APS

Learning about your APS, what it is and how to calculate it can be very empowering. Knowing your APS will allow you to have an idea of what university courses you are eligible to apply to study.

What Does APS Stand For?

APS stands for Admission Points Score. This is the system used by universities to determine whether or not a potential student is eligible to apply to a specific course. 

 

Your APS is calculated using your final Matric marks. The percentages are divided into brackets, and each bracket is allocated a point score.

What Is An APS Score?

Your APS is a points-based representation of your Matric marks. It is used by universities to determine whether or not applicants are eligible to apply. This is to help streamline the application process because universities receive thousands of applications every year.

What Is APS?

APS stands for Admission Points Score. This is a system used by universities to determine whether or not you are eligible to apply to study there. Your APS is calculated using your final Matric marks. These marks are converted from percentages into points that are much easier to work with.

What Is The Highest APS Score?

The highest score you can get for a subject is 7. This means that the highest APS you can get is 42 since it is calculated from six of your seven subjects. When calculating your APS, Life Orientation does not count.

How Do I Check My APS Score?

You can use an online calculator to find your APS. When inputting your marks, remember to select the single point bracket for your Life Orientation mark, no matter what your actual mark is.

What Is A Good APS?

A good APS is subjective and depends on what you want to study after Matric. If you are wanting to further your studies with tertiary education, the minimum APS requirements for different qualifications are as follows: 

 

  • Bachelor’s pass – minimum APS 21
  • Diploma pass – minimum APS 18 
  • Higher Certificate pass – minimum APS 15
  • NSC pass – minimum APS 14 

 

Remember that these are only the minimum requirements, and some universities will have their own specific requirements to be met as well. Certain courses, such as medicine, will require a higher APS than 21 no matter where you study. Be sure to check for any additional entry requirements for the course you want to study.

How Do You Calculate APS?

To calculate your APS, you need to find what subjects have what points. The points allocation is as follows: 


  • 80% – 100%: 7 points 
  • 70% – 79%: 6 points 
  • 60% – 69%: 5 points
  • 50% – 59%: 4 points 
  • 40% – 49%: 3 points 
  • 30% – 39%: 2 points 
  • 0% – 29%: 1 point 

 

Using this information, you can calculate your APS by matching your marks to their respective brackets and adding the points. 

 

However, remember that universities do not count Life Orientation the same as other subjects. You will receive only one point for Life Orientation if you passed, no matter what your actual marks were. Some universities will not count it at all. So if you decide to use an online calculator, remember to enter Life Orientation as the single point bracket. 

 

Check with the university you are applying to whether or not they count Life Orientation. 

 

Your APS can also only be calculated using seven subjects. This includes your home language, first additional language, maths or maths literacy, life orientation, and your three optional subjects. If you took extra subjects, you must use the three subjects with the best marks for your APS.

Which Subjects Count For APS?

All subjects count for your APS except for Life Orientation. You must pass Life Orientation to pass Matric, and if you passed, it will count only for one point.    The list of subjects that count for your APS  is as follows:
Accounting Agricultural Management Practices
Agricultural Sciences Agricultural Technology
Business Studies Civil Technolog
Computer Applications Technology Consumer Studies
Dance Studies Dramatic Arts
Economics Electrical Technology
Engineering Graphics and Design Geography
History Hospitality Studies
Information Technology Life Sciences
Mathematics Mathematical Literacy
Mechanical Technology Music
Physical Sciences Religion Studies
Tourism Visual Arts
Your Home Language and your First Additional Language subjects will also count toward your APS.

Is LO Included In APS?

No, Life Orientation is not included in your APS. Some universities will count it for a single point if you passed, some will give it half the allocated score, and some will not count it at all. It is easiest to calculate your APS without Life Orientation to be sure you know all points count. 

Which App Can I Use To Calculate My APS?

To calculate your APS, you can use an online calculator. Remember to enter Life Orientation in the single point bracket no matter what your actual marks are, as some universities only count the subject as one point whereas other universities do not count it at all.

How Many Subjects Do You Need To Pass Matric?

When you write your Matric, you will write seven subjects. You must pass six subjects, including Life Orientation. You may fail a single subject, as long as your overall aggregate is above 30%.

Can You Pass Matric With 6 Subjects?

Yes, you can pass Matric with six subjects. You may fail one of your seven subjects except for Life Orientation as long as you pass all other subjects.

What Is The Minimum APS Score For A Bachelor Degree Pass?

