How To Cope With Matric Results



The release of matric results is a high stakes time for many students and parents who have invested in the idea that a successful future is dependent on excellent matric results. Getting these final school marks in black and white can spiral some young South Africans into despair and crisis, especially if their matric results fall short of what they have hoped for.



According to Dr Lauren Martin, Deputy Dean at SACAP (the South African College of Applied Psychology) and counselling psychologist, this may be a time for parents to support their teen in broadening their career perspectives and understanding the multiple opportunities available to move forward.

She says, "It's important to know that your results do not define your future. If the outcomes of your matric exams do not meet your expectations, this should not be viewed as a defeat but as an opportunity to unpack the choices and multiple pathways forward."

Those who want to pursue tertiary studies but require multiple study pathways, based on matric results, could consider some of these routes:

  1. Learners who failed a maximum of two subjects in the 2022 Matric exams can apply to sit the supplementary examinations; and
  2. learners who did not get the results they needed in specific subjects may consider the matric upgrade process. 
  3. Accredited Higher Certificate education programs are popular with learners who did not achieve a Bachelor's pass. These are typically one-year courses that can improve a student's readiness for tertiary education, make up for a matric without a Bachelor's pass and enhance critical skills for success not only in their upcoming studies but in their future work lives. 

SACAP offers a one-year, nine-module Higher Certificate in Counselling and Communication Skills which is available online or on-campus.  The programme offers practical, work-related skills training set in an Applied Psychology framework that is relevant to students anticipating careers across all people-centered sectors including business, education, technology, health sciences, government, and non-government fields. 

For those who have their sights set on careers in business, SACAP also offers Higher Certificates in Business Management and Human Resources Management that are accredited, one-year programmes that include industry-oriented content and applications so that graduates are fit to enter the workplace.

Dr Martin concludes, "What is important to realize is that needing to adjust your plans or take a somewhat different path is not a failing.  Rather, it's a valuable opportunity to demonstrate your flexibility and agility as you work towards creating a fulfilling future."

To apply at SACAP, visit


Suggested Article:

Matric student stressed about exam results

Final matric results can bring about relief for some but it can also be the catalyst for depression and suicide in others and relatives need to look out for warning signs. 




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