Archive for September, 2013

Man, those Maddening Mock!

Posted: September 21, 2013 in Latest post

Almost all of the Grade 12’s have at some point during the last two weeks or so, been confronted with this dreaded line of questioning, “So how were they?” and while the question seems harmless enough, I use the word ‘confronted’ without uncertainty because that is how it feels to hear it – like you are trapped into repeatedly reliving the entire nightmare and pretending it was all sound and merry. It’s especially awkward when the specific teacher subject teacher ask this of you.

The first instinct is to reassure everyone that they were not too bad at all, that you actually enjoyed quite a few questions and that you have so much confidence in your abilities that you couldn’t expect anything less than an A+. Of course, another more fun instinct is to frighten the juniors to no end,make them fear all that is grade 12 and respect you much more for surviving and coming out alive! Personally though, i tried to sound positive when answering this, but in such a way so that when the results come out…not so positive, I can simply reply, ” I never said it was easy, i said it was straightforward.”

The truth, for at least me, is that the Mock Exams were quite tough. Not tough to the point of being impossible, but tough enough to surprise us a little. There was nothing new(except maybe the reading, which was absolutely awesome and got me minority of the marks), it was hardly any different from the mid-year exam, some were maybe at a slightly higher standard, because of the constant pressure, the reality of the label ‘Mock Finals and the sudden time constrain we all found ourselves in, they seemed unending, draining and extremely challenging.

Mocks were suppose to reflect how well we will do in the Finals(which is roughly in a month!) and in many cases for various people and various subjects, the outcome wasn’t all that promising. This did not discourage anyone though but it rather motivated us to work harder for our last exams. I feel like, after being so mentally worn out, I’m suddenly full of energy and enthusiasm to continue studying until all I can talk and think about is about equations and concepts and calculations and curriculum paper! As you can see, Mocks can also leave you slightly out of it, so much so that studying suddenly becomes exhilarating.

The best part about them though, was the time flexibility. It was the most wonderful feeling to only have to arrive at school at 2pm, but on the other hand, not so great when you realize to wake up early anyway, simply to study. Or the disapproving looks you’d get from adults who thought you were bunking, on the way to school. The horrible aspect was learning to juggle two exams in one day. But as this is something that will likely happen in the Finals again. I’ve made peace with it by admitting it was for the best. I think the real challenge here wasn’t the work content or the papers, but really, just learning to stretch ourselves in terms of working harder and dealing with pressure.

So while Mocks turned out to be quite awful and exasperating, they did effectively prepare us for the real ordeal. I think many people will realize their mistakes and rusty areas now and will work hard to rectify them in order to achieve their desired results. And so, the long anticipated answers to the popular question of the week would be, “They’ve been a little difficult on the whole. But they definitely  failed in mocking us! We’re more prepared and ready, so bring it on those Finals.”

Portia Lujabe

LET’S MOCK EXAMS

Posted: September 20, 2013 in Latest post

A reflection

Mock – to poke fun at, pretend or simulate. Despite what its title might suggest, ‘Mock Exams’ is no laughing matter, especially to Claremont High’s first Matrics – Founding Class of 2013. It is the Preliminary Examinations, the last one set internally, and the final preparation before the ever feared Finals.

It was kicked off with English Paper 1, to many a rather comfortable start to ‘ease in’ the exams. This theme was quickly knocked out by the following exam: ACCOUNTING. For those of you who flinched when you read that, don’t worry, your pain is shared by many. After this obstacle, the time-table makers seemed to have no mercy. Afrikaans/Xhosa; PHYSICS; MATH!!! Bam, Bam, Bam!!! Day in and day out brutal examination was thrown at us, forcing our overworked minds to both cope somehow and spew out results; or panic and crumble under the pressure. It was seemingly the end of days. Or was it?

The Matrics…ahh, the Matrics. They, from the get go, had a plan to combat this HOD imposed death-exams. They, what they though was very cleverly, turned the senior science lab into what resembled a “chill room”. Couches, poofs, even table tennis!!! A relaxing place to chill with friends (matrics only, of course) before an exam or after one. They (we) started coming early to school on days we had an afternoon exam, just to chill. It was the perfect plan, that is, until Mrs Moyce Found out.

“THAT ROOM IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR STUDYING!!!” “You can’t afford to…” You get the idea? That and something to do with a warrior being serious at war. To be fair, she was largely right. We should have been more focused at this time. Responsibilities and all. That being said, the awesome chill room was taken away, not to mention being in Mrs Moyce’s bad books (nasty place to be). Luckily, there were only a few exams to go. Including the dreaded Life Orientation exam. Yes, that was sarcasm.

From an academic point of view, Claremont High’s first set of Mock Exams was, as a whole, a success. The few indicators received thus far have shown averages have gone up, the most recognised of these being an excellent improvement in Physical Science Average ( ON target with our 3 year plan!!! THANK YOU DR. BRIZZLE!!!). Even if there were a few setbacks here and there, the mock exams were a great opportunity for us to get our mindsets in gear for the road ahead.

Paraphrasing a teacher’s words, the time for ‘play play’ is over. At a time of war, a soldier has to be in war mode, meaning all shots on target (soughta what Mrs Moyce said).

Claremont, Westerford, pretty much the whole Western Cape has their eyes on the founding class. No pressure guys!

With 15 school days to go, let’s put BEAST MODE on and get ready to, for the last time, to mock some exams.

by Mogamat Dayaan Salie

This is an animated video created by Grade 10 learners, Zainab Adjiet and Yasmeen Edross. This was for Life Science film project. Who said Life Science was boring?