Grade 9. In the moment it feels like the hardest and most daunting school year of your life – and it can be unless you approach it with the right mindset and knowledge.
If you’re a parent who is anxious about how your child will cope with the stresses of Grade 9 or the child of that parent – you’ve come to the right place. Right here, right now, we are going to tell you how you can do Grade 9 like a pro!
The Subject Choice Dilemma
First off, let’s dive straight into the difficulties and stressors that accompany subject choice!
How can you, as a 14 or 15-year-old, know what you want to do after school? OR which subjects will help you to do that? It’s important for you to know that you aren’t the only one facing this dilemma. Bar a few, grade 9 students are totally clueless as to what they want to do after school (and, in turn, which subjects they should choose to carry to matric).
In fact, it never gets easier – many varsity students will change their courses over and over again until they find what works for them. Here is what I would advise you do:
1. Do what you love
Don’t be shy to take something because you are afraid of what others will think about it – if you love art, take art! Research shows that students score the best grades in subjects that they are PASSIONATE about.
2. Whatever you choose – give it your absolute ALL
At the end of the day, after you have given it plenty of thought, spoken to the necessary people, researched whatever you need to and have made your choices, make sure you will enjoy what you do and are prepared to work as hard as you can to attain whatever grades you are capable of.
3. Closing doors
Try to close as few doors for yourself as possible. By this, we mean that you should try your best to keep your options open. For example, if you take Mathematics Literacy from the start of Grade 10 and then in Grade 11 want to take Accounting – you sadly won’t be able to. So – if you can – keep those options open while having a blast and learning heaps of new and interesting things! There are many professionals out there that can give you guidance on subject choice – find out more about this here.
4. Dropping/Adding subjects
It may not always be easy, but it is always possible to change your subjects (bar the example given earlier regarding Maths and Accounting) – so give it a go if you want to and REMEMBER: Subject choice has a great impact on the rest of your high school career, however, this choice is not cast in stone.
How to Juggle the Grade 9 Workload
Grade 9 is one of the most work-intensive years that you will experience at High School. A year filled with tests, projects and exams can leave you very stressed, falling behind and feeling overwhelmed… well here’s how not to fall behind and how to juggle the Grade 9 workload!
Success in school, regardless of the level of education, relies on two important concepts:
One of the easiest ways to stay on top of the workload of Grade 9 is to revise your work as you learn it. You can either do this daily or every Friday – I chose to do it daily so that I could relax on my Friday afternoons and hop right into those weekend feels! #TGIF
This revision is simple. Take notes in class during the day and then when you get home, be it after your extra-murals or a nap, summarise your day’s notes AND make sure that you understand the work. This way, you will already have made your notes come test or exam time and, if you don’t understand anything, you can clarify it the next day with your teacher. If you get into this habit of revision, you’re already halfway there to acing Grade 9!
If you follow the revision tip then you’ll be preparing every day. Adequate preparation is essential in mastering Grade 9.
School is about learning new things and having fun at the same time. By preparing well in advance (and thoroughly) for your exams, tests, and assignments, you’ll really enjoy your learning (we promise we aren’t lying!).
The most important time for preparation will be before your exams. If you prepare consistently leading up to your exams you’ll be in the right space to ace them – back yourself!
It may seem daunting, and it can be, but with adequate revision and preparation Grade 9 is yours for the taking!