Pupils give new study app a thumbs up

SACS pupil Gift Nkulu

Southern suburbs pupils are the first to try a new free learning tool that could help them prepare for their final exams and tests.

The pupils from SACS, Bishops and Cedar House gave Examsta – an app with quizzes based on the South African school syllabus – the thumbs up.

The app was tested on 500 pupils from the three schools with 81% of them giving it the thumbs-up, according to Marie de Wet, who came up with the idea for the app.

While the app is in the testing phase, its content will be freely available to all South Africa pupils.

Each quiz includes 10 to 15 multiple-choice questions, with clear explanations and diagrams used to explain answers for pupils to improve their score in the next round.

Only life-sciences quizzes for Grades 10 to matric are available currently in the testing phase.

From January next year, users can have access to quizzes for all subjects in their grade for R100 a year.

Imad Khan, 16, a Grade 11 from Bishops, said Examsta had been very helpful, and his teacher had incorporated it into their lessons.”On the site, I am quizzed on work I had studied. It’s a great way because I can get the exact section I covered and get questions on that to help test myself and see how well I know my work.”

Imad said the site was easy to use with everything in labelled sections.

SACS matric pupil Gift Nkulu echoed Imad’s sentiment’s, saying he found the site easy to use and understand.

“Examsta was introduced to us through our life-sciences Google classroom. Originally our school was going to be used as part of a research project into the effectiveness of the app compared to more traditional teaching and learning methods (such as textbooks). However, due to the pandemic, this could not happen, and therefore the app was made available to all life-sciences pupils at our school. I found it really helpful as it provided a lot of extra information not included in the notes we went through in class or online.”

Ms De Wet said quizzing and testing promoted active learning and was effective for long-term retention.

“Studying is not just a passive process of re-reading information, taking notes and hoping to internalise knowledge. Teachers and pupils in most learning situations would benefit from increasing the level of retrieval, and this should be preferred to re-teaching as a learning strategy,” she said.

Ms De Wet is a qualified teacher doing her Masters in educational technology. Pupils can go to www.examsta.co.za to access all life-sciences content free of charge.