The minimum APS for a Bachelor’s pass is 21. However, some Bachelor’s Degree courses require a higher APS to apply, such as medicine or law.

What Is The Difference Between APS And Bachelor’s Pass?

The difference between APS and a Bachelor’s pass is that the APS is a system used to determine your pass level, and a Bachelor’s pass is one of those pass levels. There are four pass levels, and they are: 

  • Bachelor’s pass (also known as Matric Exemption)
  • Diploma pass
  • Higher Certificate pass
  • National Senior Certificate pass/Matric pass 

Why Do Universities Use APS?

APS is an easy system to use to determine whether or not a potential applicant is eligible to apply. Rather than looking at each specific percentage, the marks are converted into points that are much easier and faster to add up. 

 

This helps to streamline the application process for universities because they get many thousands of applicants every year.

What Can I Study With A Bachelor Pass In Matric?

Depending on your APS, you can study any Bachelor’s Degree course. Check the specific APS requirements for the course you would like to apply for. 

Why Is Grade 11 So Important?

It is important to do well in Grade 11 so that you have a good foundation to start Matric. This will help you to do your best in Matric. You can also apply to universities early using your Grade 11 report to gain provisional entry. If you are given provisional entry, you can then submit your Matric results as soon as they are released. The university will then use your Matric results to make a final decision on whether or not to grant you admission.

When Do I Need To Get My Admission Points Score?

You can get your APS as soon as your Matric results are released. You will need your APS to know what courses you can apply to.

Which Marks Do Universities Look At?

Universities can look at both your Grade 11 and Matric marks. If you apply early, universities will look at your Grade 11 report to decide whether or not to grant provisional entry. They will then use your Matric marks when they are released to make the final decision for admission. 

 

If you choose not to apply early, universities will only look at your Matric marks. 

Can You Apply To University With Grade 12 Marks?

Yes, you must apply to universities with your Matric marks. You can apply early to universities using your Grade 11 marks to gain provisional entry, but to secure your place you must submit your Matric marks when they are released for the university to make the final decision. 

What Is The Minimum APS To Get Into University?

This depends on what course you want to study. The lowest qualification you can apply for at a university is a Higher Certificate. To be eligible to apply for a Higher Certificate, you must meet the minimum requirements for a Higher Certificate pass. 

 

If you want to study for a higher qualification, you must achieve the minimum requirements for the qualification you want to study for to be eligible to apply. 

 

Note that the minimum APS requirements are only the minimum, and achieving this does not guarantee admission to your chosen course.

Are APS Scores Important?

Yes, your APS is a points-based representation of your Matric marks and is a way to know whether or not you are eligible to apply to study for certain. It is important to know your APS so that you know what courses you can apply to.

How Do I Get My APS?

You can get your APS by using an online calculator or by calculating it yourself. Here is a guide to matching your percentages achieved in your exams to the points earned:
APS Calculations

What Can I Study With My APS?

The qualification level that you can study is determined by your APS. Often, universities will have their own method of calculating your APS, and they will usually have a calculator on their website to determine your APS by their method. However, calculating your own APS will give you an excellent starting point for finding what courses you can apply to. 

 

Sometimes universities will also have their own specific subject requirements for each course. Check with the university you are applying to about their requirements for the course you want to apply to. Some great ones to look at are: 

 

What Is The APS Needed For University?

The APS you will need is determined by the qualification you want to study for. There are four pass levels and each one determines the highest level qualification you can apply to. Each one has its own requirements. 

 

When checking the APS requirements, remember that Life Orientation only counts for one point, no matter what your marks are. The pass level requirements are as follows:

Bachelor’s Degree Pass

To receive a Bachelor’s Degree pass, you must have the following: 

 

  • 40% or above for English Home Language
  • 50% or above for Mathematics, OR 60% or above for Mathematical Literacy 
  • 50% or above for three other subjects, excluding Life Orientation 
  • 30% or above for Life Orientation
  • 30% or above for one other subject 

This makes your APS total 21. 

Diploma Pass

To receive a Diploma pass, you must have the following: 

40 % or above for English Home Language 

40 % or above for Mathematics, OR 50% or above for Mathematical Literacy 

40% or above for three other subjects, excluding Life Orientation 

30% or above for Life Orientation 

30% or above for one other subject 

This brings your APS total to 18, which is the minimum entry requirement for a Diploma at a university. 

