Can You Get A Matric Certificate Even When You Have Failed At School?

Yes, if you have failed before, you can still get your Matric Certificate. Here are four options to get your Matric:

 
  • Repeat the school year, and rewrite at the end
  • Supplementary exams
  • Matric Upgrade
  • Adult Matric
can I get a matric certificate if I have failed

Repeat The School Year

You can repeat your Matric year at another school and start with a clean slate. You will need to work harder than before in order to pass.

Supplementary Exams

This is often known as a rewrite. With a rewrite, you can improve your marks to meet the requirements to pass your Matric. However, you may only rewrite a maximum of two subjects, meaning if you failed more than two subjects, you will have to wait to get an Adult Matric. 

Entry Requirements for Matric Rewrite

  • You are younger than 21 years old
  • You have not met the requirements of the November exams
  • You have passed but want to improve your marks
  • You could not write the exams due to unforeseen circumstances

Duration:

Between 12 to 24 months is the recommended time.

Where Can I Apply?

  • Your high school
  • District offices
  • Provincial offices
  • Online

What Do I Need to Apply?

  • Copy of your Statement of Results
  • Certified copy of your ID
  • A motivational letter if it is required 

When Must I Apply?

The closing date to register for a Matric rewrite in 2022 was on 13 February. Usually the closing date to register for this exam is the end of January. The supplementary exams are written in March every year.



Matric Upgrade 

You can also upgrade your results by writing Adult Matric exams. These marks will replace the marks you have received at school. If you wrote your Matric in 2008 or after and you would like to improve your results, or take new subjects, a Matric Upgrade gives you the chance to do that. You will receive a National Senior Certificate after completing this course. Umalusi will combine the old with the new marks and issue the best marks. 

This programme is also available for students who have passed but would like to improve their marks. 

Entry Requirements

  • You must be 21 years old when you write the exam
  • Incomplete Matric results

Duration:

Between 12 to 24 months is the recommended time.

Where Can I Apply?

You can apply at Matric College for a Matric Upgrade. The CEO explains all you need to know about a Matric Upgrade on YouTube.

What Do I Need to Apply? 

  • Final Matric results from Umalusi
  • Certified copy of your ID
  • Email address and cellphone number

What Subjects Can I Apply For At Matric College?

Here are the different subjects we provide at Matric College:

  • English Home Language
  • English 1st Additional Language
  • Afrikaans Huistaal
  • Afrikaans 1st Additional Language
  • Other 1st Additional Language
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Literacy
  • Physical, Computer and Life Science Subjects
  • Life Science (Used to be Biology)
  • Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry)
  • Business, Commerce and Management Studies
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Human and Social Studies
  • Geography
  • History

When Must I Apply?

You can apply to study with Matric College any time. Remember that if you want to write your first Adult Matric Exams in May and June 2023, you need to register for the exams as soon as registration opens. Registration for 2022 closed on 13 February. 

Advantages Of Applying For A Matric Upgrade At Matric College

  • Matric College is a distance learning institute, this means that you can work and study at the same time
  • You can rewrite all of your subjects
  • All of your study material will be delivered to you
  • There are no hidden costs. Your course fee covers everything you need to study and to pass

Please Note: The Exam Fees are NOT included in your course fees.

How Many Times Can You Upgrade Your Matric?

You can upgrade your Matric marks as many times as you want.

Difference Between A Supplementary Exam And A Matric Upgrade

With a Supplementary exam, you are younger than 21 and you can only improve two of your subjects. Your school marks will also count as part of your final mark.

With a Matric Upgrade, you are 21 or older, and you write the Adult exams and may write as many subjects as you want. You also have the option of getting a completely new set of results.

Adult Matric

Adult Matric is for students who are older than 21 and have not completed school. It is also referred to as the Amended Senior Certificate. Both Adult Matric and High School Matric certificates are the same, as both are provided by Umalusi.

Entry Requirements

  • You must be 21 years old or older to write your first exam
  • Grade 9 certificate or equivalent certificate (e.g ABET NQF Level 1 and it must include 2 official languages)
  • An incomplete Matric result

Duration:

Between 12 to 24 months is the recommended time.

Where Can I Apply?

You can apply at Matric College for an Adult Matric programme. The CEO explains all you need to know about an Adult Matric on Youtube.

What Are The Subjects I Can Apply For At Matric College?

You must choose 3 compulsory subjects

You must choose 3 elective subjects

Compulsory Subjects

You must have a Home Language, an Additional Language and one of the Mathematics options.

