Deciding on which online platform to use to support your child’s high school studying and revision is a big decision. Questions like “are the teachers any good” or “is this the right approach for my child” are important, and not to be overlooked. The purpose of this page is to answer as many of your questions and concerns as possible. If there is anything we have missed, please get in contact with us via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.
How effective is practicing past exam papers?
If your child relies on classroom time alone for their learning, they will underperform in their exams. After school revision is essential. We are not talking about that frantic cramming that happens a week before the finals, we are talking about consistent revision throughout the year. Given that their entire school career will be judged on their final exam marks, it should come as no surprise that past exam papers are the best source of revision. Practicing the questions presented in textbooks only is also not enough, as these questions are designed to reinforce a specific concept. Exam questions, however, are designed to test understanding and are therefore often more complex and can span multiple sections within a subject.
What if my child needs to speak to someone?
This is quite a common question. So common in fact, that we even put chat threads under each of our videos (and we have over 14,000 videos). The idea was that if a video was not sufficient in helping the learner, they could pop us a question asking for help. We eventually took this feature down as it was hardly ever used. Our videos are very in depth. Each one covers the steps to answering the question as well as the theory required to understand why each step was taken. What we do suggest is that learners get hold of us via our contact page if they find that a video is not helping them.
When will there be more lesson worksheets for grades 11 and 12?
We offer two resource types: Exam papers and lesson worksheets. Our primary focus is on exam papers. We are first and foremost a revision resource. Second to this, we create lesson worksheets that cover topics in much the same way as a classroom lesson. Lesson worksheets take longer to create, and we release new ones if and when we can. In the event that a lesson worksheet on a particular topic is not available on our platform, it should be available in other South African platforms. Check out Siyavula as your first stop. Our expertise and core value offering are in exam papers. This is what differentiates us.
Which grades and subjects do you offer?
We cover Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Accounting across grades 8 – 12. We do not cover maths literacy.
What is the cost of this?
Our resources are available via a subscription for each subject. We offer three tiers: FREE – A small sample to first see if Paper Video is going to work for your child before paying. STANDARD – Access to all content. PREMIUM – Access to all content and multiple-choice assessment to track your performance. The cost per subject (covering grades 8-12), per month is available on our pricing page.
How often should my child use this resource?
Studying is like tending to a garden; a little bit of effort, once or twice a month is better than a lot of effort once or twice a year. The other extreme is also best avoided, which is to try study too frequently. This is not sustainable and may lead to burnout. Each child has their own preference for how they learn, so it is better to work with your child to test different approaches to find what works. Which ever approach you hit upon, try aim to get through at least 1 exam paper per month, starting from as early as possible, and ramp up this number closer to exam time. Early in the year it won’t be possible for your child to work through a whole paper as not all the sections will have been covered yet. In such cases, they should work through the relevant section across multiple papers. Paper Video’s search functionality makes this a simple task. By entering a keyword, all questions with that keyword, across all our papers, will be shown.
How do I know if it is working?
Until now, you would have needed to rely on your child’s feedback. Now that is not to be knocked, because if a child vouches for a resource, they are probably telling the truth, given the almost universal dislike that children have for anything school related. However, as of September 2022, we will be introducing a more quantitative measure. This will come in the form of our multiple-choice question assessment, which will be available on the premium packages for Mathematics and Physical Sciences.
How does Paper Video compare to hiring a private tutor?
Private tutoring includes three services: Tuition Live Q&A Schedule management Paper Video offers the first of those three. We do our utmost to get around the second point by making our videos as thorough as possible. I cover this under “What if my child needs to speak to someone”. The third point is something we simply don’t replicate. As such, we advise parents that if their child is also in need of schedule management, they are better off finding a private tutor. However, if your child has a handle on their study management, then they can leverage Paper Video very effectively and at great cost saving to you. Paper Video is to DIY what private tutoring is to hiring a handyman.
How do I get started?
