Do you need to prepare for your matric exams but can’t find past papers to help you study? You can find comprehensive collections of official matric past papers, memos and appendices on Paperight! Here are links to all of our matric exam packs for language subjects:
Past exam papers are one of the most valuable resources that any student preparing for their matric exams can have. A long set of difficult exams is a daunting task for anybody, but by reading through or practicing their knowledge and skills on past papers, matric students can become familiar with the questions and challenges that await them in the most important year of their education.
The South African Department of Basic Education (DBE) ostensibly has links to all past papers somewhere in bowels of their complicated and policy-heavy website. But, contrary to expectations, they aren’t completely available or accessible.
As a company obsessed with both education and ease of access, one of the first things we wanted to do at Paperight was to offer complete and organised packs of past matric exam papers and memos that Paperight outlets could freely print out for their customers. After six months, we’ve finally done it. Some might think this isn’t the biggest deal, and up until six months ago, we didn’t think it’d be a huge task either. What transpired, however, was something altogether much more difficult than we ever could have thought.
The first hurdle we found was that a substantial portion of the links to papers on the DBE’s website – as many as 110 of them – either don’t work or, equally as often, take you through to an incorrect document. E-mails and phone calls to employees at both the DBE and the Western Cape Department of Education (WCED) were mostly responded to with the insistence that all of the papers and memos were indeed online. Others that understood the issue and were kind enough to give us their time asked for a list of papers we needed, but then found they couldn’t help us.
After three months of trawling through provincial DBE websites and numerous emails back-and-forth, we decided to visit WCED personally in Cape Town city centre to get the over-100 papers and memos we needed to compile our packs. It took over an hour of skulking around stairwells and numerous CCTV-surveilled corridors to find somebody who could help us. Taking our flash drive and a list of exams, he disappeared behind a metal gate for twenty minutes. On his return, we thought the wait to have a complete set of exams was over. Alas, not: he had given us the wrong exams.
We eventually gave in and decided to buy sets of matric exams from EduMedia, the WCED’s educational resource arm. They were inexpensive, at R20 each for a full set of one year’s matric exams, but they too were incomplete. They did, however, give us many of the papers we needed that the DBE couldn’t physically or digitally give us for free.¹ Through this patchwork of different sources, we’d achieved our goal, four months later and using the efforts of three well-connected full-time employees.
One question came up between Paperight team members every time we hit a snag: how is the average matric student supposed to do this? Matric students should not be forced to go through undue inconvenience or cost to simply access a complete archive of past papers to help them prepare for the culmination of their schooling careers.
Accessibility is the main problem. Not only do the most comprehensive sets of matric papers available cost money, they are also mostly only accessible in South Africa’s major centres. (EduMedia, for example, only has one physical branch, in Mowbray, Cape Town; matric exam papers aren’t listed on their online shop.) Even more fundamental than this, however, is that most of the avenues for students that the DBE or other bodies provide for them to get their study materials from are either costly, or reliant on broadband internet access through a computer, something to which large swathes of the South African population still have little or no regular or affordable access. Added to the fact that these online resources are predominantly in English and provide a hodgepodge of uncompiled and disorganised documents, a huge percentage of South Africa’s students are presented with major impediments, over and above any other challenges they might be facing.
Paperight, however, is making matric exam papers easier to access. By putting de facto bookstores, potentially in every town in South Africa, through internet cafés, schools and copyshops, matric students can access and print out complete ready-prepared packages of all the past paper resources they need, literally at the click of a button. While it might not be a perfect system (Paperight is, at this stage, a service that requires an outlet to have an internet connection, after all) it’s a vast improvement on the systems that currently exist: Paperight exam packs are readily-available, comprehensive and free to access. No more digging in the bowels of unintelligible government websites, no more trudging through irrelevant policy documents and jargon-laden text, and no more shelling over money for something that should be easy to access.
So, with great pride and relief, we’re very happy to say: if you or someone you know needs matric exam papers, you can find a full list of our available exam packs here.
¹Not to mention that the EduMedia packs only supplied us with papers that have been used in the Western Cape. For papers for province-specific subjects, such as First Additional and Second Additional Languages, we (and learners, by extension) were forced to rely on the DBE, with typically poor results.
Do you need to prepare for your matric exams but can’t find past papers to help you study? You can find comprehensive collections of official matric past papers, memos and appendices on Paperight! Here are links to all of our matric exam packs for non-language subjects:
If you have any questions about our matric exam packs, feel free to drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adventure stories aren’t just for kids, you know. While tales of deserted islands and giant sea monsters might seem like the preserves of the imaginations of children, it’s not the trip itself that turns an adventure novel into a great book. That’s because adventure isn’t just about finding new horizons, it’s also about finding parts of yourself that you never knew existed. And there’s nothing childish about that.