  • English Home Language
  • English 1st Additional Language
  • Afrikaans Huistaal
  • Afrikaans 1st Additional Language
  • Other 1st Additional Language
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Literacy

Elective Subjects

  • Life Science (Used to be Biology)
  • Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry)
  • Business, Commerce and Management Studies
  • Accounting
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Human and Social Studies
  • Geography
  • History

When Must I Apply?

The portal only allows access from November each year to the end of January. The exam registration usually closes at the end of January each year. This year, it closed on 13 February 2022. We encourage all our students to register for the 2023 exams as soon as the exam registration opens. 

At Matric College we can assist you with registering for the exams, but we are not allowed to register on your behalf. We will send you a link to the Department of Basic Education portal where you are able to register for the exams.

How Do You Know You Have Failed Matric?

You can determine whether or not you have failed your Matric by looking at your final Matric results.

Different Pass Marks

These are the different types of pass:

  • Bachelors Pass
  • Diploma Pass
  • Higher Certificate Pass
  • Matric Pass
  • Failed Matric

Bachelors Pass

This is the pass rate most universities want when you apply for a Degree programme. This varies depending on the university’s requirements.

With this pass you can do a certificate, diploma or degree programme (depending on the university’s requirements).

What Does Your Results Look Like?

  • 40% for your home language
  • 50% in four other subjects 
  • 30 % in two other subjects 

Diploma Pass

With this pass rate you can study towards a diploma or certificate at a university or college. This also depends on the university’s requirements.

After completing your diploma you can do a degree. The university will determine whether or not you may continue a degree qualification with them.

What Does Your Results Look Like?

  • 40% for your Home Language
  • 40% for four other subjects
  • 30% for two other subjects

Higher Certificate Pass

With this pass you can study towards a certificate at a College. At Matric College you have a variety of options. Matric College CEO explains what you can study with a Higher Certificate Pass on YouTube.

What Does Your Results Look Like?

  • 40% for your Home Language
  • 40% in two other subjects
  • 30% for three other subjects

To qualify for this pass, one of your subjects must be English or Afrikaans, and one must be Life Orientation. 

Matric Pass

This is the bare minimum requirements needed to pass Matric. This is determined by your Admission Point Score. You can use an APS calculator to calculate your score.

You can further your studies at a College. At Matric College you can study a NATED course which goes up to a diploma level, this is one level below a degree. Once you have done that, you can then further your studies at a university.
 

What Does Your Results Look Like?

  • 40% for your Home Language
  • 40% for two other subjects
  • You may fail one subject, except Life Orientation, even if it is your First Additional Language, but you must get 30% for 6 subjects
  • Your average must be 33.3% to pass
  • You will not pass if you fail Life Orientation. 

Failed Matric

Failed Matric results means that you have not met the above requirements and cannot apply to study at a university. However, you do have options to study without Matric, or you can rewrite your Matric.



What Can You Study If You Have Failed Matric?

At Matric College you can study without a Matric certificate. Here are your options:

  • Matric Equivalent Certificates
  • Short Courses
  • ICB Courses
  • Adult Matric

Matric Equivalent Certificates

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers courses in business and financial management. 

All of their courses are nationally and internationally recognised. These qualifications are regarded as scarce skills in South Africa. This means that employers are looking for people with these skills and pay them a decent salary.

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers two courses, and both double as matric equivalent certificates:

  • FET Certificate in Bookkeeping
  • National Certificate in Small Business Financial Management

Further Education and Training Certificate: Bookkeeping

Further Education and Training Certificate: Bookkeeping is an NQF level 4 qualification. It is a qualification in bookkeeping, and it also doubles as a Matric Equivalent Certificate. 

You cannot start this certificate with no prior learning. The requirements are as follows. To apply for this Matric Equivalent Certificate you need:

  • ICB Junior Bookkeeping Certificate (A grade 10 certificate is required to apply)

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management is an NQF level 4 course. This certificate also doubles as a Matric Equivalent Certificate, but is also a qualification in business financial management. 

To apply for this qualification, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Grade 11 certificate

OR

  • You can also apply with an NQF Level 3 certificate, if you do not have the above

Short Courses

You do have the option of studying without a Matric Certificate. At Matric College we offer short courses that do not require a Matric Certificate. Short courses focus on improving your skills and usually aim at providing you with specific skills. 

Entry Requirements

  • At least 16 years old
  • Read and write English

Benefits Of Short Courses

Any qualification will improve your CV. A short course could be what your career needs. You can complete them faster, and it also shows your willingness to learn. 

When you do a short course it either improves the skills that you already have, or you could learn new skills. Combining old and new skills gives you a wider field in which you could work. Short courses are also cheaper than accredited courses, meaning you save money.

