Prof Kobus Maree from the department of educational psychology at the University of Pretoria has moved to remind people that the word "fail" should not be used when it comes to matric pupils who do not do well in the examinations.
The professor said the word "fail" had no place in current society.
“The phrase ‘insufficient achievement’ is more appropriate”, Maree said in a statement.
The individual matric results will be released on Wednesday.
Maree said while the marks obtained in these exams determined the university to which a pupil could be admitted, they do not determine whether or not one will be successful in life.
“It hurts when one learns that the outcomes of an examination were less successful than expected. But step back emotionally and interpret the experience logically. All human beings experience success,and are less successful from time to time. This is the most normal thing in the world,” he said.
Maree advised that pupils should instead try to figure out ways to improve the results they received, and view this as an opportunity for growth. He advised that they look into getting remarked, register for supplementary exams or redo certain subjects or the entire grade.
Either way, he said, hard work was needed.