Unleashing potential: 10 ways SA’s youth can excel in school

By Louise Schoonwinkel, MD of Optimi Home

Youth Day in South Africa is a time to celebrate the potential and promise of our nation’s young minds.

There’s no doubt that many learners and families in our country realise the crucial role that education plays when it comes to uplifting our society and creating a better future.

And with mid-year and final-year exams on the horizon for many of South Africa’s learners, now is a good time to think more deeply about what it takes to achieve academic success.

At Impaq, we’ve been in the unique position of being the country’s biggest homeschooling and online schooling provider, having helped hundreds of thousands of learners since 2002 pass matric and go on to their next steps.

Our homeschoolers have often had to be highly independent and self-driven to achieve success, with many of our learners having achieved several distinctions in matric.

To that end, we have compiled some key feedback from previous Impaq Top Achievers on their study tips. Listed below are ten valuable insights that can help any learner cultivate good study habits and achieve academic success.

  • Set up a timetable

One common thread among our top achievers is the use of a timetable. This tried-and-tested tip helps many stay on top of their schedules. Just like athletes have structured exercise programs, learners also need a study schedule to help them stay on track.

  • Have a dedicated study space

Impaq top achiever Danika Chetty — who achieved 5 distinctions in Matric last year — advised on creating a clear separation between a study space and leisure areas at home. This separation helps you maintain focus and balance. Removing distractions such as smartphones or unnecessary clutter from your study area further helps to optimise your concentration.

  • Taking care of your health

While academic pursuits demand our attention, we must prioritise our well-being. Getting enough sleep, eating healthily, staying hydrated, and engaging in physical activities are essential elements of self-care that contribute to improved learning and memory retention.

  • Working hard

This might sound like a tired refrain, but hard work is the foundation of better results. Talulah Jones — another Impaq top achiever who achieved 6 distinctions in Matric last year — says that putting in that extra effort can help you get ahead. In addition, the qualities of persistence, self-belief, and never giving up are crucial ingredients to success.

  • Avoid procrastination

Other Impaq top achievers have said it’s crucial to avoid procrastination or delaying tasks, as falling behind can be difficult to recover from. Stick to your study schedule and tackle your work head-on, even if it means relying on extra time to do so.

  • Cultivating a mindset for success

Your mindset plays a pivotal role in determining your achievements. Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Cultivating a mindset for success empowers you to conquer challenges and exceed expectations.

  • Find additional resources for difficult subjects

Chantelle Visser — who achieved 7 distinctions with Impaq last year in Matric — says that while subjects such as Mathematics and Physical Science can be challenging, by using supplementary resources you can still excel. Here, it is advisable to explore platforms like CAMI Maths or the Quanta series for comprehensive explanations and exam preparation materials.

  • Make learning fun

From time to time, consider studying outdoors to enhance your focus and reduce stress. Implementing rewards for completing study tasks and experimenting with different types of music to create a stimulating environment can also go a long way in helping you get ahead. Adding colourful stationery to your workspace can further inspire enthusiasm.

  • Know yourself

Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and personal goals is vital. By setting long-term goals aligned with your desired career path, this will fuel your motivation to excel.

  • Find what works for you

While our previous Impaq top achievers provide valuable advice, remember that everyone is unique. Experiment with various strategies and discover what study techniques resonate with you.

By incorporating these ten study tips into your routine, you can cultivate good habits, enhance your performance, and pave the way for a successful future.

We wish you all the best. Happy Youth Day!

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