Common Assessment Tasks For Life Orientation in 2021 Administered Differently For Grade 12 Students

Based on the examination instruction provided by the Department of Basic Education, the Common Assessment Tasks for Life Orientation will be administered on the 6th of September 2021.


It will be 2 ½ hours, from 09:00 to 11:00 and all schools will be notified of the time and the date. Schools and district offices should be informed about the procedures to prepare students.

Writing The Common Assessment Task (CAT)

Here are the procedures that should be followed when writing the Common Assessment Task:


  • The principal will receive the Common Assessment Task: The principal will be in charge of the invigilators and will take full responsibility to ensure that conditions and rules are followed
  • On the day of the examination: The principal will open the secure envelope, in front of the students and make sure that each student receives the Common Assessment Task for Life Orientation
  • Invigilators: The principal should make sure that the invigilators are observant during the writing of the Common Assessment Task
  • After the Common Assessment Task has been completed: The invigilators should collect all of the papers and make sure that the amount of papers received adds up to the amount indicated on the Mark Sheet. These papers should also be closed in security envelopes.
  • Strong room: All the papers should be kept safely in a strong room until the date arrives for them to be marked.

Marking Standardisation Meeting

These are rules put in place to ensure that the examination has standard procedures:


  • 3 hours after the examination: The National Marking Guidelines will be sent to the Provincial Education Department
  • Pre-marking: The Provincial Education Department will pre-mark at least 20 papers before following the National Marking Guideline 
    • These papers will show high, moderate and low levels of achievement
    • A report from these pre-marked papers will be submitted and sent via email on the 11th of September 2021 to the Department of Basic Educations’ internal moderator
    • On the 13th of September 2021 it will be presented at the National Marking Standardisation Meeting
    • The duration of this meeting will be from the 13-14 September 2021
    • It will be facilitated from the Department of Basic Education at 222 Struben Street, Pretoria. 
    • Day 1 from 08:30 and Day 2 from 08:00
    • Designated provincial officials responsible for Life Orientation will be invited to participate in the meeting virtually via Microsoft Teams
    • Two officials per province will be invited by the 30th of August 2021
  • Electronic version: The approved marking guideline will be forwarded to the Head of Examinations on the 16th of September 2021
  • Provincial Education Department (PED): A similar meeting will be held for the PED with the district subject advisors to prepare them for the marking and moderation in schools
    • The district subject advisors should discuss this with the teachers in their district
    • Meetings will be hosted from 17 to 20 September 2021 
    • COVID-19 restrictions will be adhered to during this process

Marking The Common Assessment Task (CAT)

These are the procedures that need to be followed during the marking period:


  • It will be supervised by the principal and therefore will be conducted under school level
  • By the 20th of September 2021 the PED will send the final marking guideline printed or in electronic form to schools
  • The starting date of the marking is on the 21st of September 2021 and the closing date should be by the 30th of September 2021
  • The papers will ONLY be removed by the school principal on the day of the marking
  • ONLY the approved marking guideline should be used, by the senior teacher or Head of Department.
  • If there are two or more Life Orientation teachers, it should be noted that the teacher may not mark their own students’ papers. This should be exchanged with another teacher.

Evidence Of The Moderation Process

The sectors should provide evidence of their moderation process. Here are the three sectors and the moderation process:


  • School and district moderation
  • Provincial moderation
  • National moderation

School And District Moderation

  • 10 % of the marked papers should be moderated by the senior teacher or Head of Department at school level
  • After the moderation the marks should be recorded on a mark sheet provided to the school
  • The district subject advisor should moderate a sample of the papers from each school
  • Between the 11-20 of October 2021 the district moderation should be held

Provincial Moderation

  • PED will establish a provincial moderation process taking COVID-19 measures into consideration
    • This will be held done centrally at provincial level
    • District subjects advisors the were in the meeting will used for this process
  • A sample of 10-20 schools will be taken from each district for the provincial moderation
    • A sample of 10% of each schools’ papers will be moderated
  • Provincial moderation should end by the 5th of November 2021

National Moderation

  • National moderation will be held by between  8-19 November 2021
    • It will be confirmed via an Examination Instruction
  • A list of sampled schools and districts will be communicated to PEDs before the moderation process

How Will The Marks Be Captured On The Examination Computer System

  • Two separate mark sheets will be given to schools to record the marks for the Common Assessment Task.
    • One will capture Common Assessment Tasks marks (100 marks)
    • The other one will capture School Based Assessment marks (300 marks)
  • Both marks should be captured at the same time and should be completed by 30 November 2021
  • The PED will make sure that the Common Assessment Tasks is written on the correct time and date. Any other date and time will be seen as an irregularity.

COVID-19 Regulations

During this assessment and marking of the papers, COVID-19 regulations should be followed. These include:


  • Hand sanitising
  • Social distancing
  • Wearing masks

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