The supplemental instruction (SI) programme has been well-established worldwide and the resulting success of the programme is indisputable. The University of Pretoria has decided on SI as the model to be used for addressing the underpreparedness of students entering the university, largely brought about by the changes in the curricula at secondary school level. The SI model was piloted in two courses, one in mathematics and another in chemistry, each consisting of more than a thousand students. This article addresses implementation issues of SI for such a large group of students in mathematics. It cautions would-be implementers to pitfalls and shortcomings of the SI model and suggests how the model could be adapted to answer the current needs. This article also shows that despite problems in strictly adhering to SI principles in the implementation of the programme, participants showed increased performance.