Use Past Papers To Ace Your Matric Exams

Simbongile Makanda
3 min readMar 29, 2024


Matric learner studying

Matric exam past papers contain topics that are examined regularly. They’re a good way to understand the exam format, as well as the type of answers that will be expected from you.

How to use past papers

Past papers are available on the Department of Basic Education website, as well as the Careers Portal website. You can download and print the past papers, or access them electronically on your phone, tablet or laptop/computer. Going through past papers is one of the best ways to ensure you get the best Matric results in your final exams.

Make sure that you have access to the answer script for each past paper you complete. Don’t look at the answer sheet until you’ve completed the test paper within the allocated time that would apply under normal exam conditions.

Once you’ve completed the exam, use the answer script to mark your paper, or ask someone else to mark your paper (as a teacher/moderator would).

Once your paper has been marked, add up the total marks to get the grade that you scored.

What to do once you have your Matric results

Your Matric results from the mock exam can serve as an indication of how well you understand the exam content. Take a look at the marks you scored for each section in the paper.

Sections where you scored higher marks and provided answers that best reflect the answer script are likely to be sections that you understand and have the potential to score well in once you write the formal exam.

On the other hand, there will be sections where your marks are low, as the answers you provided could stray far from the answers on the exam script.

This means you have to work on brushing up your knowledge on these sections. You can do this by making use of the following tips:


The process of revision requires going over topics you’ve covered before. This is a good way to jog your memory and identify any areas you might need to pay attention to more than others.

Group study sessions

Host virtual or physical group study sessions with your peers. You can use study sessions to better educate one another.

For instance, if you know a section well, teach it to someone else who doesn’t have a good understanding of it and they can do the same with a section they know well. This knowledge trade can be beneficial in the long-run.

Study to understand

We have lots of Matric advice and tips for you to help you get do your best in your final exams. Study to understand concepts instead of studying to simply repeat them. When you understand a topic, you are more likely to understand how to apply it even outside of the textbook scenario.

Part of studying to understand includes knowing how to study. Make sure to explore study methods in order to find the right one for you. Try out some well-known or even unconventional study methods, and before you know it, you could be well on your way to acing your exams.



Simbongile Makanda

Simbongile is Head of Editorial at Portal Publishing and a graduate of the University of Cape Town