How to prepare and cope with stress while waiting for matric results

by Dec 13, 2022Articles

The year is drawing to a close and the Matric Class of 2022 have finished their final exams. At this time, it’s very important that learners take the time over the festive period to prepare themselves for what their matric results might be.

The Independent Examination Board (IEB) will release its results on 18 January 2023, while the Department of Basic Education will release their matric results a day later on 20 January 2023. While most learners will use the holidays to relax, the possible stress and worries about final reports may, however, linger.

It is important to understand why you may feel stressed or anxious:

  • There is pressure to get good results, as it may determine the next step in your education or career
  • There is often pressure from family or friends who expect you to get the best results that you are capable of
  • It may be that you are comparing yourself to other people in your class


We asked some teachers with IEB teaching experience what their advice is to students during this waiting period, and they shared the following:


Try to stay busy during this waiting period by occupying yourself with activities that make you happy, such as a hobby. Wait patiently for your matric results but keep in mind that there are many options you can consider if you’re not satisfied with your marks. These include supplementary exams or bridging courses at university. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and not compare yourself to your peers,” says Brainline teacher, Michelle Meyer. 

Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje says waiting can be very nerve wracking, especially if you’re waiting for something that is very important to you. She says while you can do nothing to speed up the process to receive the results, there is a lot you can do about how you wait for those results.


Remember that you’ve done your best and you actually already know whether your matric results will be good or bad. Your current circumstances might have caused a bad outcome due to no fault of your own. However, it’s done and dusted and there is nothing you can do to change that at this stage. What you can do is to plan for the future,” she says.

Cronje says that, most of the time, life gives you a second chance and this should be embraced.


Even if your results are good, it’s advisable to investigate whether you qualify for supplementary exams. These exams can be used to improve your results or when you just need one subject to pass your matric certificate.”

She says it is advisable to stay active and keep the mind occupied for the time being.


Get up from the couch. No, I’m serious! Move your muscles and move your body! This creates hormones in your brain that can make you feel better and happier.’

Waiting to hear what your exam results are is stressful. The anxiety and pressure you are feeling leads to worry and fear of uncertainty. However, it is normal to feel these emotions and you are certainly not alone. Here are five ways to help you cope with the stress of waiting for your exam results.

  1. Keep calm

These are words that will make your eyes roll but really, during this stressful time, try to relax. When you feel overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath.

  1. Get moving

Exercise is a good way to relieve stress. Go for a walk or a run, stretch, or do any exercise that you enjoy. Exercise will release endorphins and help combat feelings of depression, stress and anxiety.

  1. Reward yourself

Your exams are over! That in itself is something to celebrate. You have studied hard and now it is time to reward yourself by doing something you enjoy. Spend time with your friends and family, watch a movie or go to the beach. Spending time with friends and family will help you to relax and stay calm.

  1. Watch over your friends

Stress can lead to fatigue, emotional exhaustion and even depression. Keep an eye on your friends during this time. If you notice that they are irritable, express sudden changes in behavior, isolate themselves, struggle to sleep or have lost their appetite, encourage them to talk to someone about their feelings.

  1. Stay positive and formulate a plan of action

Remember that success is not always about achieving the best but is often how you accept challenges, solve problems and continue with determination to succeed. Instead of worrying, try finding the root of the problem and discussing ways of how you can solve it. Decide on your Plan A and formulate a backup plan in case your first plan doesn’t happen.

Brainline is IEB recognised. Learners who are enrolled with us to complete their final examinations and who fulfil the requirements for this qualification will receive their National Senior Certificate (NSC), as issued by Umalusi.

Want to know more?

Our Grade 12 programme is IEB-aligned and prepares you for the National Senior Certificate exams.

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Yvonne Meyer
Author: Yvonne Meyer

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