Higher Certificate Pass

To receive a Higher Certificate pass, you must have the following: 

 

40% or above for English Home Language 

40% or above for Mathematics, OR 50% or above for Mathematical Literacy 

40% or above for one other subject 

30% or above for Life Orientation

30% or above for two other subjects 

 

This brings your APS total to 15 which is the minimum entry requirement for a Higher Certificate at a college. 

NSC Pass 

To receive an NSC pass, you must have the following: 

 

40% or above for English Home Language 

40% or above for Mathematics, OR 50% or above for Mathematical Literacy 

40% or above for one other subject 

30% or above for Life Orientation

30% or above for three other subjects 

 

This brings your APS total to 14 which is the minimum requirement to pass matric, but will not admit you into any university or higher certificate courses. 

 

Note that these are just the minimum requirements, and achieving these requirements allows you to apply to the qualification, but does not guarantee you entry into a course.

What Can I Do If My APS Is Not High Enough?

There are options available if your APS is not high enough for the course you want to study. These options include: 

 

  • Study at a lower level 
  • Matric Rewrite 
  • Matric Upgrade 

Study At A Lower Level 

If your APS does not meet the requirements for a certain course, you can begin by studying at a lower level and working up to that qualification. 

 

For example, if you wanted to study for a Bachelor’s Degree but your APS only meets the requirements for a Diploma, you can start with a Diploma and then study for a Bachelor’s Degree. 

 

Some universities will also allow you to transfer from a Diploma to a Bachelor’s Degree if your APS just missed the requirements and your Diploma studies go very well. If there are open places in the Bachelor’s Degree course you want to study, some universities will consider students whose APS was just one or two points below the required score. 

Matric Rewrite 

If you are under the age of 21 and would like to improve your Matric marks, Matric Rewrite can help you do that. You can improve your marks in up to two subjects with a Matric Rewrite. These must be subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams, you cannot change subjects for the rewrite. 

 

To apply for Matric Rewrite, you will need: 

 

  • A copy of your Statement of Results
  • A certified copy of your ID

Matric Upgrade

Matric Upgrade is the option available to those who are over the age of 21 and would like to improve their Matric marks. When upgrading your Matric, you can upgrade as many subjects as you would like, and you can also choose to change any or all of your subjects if you would prefer to. 

 

You must be over the age of 21 to do a Matric Upgrade because you will write the Adult Matric exams. You can apply as early as 19 as long as you are over the age of 21 when you write the exams. 

 

To apply for a Matric Upgrade, you will need: 

 

  • A copy of your Statement of Results
  • A certified copy of your ID 

Where Can I Study For A Rewrite Or Upgrade?

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric Programmes to help you get the Matric results you want. Some of these colleges are: 

 

Why Choose Distance Learning? 

Distance learning has many benefits, such as being able to work to earn an income while you are studying. You can also study from the comfort of your own home and keep your study times flexible. 

 

Distance learning can also have its downsides, such as battling to stay motivated. To combat this, you can join an online study group. At Together We Pass, we offer a wide range of resources to help you pass, such as study notes and exam packs

Can I Combine My Results After A Rewrite Or Upgrade?

Yes, you can combine your results once you have completed your rewrite or upgrade. Note that the Department of Education does not do this automatically, you must apply for a combined certificate. The certificate you will apply for is the Replacement Certificate: Change of Status. 

How Do I Apply For Combined Results?

You can apply for your Replacement Certificate: Change of Status online. You will need to pay the fee and then fill in the form. You must submit proof of payment along with your form. The fee is currently R153, and this price is valid until 31 March 2023, after which it will be subject to change. 

 

For details on how to submit payment and how to proceed, you can check the Department of Education website

Can I Buy My Matric Certificate? 

No, you cannot buy your Matric Certificate. The only way to receive your Matric Certificate is from Umalusi through the Department of Education. Umalusi has stated that any participation in the buying and selling of Matric Certificates is a criminal offence. 

Can I Apply To University While I Upgrade Or Rewrite?

Yes, you can apply while you are improving your Matric marks. Universities will allow you to begin studying the qualification level below the one you would like, and then you may transfer to the higher level qualification once you have improved your Matric marks if you meet the requirements. 

 

Some universities will allow you to begin studying the qualification you would like to while you improve your marks if you missed the requirements by a small percentage. 

Do Universities Accept Upgraded Marks? 

Yes, universities do accept upgraded marks. Once you have completed your upgrade and got your combined results, your new certificate works the same way as a Matric Certificate.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: April 8, 2022

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