Although modern times have seemingly shrunk our world, maybe you should put aside your jadedness for a little while and reacquaint yourself with three of the greatest adventure novels ever written. Shipwrecks, sled dogs, clandestine submarine adventures and just a little bit of self-discovery – all available right now on Paperight:
Defoe’s fictional diary of a shipwrecked Spaniard in the Caribbean is the template for all great original adventure novels. It throws together all of the necessary ingredients for dangerous escapades: cannibals, pirates, mutineers, a lost fortune and – somewhat unexpectedly – packs of starving wild wolves.
Inspired by the story of Scottish castaway and real-life Ultimate Survivor Andrew Selkirk, Robinson Crusoe is about friendship across cultural lines, loyalty, discipline and personal development in difficult and alien environments. Intricately-written and surprisingly deep, Crusoe is a celebration of survival at all costs. (Although it isn’t exactly a thoughtful testament to careful seafaring and not murdering people.)
Fathered by a generous Anglican priest, the Brontës’ affection-filled childhoods of imaginative games, toys and abundant literature was tempered by the death of their mother and both of their elder sisters, who had died after poor treatment at boarding school, at which all the Brontë girls except for Anne were enrolled.
After educations in more caring and less tuberculosis-filled surroundings, Anne, Charlotte and Emily all started their writing careers under male pseudonyms, following the custom of female authors at the time. Contrary to their timid public natures, however, they produced works of fiction that challenged the moral standards of Victorian Britain, shocking their readers with portrayals of women who strove towards maturity, fulfilment and independence.
Although they share many similarities in their writing, the Brontës all had their own thematic concerns and distinct narrative voices. Charlotte and Emily’s writings were particularly influenced by Romantic writings, especially those of Lord Byron: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights (both published in 1847) feature timid women struggling in their relationships with dark, arrogant, but frustratingly attractive men. Anne, however, thought that books should provide moral education, and was greatly influenced by her time as a governess, as well as the death of the girls’ only brother Branwell from alcoholism-onset tuberculosis.
All of the Brontës died young, in fact: none of the siblings managed to reach 40, and were all outlived by their father. But even with only a combined output of seven adult novels (four by Charlotte, two by Anne and one by Emily) and one collaborative book of poetry between them, the Brontës scaled the heights of English literature, writing some of the most influential novels of all time and paving the way for more women writers to ply their trade for the remainder of the 19th century – and a long time after that, too.
We are proud to have every Brontë novel, as well as their book of poetry, available right now on Paperight.
Founded in 1992, the South African Institute of Distance Education has been tirelessly promoting and catalysing the development of open education and technology in education in Southern Africa for the past two decades. More so than in any other place in the world, education in Southern Africa has peculiar challenges. The double burden of old colonial educational systems haphazardly reformed and (in some cases) incompetently run has resulted in the unhappy truth that Southern Africa is home to some of the worst-performing schooling systems in the world.
A non-governmental organisation, SAIDE aims to address the difficulties of educating in Southern Africa by implementing new models of open learning and distance education, promoting easy and free access to quality educational materials for educators and administrators through the use of information and communications technology.
Technology isn’t just window-dressing: technologies like the internet and e-books give their users access to free information that helps to redress past inequalities and facilitate the professional development of educators, regardless of budget or location. Because of its NGO status, SAIDE is also in a position to work collaboratively with other education providers “to facilitate networks and provide advice on the planning and implementation of distance education and the evaluation, development and sharing of courses and materials.”
At the moment, SAIDE has written a number of e-books, including valuable resources like:
- Being a Teacher: a systematic overview of teaching as a profession and the role of teachers in our society.
- Using Media: a guide to help teachers integrate popular media, textbooks and computer technologies into their teaching.
- Creating a Caring School: a guide for school management teams and administrators to help them create schools that facilitate learning through positive, caring environments.
Good administration and teaching in Southern Africa is of the utmost importance, so we are very happy to say that these three books, along with a number of other SAIDE titles, are available right now on Paperight.
One of the great novelists of the 20th century – and perhaps of all time – F. Scott Fitzgerald is our featured author this week. During a short life of glamour, heavy drinking and destructively fraught romances, Fitzgerald wrote four novels and numerous short stories that came to define the Jazz Age.