Short Courses Offered At Matric College

Matric College offers short courses that do not require Matric:

Where Can I Study?

How Do I Check My Matric Status?

You have many ways to check your Matric status. These are the options you have:

  • School
  • Online platforms
  • On your cell phone
  • Newspapers

School

Your school will give you the date that you can collect your results. Remember that you will receive your statement of results only. After a few months you can collect your official Matric Certificate once your school has informed you that it has arrived.

Online Platforms

You can check your Matric results online. You can go to The Department of Basic Education website. Please be patient when viewing your status online, as many students will be viewing their status.

On Your Cell Phone

You can use your own cell phone or someone else’s cell phone. You have two options:

  • SMS
  • USSD

SMS

You can register via SMS. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Send your ID and exam number to 35658
  • They will send you a confirmation SMS, once it is successful.
  • You will get your results as soon as they are released.

Please note: SMS costs R3. Free SMS’s do not apply. 

USSD

You can also use the USSD services. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Dial *120*35658# on the date the results are released
  • Answer all the questions asked
  • Enter your ID number
  • You will get your results for each subject 

Please note: USSD is charged at R1.50 per minute. Free minutes do not apply. 

Newspapers

Your results will reflect in most major newspapers in your area. They will not post your name or full marks, it will only be your exam number, and the symbol you passed with (e.g Bachelors pass etc).



Options If You Think You Should Have Passed Matric

If you suspect that your Matric results should have looked different, these are the options you have:

  • Remark
  • Recheck
  • View

Remark

The date for remarking closes 21 days after the release of your results. Your paper will be marked again by an examiner to see if your paper was marked correctly. Most of the time your marks will not improve drastically. It is usually better to do a Matric Upgrade or an Adult Matric instead.

 

When Must I Apply?

Each year the deadline changes therefore it is important to apply as soon as you get your results to avoid missing the deadline. 

 

Recheck

Your paper will be checked to see if your marks were added up correctly. Once again, most of the time your marks will not improve drastically. Apply for a Matric Upgrade or an Adult Matric.

 

When Must I Apply?

Each year the deadline changes therefore it is important to apply as soon as you get your results to avoid missing the deadline. 

 

View

This is when you can see how your papers have been marked and where the marks have been allocated. You may only view your exam papers after you have rechecked and remarked your exam papers.

 

When Must I Apply?

Each year there is a different deadline, most importantly, you have to first recheck and remark your exam papers before viewing your paper. Therefore you should apply immediately after you have done these two processes.

 

FAQ

Can I Study At Unisa If I Failed Matric?

No, you cannot study at Unisa without a Matric Certificate.

Does NSFAS Fund Your Studies If You Have Failed Matric?

No, NSFAS does not fund your studies if you have failed Matric.

 

Can You Pass Matric If You Fail Maths?

Yes, you are allowed to fail one subject but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is all you need to know:

 

  • 40% for your Home Language
  • 40% for two other subjects 
  • 30% for three other subjects
  • You must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects, and you cannot fail Life Orientation

 Read more about how to calculate your Admission Point Score here.

What Marks Do I Need For A Distinction In Matric?

You need 80% to achieve a distinction in Matric. 

 

Can I Do Matric In 3 Months?

No, you cannot do matric in 3 months. Instead you can do a Matric Upgrade or an Adult Matric.

 

Can I Do Matric In 6 Months?

No, you cannot do Matric in 6 months. Instead you can do a Matric Upgrade or an Adult Matric.

Last Updated: 18 February 2022

10 thoughts on “Can You Get A Matric Certificate Even When You Have Failed At School?”

    1. Good day. I wrote the NSC and passed with a Higher certificate. I wrote supplementary exams and my marks stayed exactly the same. However, when I got the certificate only 6 subjects were on the certificate. Why? Is it a mistake ?

  1. Emmely Nompumelelo Msiza

    Morning
    I’ve already pass only 3 subjects thats Home language
    English
    Geography
    I want to write other subject than to start over please tell what can i do i am over 21 doing my matric in 2000

    1. With the Amended National Senior Certificate, it is possible to upgrade and improve on your marks from subjects that you wrote in the year 2000.

      To amend them (upgrade subjects or add newer ones), you would have to register for your Adult Matric (something Skills Academy or Matric College can help you with).

  2. I missed my economic paper 1 so my result are in completely.i want to have my matruc certificate,will I be able to register my matric rewrite… please help

  3. Hi ï did mi supplementary last year in 2021
    and ï failed Maths Lit is It possible for me to get a national certificate Or to combine mi first statement and last

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