Preparing for the National Senior Certificate examinations is a huge logistical exercise that requires careful planning and tight management.
I am pleased that the Western Cape Education Department is prepared and ready for the examinations which begin in just 20 days’ time.
This year, we have a much larger cohort of candidates compared to that of 2012.
There are 4 613 more candidates writing in 2013 than in 2012.
The WCED has finalised candidate lists with 48 768 full-time candidates registered for these examinations. There are a further 10 826 part-time candidates registered for the 2013 exam. Overall, 58 594 candidates will be writing this year.
The examinations will be written between the 28th of October and the 29th of November 2013 at 432 examination centres across the province. Candidates are, however, required to be available up to the 4th of December for any eventuality – such as the need to rewrite a paper.
106 examination papers are to be written and over 800 000 examination scripts distributed.
1 200 invigilators have been appointed to monitor and assist in the examination process.
The marking of the examinations will take place from the 30th of November 2013 to the 13th of December. The WCED has appointed 3 324 markers to mark the examination scripts.
In order to enhance the credibility of the National Senior Certificate Examinations, and to give all candidates and their teachers their best opportunity in these examinations, the WCED conducted competency testing for markers in ten subjects.
Competency tests were written in the following subjects: Accounting, Business Studies, Geography, History, Life Science, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Consumer Studies, Economics and Maths Literacy.
We want to ensure there is the highest possible standard of marking in these examinations and that all our markers are both competent and experienced in their subject fields.
To ensure that the mark calculations of our markers are correct, the WCED has appointed 520 mark checkers.
The results of the NSC are expected to be announced on the 7th of January 2014.
We encourage all our candidates for the 2012 NSC examinations to stay focused and to put in the hard work required to prepare for the upcoming examinations.
The WCED is well aware that exams are stressful, even for people who have worked hard consistently throughout the year.
Having to revise a greater volume of information can add to candidates’ stress levels. Some learners may use this stress to help them to stay motivated and focused on their work, while others feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and anxious.
The WCED are prepared to assist candidates that need support during this time.
Our school psychologists, social workers in every district and circuit are also on standby to provide counselling support, as required. Parents and candidates can speak to their school principal if the candidates concerned need special support.
Candidates can also phone the WCED’s Safe Schools Call Centre if they need to talk about their anxiety. The toll-free number is 0800-45-46-47.
We also encourage candidates to follow their “Tips for Success” booklet carefully. The WCED issued the booklet to all matrics earlier this year. The booklet provides extensive guidelines on how to plan study time and how to prepare for the exams in each subject. Good preparation will help to reduce anxiety enormously.