Usually brief, usually gorgeously written, his work dealt mostly with the fleetingness of youth, the superficiality of beauty and the unresolved promise of the American Dream. Underlying everything is his own existential despair: the haunting imagery of even seemingly light-hearted stories such as “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (made into a feature film in 2008) and “The Camel’s Back”, written by Fitzgerald to fund a purchase of a platinum and diamond wristwatch, expresses the inevitability of failure and the silent terror of ageing. His life – of outward beauty and rotten relationships – formed the material for many of his stories.
When Fitzgerald died in 1940, from a heart attack at the age of 44, he thought himself a failure; today, over tens of millions of copies of his books have been sold. In contrast to the society he wrote about the most, Fitzgerald’s stories are genuinely, profoundly beautiful. Perhaps unexpectedly, they’re also very easy to read, making books like The Great Gatsby a staple in high schools and colleges worldwide.
Fitzgerald’s four finished novels, This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender is the Night, and The Great Gatsby – along with collections of his short stories, Flappers and Philosophers, Tales of the Jazz Age and The Complete Pat Hobby Stories – are all available right now on Paperight.
Legendary self-help writer Napoleon Hill is our featured author this week. Almost single-handedly launching the modern genre of personal-success literature with his 1937 masterpiece Think and Grow Rich, Hill’s motivational treatises have shaped the lives of – quite literally – millions of people.
Hill spent the larger portion of his life researching and investigating the everyday habits and personal belief systems of the world’s most successful and affluent people. During an encounter with industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie at the turn of the 20th century, Hill hypothesised that the process of personal success could be distilled into a simple formula that anyone could understand and, crucially, that anyone could use to change their life for the better.
In trying to work out the formula for sure success, Hill would interview and analyse the behaviour and belief systems of thousands of successful men and women from all fields of industry, attempting to figure out what made them different from the layperson. His conclusion? That most people hold no or few firm beliefs or ambitions and, because of that, are left behind. Without the “white heat of desire”, Hill postulated, “you may as well know, right here, that you can never have riches in great quantities.”
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” was one of Hill’s trademark sayings. It was also the basis for his two most famous works, the seminal Think and Grow Rich, as well as the highly influential The Law of Success. Luckily for you (and your wallet), both of these books are available right now on Paperight. Success!
South African TV journalist, radio correspondent and novelist Hamilton Wende is our featured author this week. Wende’s astounding clarity and knowledge about some of the world’s most opaque and bewildering conflicts, as well as the wildly different countries in which they take place, has made his reportage an indispensable guide to understanding the story behind the stories on our screens and in our hands.
His collection of wartime dispatches, Deadlines from the Edge, offers vivid vignettes of a number of conflicts, from the unpredictable brutality of the Congo to the ideological attrition of Afghanistan. Meticulously-written, startling in its clarity, and utterly personal, Deadlines offers an inner view into the psyche of the war reporter, and the nuances of conflicts that are too readily simplified in day-to-day news reportage.
In contrast to Deadlines‘ globe-trotting, Wende’s Alan Paton Award-nominated travel memoir True North takes a more focused route, following his travels through Africa, into countries where serene and overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes are jarringly contrasted with the barbarity of civil war. Documenting Africa’s less-travelled roads, Wende captures the alienation and difficulty of being an outsider in a tumultuous place.
“I like to explore the paradox between where we find ourselves and where we want to be,” Wende writes. In both of these books, we see travel writing of vocation instead of vacation; of involvement instead of surveillance.
Our outlets need a simple way to tell their customers that they can print Paperight books, and what books are available. So we’ve made a poster for the shop window. (Click the thumbnail to enlarge, or download the 1.2MB PDF)
Right now, we have about a thousand books on the site. So we chose about 50 that we think show off some of our best stuff so far. We’ve included a lot of high-school and undergrad setworks, some classic self-help, and the thing that gets us most of our Internet traffic: past papers for South Africa’s grade 12 exams. There’s also sheet music, resources for teachers and nurses, classic children’s books, sci-fi and fantasy novels, and seminal philosophy and psychology.
Any outlet that registers or asks for one will get a copy of the poster. It’s A2, and printed on lovely thick recycled paper.
On the back is a big, catchy cover and headline. Put it in a shop window and the catchy side attracts customers while the inside shows our fav-fifty books. Each featured book has a 3-digit shortcode for finding it quickly on paperight.com – just enter the shortcode in the search bar.
Also, any outlet that registers in Feb (and most of March we reckon, while budget lasts) will get $50 credited to their account, which will cover the rights fees for about 30 books. Just register and choose ‘Account’ as your payment method when ordering.