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Matric begins in grade 10Being at Matric and its price to pay

Studying is one of the most important habits every student needs to master-especially being at matric if they are to become successful in their matric. As discussed in the previous articles, getting ready for final matric does not begin in Grade 12, but it is a three year journey which starts in Grade 10. However in most of the pupils, including the teachers and the schools, more emphasis is put in Grade 12 and lower Grades are neglected. This creates learners who are half ready to face the Matric exams-in which most of them fail. And this need not to happen with YOU. Which is why you have given yourself time to read this article.


Read other articles as well so you get a better understanding of being in Matric by clicking here

So how do you create habits of studying?

Studying is a skill that when mastered it builds up momentum and takes over your life. The challenge is creating these habits which involves some pain however but when you master that pain you will have partly conquered life’s most enemy-SLEEP. Because sleep is the only enemy that comes between you and studying.

So let us start there.

How many hours of sleep do you need when you are at MATRIC?

As you start this habit of studying whether be it in grade 10, 11 or 12, sleeping time must be changed. The number of hours you need to sleep are 6 hours at most, and if possible even 5 hours during the week from Monday to Friday. Then get 8 hours sleep during the weekends. I hear you saying 8 hours is what doctors say it is the recommended sleep for a person. Well let tell you this quote:

‘If you want to be successful, 6 hours sleep for a man, 7 hours sleep for a woman and 8 hours sleep for a fool’. I hope you get the sense of the story. Sleep never made anyone successful.

Ways to fight the habit of sleeping

Sleep is cunning and your body always knows loves your old habits of sleeping which it triggers when it’s time to sleep. But ever wondered why when you are enjoying yourself or having a good time these habits or voice is not as loud as when one is reading. For example when you are watching a movie, or chatting or facebooking with a friend, ever wonder how you can easily pass your sleeping time without even you realizing it.

What happened is that your mind is stronger than your feelings and without you realizing it you were able to tell to your body to shut up and thereby pushing the sleep away. The only thing that allows that to simple happen is when you are having fun or pleasure. However reading is not fun or pleasurable, hence the body actually brings the sleep much faster the moment you hold a book.

Disrupting your habits

So the best way to fight sleep is to disrupt your habits or patterns of sleep. How do you do that? First you need to ask yourself if you are a morning or late night person. Some people work best at night while some work best early mornings.

If you are a night person, what you need to do is to give yourself an early dose of sleep and your body loves that and then set an alarm to wake up. For example sleep at 8pm and set alarm to wake up by 11pm. The three hours is important to refresh you and clear your mind of the previous staff that were in your head. Then for an hour read your best loved subject and topic. After an hour go back to sleep and you would have made progress for the day. Repeat this every day for 5 days doing what you love. Do not do what you hate for now. And also do not do your homeworks during that time. Homeworks must done at school or during the day. Ensure that they are done. The waking up time is strictly for studying.

If you are a morning person, wake up between 4am and 5am and start reading for an hour also as mentioned above reading your best subject or topic for five days.

On weekends, set the alarm same time, when it rings, be awake for 5 minutes then sleep. While awake  let your mind remind your body that the weekdays are coming but for the two days it is relaxing time. This will cause your body to appreciate you and funnily even thank you as it hates the pain of waking up.


I have to warn you that in the first week this will be a very easy but challenges will start in the coming weeks as your body will start hating the change you are bringing. That is when you need to be strong and stubborn. The best way to win this is what they call MOTIVATION. And to motivate yourself you need to answer the question ‘Why STUDYING is so important than SLEEP

Goal setting in brief

Your mind must be clear why it must tell your body to shut up when it starts screaming of wanting to sleep. Hence clearly answering the ‘Why’ is important. And guess what, that ‘Why’ is not difficult for you. You need to do what is called GOAL SETTING. There is an article on these as it is very important but in brief, your mind needs goals to achieve. When it has a goal, then it can tell the body where to get off. So give yourself a goal or target like ‘being the best at Mathematics in you class at the end of the year’, or ‘being the best in two or three subjects’. When you do that, the mind will want to achieve the goal and then when it’s time to wake up, that goal will help your mind to tell your body to stop its screams of wanting to sleep.

Importance of study time-table

The second thing you need to schedule after week two of doing your best subject or topic is now coming up with a study time table. We will talk at length about setting it up to ensure you make the most of the time.

Again, it is human nature to want to get everything once and you find yourself wanting to stay 6 hours awake and reading everything possible. This is not the way to start as you will fail in no time. Your body will resist the sudden changes much faster than gradual changes. So don’t be in a hurry.

Hence the importance of creating these habits at the early stages of Matric IS not in Grade 12. If in grade 12 then you might need to increase the hours indeed as there is limited time. The advantage of grade 12 is that it is easy to create the habits as the target is clear-passing grade 12 at all costs

We will continue on creating habits of studying as we will explore more in the next article. If you have comments or ideas or questions, remember to leave them below.