of exams Graham Boshard said the school hoped its 215 matrics would all pass – effectively keeping up the school's outstanding pass rate. "The exams have been going smoothly," he said.
Andrew Rabie High department head Jaco Booysen also reported no incidents in the trials this week. "Our [76 matric pupils] are generally happy with the exams so far. We're confident they will do us proud."
The Eastern Cape Education Department was yesterday not available for comment on the provincial outlook.