Noorderland High School Grade 12 learners Kagiso Koenaite, Katlego Dikgale and Glen Matlala are achievers in every sense of the word.
The three learners were named the top learners in their grade for the second term during a special assembly on Monday morning. All three scored an average of 85,4% and did just as well during the first term too. Each of them is determined to emerge as the top learner and winner of the Dux Award at the end of the year.
Kagiso says her favourite subject is Mathematics while her least favourite is Information Technology. She plans to study electrical engineering after school because she will be able to use her inventiveness, work in a team and watch her ideas come to life.
Katlego prefers Life Sciences but says he loves all his subjects. He wants to study medicine and specialise in neurology. “I have always been sympathetic towards people with disorders of the nervous system. The brain is fascinating and there is still so much to learn about it. Perhaps I will be able to make a difference,” he explains.
Glen’s favourite subject is also Mathematics. “I used to loath Physics but as time went by and I started understanding the subject, things improved and I now enjoy it,” Glen explains. He wants to become a mining engineer so that by designing structures and machines he can better mining processes and the safety of miners.
While these three whizz-kids share the same average and are 100% committed to their studies, this is where the similarity seems to end.
Kagiso says her studying begins in class by listening during lessons. At home she goes over the work done during the day and if there is anything she does not understand, she asks her educators for assistance. “I start studying seriously about a week before the specific exam is due to be written. I read the work making notes at the same time. Then I go through my notes. I also complete old exam papers and even compile exams for myself.” What helps her to focus is music. “When I need a break, I just sit back and listen to some music.”
Katlego says he has a very inquiring mind, which helps him with his studies. “I read all my work and if I don’t understand something, I ask a educator or use the internet. From my textbooks, I write out my work, summarise it and learn it. Closer to exam time I up the pace.” He prefers to study alone where it is quiet and there are no distractions. He relaxes by playing soccer with his friends.
Glen reckons he is not the intellectual type but plain hard working. “I read everything, I can’t summarise my work because everything is important.” He studies every day and for relaxation he likes chilling with his friends.
Their advice to other learners also varies. While Kagiso says the same study methods do not work for everyone, Katlego says it is essential to have an inquiring mind and be curious, which will make studying interesting and less of a task, and Glen says hard work is the key. “Know what you want and how to get it, and then go for it!” he advises.
Although their methods differ vastly, one thing is clear: the only way to score high marks for exams is by working hard and having single-minded dedication.
Story & photo: KAREN VENTER