The first step is to sign up an account. You will need to sign up one account per child. As part of the sign-up process, you will select your packages. It is at this step that you can either decide to try out the resources for free or go straight into a paid account. After this step you will go through to your new account dashboard. This displays your child’s progress. In the top right of your new account will be the subject dropdown, from where you can select your subject and start using the resources. If you selected a free account, but later decide to upgrade to one of the paid packages, this can be done via the subscription page, accessible via the profile dropdown in the top right corner of your account.
Can I try one subject and add another one later?
Yes! You have a chance to choose your initial subject packages upon signup. However, further changes to your account can be made via the subscription management page under the profile dropdown in the top right corner of your account. From here you can also pause and reactivate your subscription at any time.
How do I know if this is going to work for my child?
This question is an age old one when exploring any new service. The best way to answer it is to try our resources on the FREE package before committing to any of the paid packages.
Can I track my child’s progress?
Your child’s usage can be tracked via the dashboard on their account. As of September 2022, those who sign up for the premium packages for Mathematics and/or Physical Sciences will also be able to view their child’s assessment results from this same dashboard.
Who do I contact for support?
email@example.com or via the contact form on our website. We endeavour to get back to all emails within 24 hours during business days.
What makes Paper Video different to any other online resource?
There are a number of online high school resources available to South Africans. When we created Paper Video, we didn’t set about building a me-too business. We wanted to build something that addressed a missing piece of the puzzle of what was on offer. It was clear that no one was addressing a scalable alternative to private tutors. To do this, you need to create thousands of individual explanations for past exam paper questions. It turns out that this a daunting task. However, we figured out how to do it, back in 2014. We have been improving the process since then and are unsurpassed in the specific task of providing high volumes of high-quality exam revision video content. This is our focus. There are other great South African resources available for other purposes. There is not a one size fits all. It’s like buying a car. Everyone accepts that there are hundreds of different types of cars for different purposes. However, it is a common misconception that all education platforms are basically trying to do the same thing. You need to find what is going to work for your child. If your child is specifically struggling with their exam paper practice, then Paper Video is a perfect fit for them. One tell-tale sign that your child may need Paper Video is if you’ve heard them saying something like, “I understand the work, but when I’m in a test/exam I don’t know how to do the questions.”
My child doesn’t know where to start, they are so lost.
This is a common feeling of hopelessness in learners. The feeling that so much has rushed past them that there is no hope left for a recovery. I recall feeling this many times when I was in school and university, and so you may have as well. The truth is that they are never as lost as what they think they are. The reality is that it is not about finding a starting point but committing to daily revision over the course of months, not 2 weeks before the final exams. Then, your child must not start off by trying to go through whole past papers. This will only worsen the situation. What they must do is start out by identifying the topic that they are most familiar with and start working on easy questions under this topic. The Paper Video platform allows your child to search on a topic name and set the difficulty of question they want to practice. Once they are confident in that section, they can move to the next most familiar section. It is a slow and steady process, but it works. It is like the saying goes; how do you eat an elephant… one bite at a time.
Can I download Pdfs of your exam papers?
We don’t offer our exams as pdfs. Instead, each question is individually inputted, to allow for a specific type of question from each exam paper to be displayed together, when using our search functionality.
How does my child practice one section of work in the exam papers?
Unless exams are a matter of weeks away, your child is likely to only want to practice the questions that relate to what the are currently doing in class. However, opening a whole bunch of past papers to only get at one question in each can be tiresome. For this reason, we created our search functionality. At the top of the page of exam papers for each grade and subject, there is a search bar. Your child can start typing keywords here and select the relevant ones that come up in a list. When they click the search button, all the questions that contain those keywords will be presented in one place.
What payment options do you offer.
You can pay for your monthly subscription by credit card or EFT. Your credit card details are captured directly by our payment provider, Peach Payments, one of SA’s leading payment gateways. We do not store or even see your credit card details. Our EFT payment option is 100% controlled by you. We provide our bank details, and you provide us with proof of payment. There is no third-party login to your bank account.
Which curriculum do you cover?
Our resources are based on the SA CAPS curriculum. Our exams are a mix of past national and provincial papers, and internally set (based on CAPS documents). We have also introduced IEB papers in 2022. A common misconception is that IEB is a separate curriculum. It is in fact also based on the CAPS curriculum. Where it differs is in the way that exams are structured, and the way in which questions can be asked.
