Can I Get A Matric Certificate With 5 Subjects?

You can get an Adult Matric with five subjects, but not a traditional Matric. When writing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, you will write for seven subjects, and you must pass six of them, including Life Orientation.


When writing Adult Matric exams, it is recommended that you take six subjects, and you will have to pass five of them. 

Can You Pass Matric If You Fail One Subject?

Yes, you can pass Matric if you have failed one subject, however to pass, you must: 


  • Get at least 30% or more for 6 other subjects, including Life Orientation 
  • You cannot fail Life Orientation
  • Your average must be 33.3%

How Are Matric Points Calculated?

Matric points, or APS, are calculated based on your Matric marks. Each percentage bracket counts for a certain number of points. 


Your Life Orientation mark does not count towards your APS. No matter what your mark for LO is, it will be given one point. 


Below is a table showing what percentage brackets equal how many points:

What Are The Percentages Equivalent To

Mark received in Matric Exam APS (Admission Point Score)
80% – 100% 7
70% – 79% 6
60% – 69% 5
50% – 59% 4
40% – 49% 3
30% – 39% 2
0% – 29% 1

*If you add up these APS scores you will get the score that determines whether you pass or fail.

APS For Each Pass Level


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 

APS total = 23


This is the minimum entry requirement for a Bachelor’s Degree at a university. 


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 

APS total = 19


This 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 

APS total = 15


This 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 

APS total = 14


This is the minimum requirement to pass matric, but will not admit you into any university or higher certificate courses. 


How Many Points Do You Need To Pass Matric?

You need a total of 14 points to pass Matric. This is the bare minimum to pass Matric. It is called a National Senior Certificate pass or a Matric Pass


What Is A Distinction In Matric?

In South Africa a distinction in Matric is 80%. 


The Adult Matric exam for 2022 will be written in May and June of 2022. Registration for these exams closed on 13 February. If you want to write a Matric Upgrade or Adult Matric, remember to register for the 2023 exams as soon as registration opens in November 2022

NQF Levels Explained

NQF stands for National Qualifications Framework. This is the system used in South Africa to determine the different levels of learning achievements. SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) is the oversight body of the NQF and makes sure that certain standards are met.


Here is an image of the NQF Levels explained:

NQF Levels explained

Is NQF Level 4 The Same As Matric?

Yes, an NQF Level 4 is the same academic level as a Matric. NQF level 4 is not a Matric Certificate.


Is ABET Level 4 The Same As Matric?

No, ABET Level 4 is NOT the same as Matric. The General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) ABET Levels are often mistaken for NQF Levels. 


The GETC: ABET Level 4 is registered under the NQF Level 1. It is an adult qualification, meaning ABET Level 4 is equivalent to Grade 9 or the old Standard 7.


There are four levels that lead to the GETC: ABET Level 4 qualification. Here is all you need to know:


GETC: ABET School Grades
GETC: ABET Level 4 Grade 9
ABET: Level 3 Grade 7-8
ABET: Level 2 Grade 4-6
ABET: Level 1 1-3

Matric Equivalent Certificates

Matric College offers ICB courses that are academically on the same level as Matric (NQF level 4).  These courses are called Matric Equivalent courses. The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers offers Matric Equivalent courses in business and financial management.


Their courses are recognised both nationally and internationally. All of their qualifications are regarded as scarce skills in South Africa.


These are the two courses that double as Matric Equivalent Certificates:


Here is everything you need to know about these courses:


  FET Certificate in Bookkeeping National Certificate in Small Business Financial Management
NQF NQF Level 4 NQF Level 4
Credits 130 credits 120 credits
Entry Requirements ICB Junior Bookkeeping Certificate (Grade 10 to apply) Grade 11 certificateNQF Level 3


Where To Study These Courses:

You can study these Matric-equivalent courses at the following colleges (colleges where you can study from home):



What Is An Amended Senior Certificate?

An Amended Senior Certificate is for students who are older than 21 and have not completed school. This is also called Adult Matric. Adult Matric is often known as Senior Certificate (Amended). 


An Adult Matric certificate and high school Matric student certificate is issued to you by Umalusi. This means that an Adult Matric Certificate is the same certificate as for learners who completed their Matric in school. An Adult Matric course takes between 12-24 months to complete.


The CEO of Matric College explains all you need to know about Adult Matric on Youtube. 


Who Qualifies For An Amended Senior Certificate?

This is what you need to qualify for an Amended Senior Certificate:


  • You need to be 21 years and older, AND
  • Have a Grade 9 certificate, OR
  • Have a Grade 9 equivalent certificate (General Education and Training Certificate: ABET Level 4), OR
  • Have an incomplete Matric certificate


Note that the only exceptions for out of school learners 18-21 years old, are for students who could not complete Matric due to unforeseen circumstances. This should be verified by the Head of Department in the Provincial Education Department.


Where Can I Get An Amended Senior Certificate

You can do your Adult Matric at Matric College.


How Many Subjects Do You Need To Pass An Amended Senior Certificate?