I struggle to get my child to sit down and study
This is very common and very natural. The benefits of studying and doing well at school are still a long way off from their point of view, or not even apparent. Socialising and entertainment are typically more appealing for a high school teenager. How this becomes an issue is not that they won’t start studying, but rather that they become discouraged easily. Often the phase, “I’m bored of this”, is actually covering up, “I don’t know how to do this, so I’d rather be doing something else.” At this point, they will quickly turn to something that they know they will enjoy. To mitigate this, you need to have a plan in place to help your child each time they get stuck. This could include hiring a private tutor or using Paper Video.
My child has given up because they are too far behind.
This is not an easy situation to deal with as it comes with a spectrum of severity. The worst-case scenario is that they need to repeat a year. However, while a high percentage of children feel this way, only a very small percentage are actually this far behind. More often, immediate daily revision can turn this situation around within a month (daily intensive revision is not sustainable in the long run but is required over a few weeks to turn a bad situation around) . The challenge now, however, is where to start? The best approach is to start with easy practice questions within each section. Divide the exam paper up into its different sections and spend one day on each section doing the easy questions. On Paper Video, this can be done via our search functionality and by selecting the difficulty level 1 filter. The next step might sound counter-intuitive, but after your child has gone through all sections, get them to spend some more time on the section for which they felt strongest. However, this time they should attempt difficulty level 2 questions. The reason for this is to build confidence as quickly as possible. Once your child is confident taking on level 2 questions in one section, they will have a strong foundation in that section and feel more confident to head into more uncertain territory. They should now move on to their next strongest section and repeat. As this process continues, don’t worry about moving up to difficulty level 3 questions. These represent a relatively small portion of the exam and are best practiced once your child feels like they have mastered most of the subject.
Is there some form of assessment on your platform?
COMING SOON! For years we have been asked this, and by the end of September 2022, our multiple-choice question assessment will go live for Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Each question will come with its own multiple-choice question, and the results from all attempts will be tallied up live and displayed on your child’s dashboard.
How do you select your teachers?
Our teachers are rigorously selected. Each teacher starts out with a basic background check on their experience. We look for teachers with at least 5 years of teaching experience. For those who will be producing matric resources, we look for at least two of those years to be at the matric level and matric final exam marking experience. The next phase is for them to submit examples of their teaching. Here we check for qualities such as depth of curriculum knowledge, clarity of explanation and personality. The final phase is for them to produce the videos for an entire paper under close collaboration. This is a steep learning curve and the teachers who make it through this phase will have proven themselves. Once a teacher has passed through these three phases, they become a qualified Paper Video teacher.
You don’t have the latest papers.
A Paper Video exam is no static pdf, but instead a deeply enriched blended learning resource. This takes time and money. It is not unusual for us to be a year behind due to the time required to go from pdf to Paper Video resource. We work with some of SA’s top teachers to bring you a carefully curated product of excellence. As they are all full-time teachers, their availability can be limited. They often give up significant portions of their holidays to produce their video content. Each paper also requires significant inputting of data to ensure the proper working of our unique search functionality.
Your papers go back as far as 2013. Are these even relevant?
You may be wondering about papers that are dated before the CAPS syllabus was introduced. For such papers, we CAPS aligned them. This means that we removed and added questions where necessary, according to the current CAPS documents. In other words, a 2013 paper on our platform is not identical to the one that was originally released, but instead consistent with current standards.
What if I want to cancel?
If you are subscribed to one of our paid packages and decide that you want to temporarily or permanently cancel your subscription, this can be done via the subscription page, accessible via the profile dropdown in the top right corner of your account.
Where was this when I was in school?
😊 This question gets asked by parents all the time, and we love to hear it every time. It is the ultimate compliment. The closest thing we had back in our school days was the learning channel, presented by William Smith. In fact, he has even endorsed Paper Video: “Since my days at Learning Channel, I have been approached by several South African education initiatives to endorse their products. To date, Paper Video has been the only one that I am prepared to support because what has been developed is amazingly good. Paper Video is the Learning Channel as I left it, taken to the next level!”