You must select a minimum of 6 subjects but you only need to pass 5 subjects. 


This Is What Your Results Should Look Like


  • 40% for your Home Language
  • 30% for two other subjects
  • You must have a minimum of 20% for the failed sixth subject


Can I Go To College With An Amended Senior Certificate?

Yes, some colleges accept Amended Senior Certificates. Each College has their own requirements. Matric College is one of the colleges that accept students with this certificate.


Do Universities Accept Amended Senior Certificate

Yes, some universities accept Amended Senior Certificates. Each university has its own requirements, this even applies to people who have an NSC. 


ASC also qualifies for admission to Bachelors, Diploma, or Higher Certificate programmes at educational institutions.


What Is The Difference Between NSC And ASC?

These two certificates are easily mistaken for the same thing but there is a difference.


The main difference is that to write NSC exams, you must be applying through your high school and be under 21 years old. To write ASC exams, you must be over 21 years old. 


National Senior Certificate (NSC) Amended Senior Certificate (ASC) (SC (a))
This is the results you receive after completing High School and you are 21 or younger. This is the certificate obtained by students that are 21 and older. They obtained this certificate as an adult because they did not complete school.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Buy A Matric Certificate?

No, you cannot buy a Matric Certificate. The only way you can get your Matric Certificate is through hard work. Only Umalusi can issue a Matric Certificate. Buying (and selling) a Matric Certificate is a criminal offence.


How To Get A Matric Certificate Fast?

The quickest time you can complete your Matric in 12 to 24 months. You can do this with a Matric Upgrade, Matric Rewrite or Adult Matric at Matric College. 


If you have lost or damaged your Matric Certificate, this is what you can do:


  • Complete the application form: You can obtain this from the Department of education or at the website of the National Department of Basic Education. Remember to be clear with the necessary details (e.g year, name, surname and school name, etc.)
  • An affidavit: Go to the police station and clearly state how your Matric Certificate got lost or damaged
  • A certified copy of your ID: You can get your ID certified at the police station or attorneys office
  • Proof of payment of admin fees: The accredited assessment body will inform you about the amount payable. The fee is reviewed annually
  • Add the damaged certificate: You have to add your damaged certificate with your application. Whether it has water damage, torn etc.


NOTE: All applications should be done by any Department of Education

NOT directly with Umalusi

  • You can apply for your Matric Certificate at any Department of Education irrespective of where you originally wrote.
  • IEB and SACAI should be applied for at the department where the Matric Certificate was originally written.
  • Once you apply for a new certificate, the old (misplaced/lost) certificate will not be valid.
  • The Matric Certificate cannot be processed the same day. Under normal circumstances the process takes between 1-6 weeks.


    • Certificates that were obtained prior to November 1992 can be done by any Department of Education with the same process. 
    • The Matric Certificate will be processed by the relevant Assessment Body not Umalusi
    • The processing time will be between 1-3 weeks under normal circumstances.


28 thoughts on “Can I Get A Matric Certificate With 5 Subjects?”

    1. If you have a Grade 9 (which you do) and are over the age of 21, then you can do your Adult Matric (also known as the Amended National Senior Certificate)

    1. Morning iwas in matric 1995 wereby i failed,i got a replacement certiifate from umalsi whereby i passed 5 subjects,what i want to know is do i qualify that i have passed my matric and can i apply for jobs with my replacement certificate

    2. I am 45 years of age,was in matric in 1995 pass 5 subjects and fail my maths,i receive my replacement certificate so i want to know if i can apply for goverment jobs with that certificate?

    1. They can be amended and improved with the Adult Matric (which is the old Matric and of which you have to be at least 21 years of age in order to do)

  1. I have written 2 subjects for matric in 1996 can I obtain a matric if I write 4 more subjects and pass them or do I have to rewrite all 6 subjects?

    1. You would only write the subjects that you would choose to write (and you can also possibly rewrite the subjects that you have written before in order to improve your marks)

      1. Good day, wanted to know if I’ll receive the Amended Senior Certificate if I’ve failed Afrikaans but passed my other 5 subjects.

  2. Hi I passed the following subjects in 1998 can they be amended or should I add two different subject to increase the results?
    Setswana HG-B
    English HG – D
    Afrikaans HG -E
    Business economics SG-F
    Accounting HG-GG

    1. With the Amended National Senior Certificate, it is possible to upgrade your marks as well as add subjects from 1998. To amend them, you would have to register for your Adult Matric (something Skills Academy or Matric College can help you with).

      1. Hi. I wrote my matric in 2017 and passed English, Home language and LO. I have 4 subjects in N2 Electrical Engineering and 3 in N3. I’d like to know if it’s possible to combine with those subjects to get an amended Senior certificate.

        1. Lerato Mogaladi

          Hi I wrote my matric in 2017 and passed English,LO and Sepedi HL
          also have passed 3 ×N3 electrical engineering subject/modules.i’d like to know if it’s possible to combine and get Amended Senior Certificate

  3. Hi I have written matric in 1995 (standard 10) subjects are as follow

    North Sotho SG _- 49
    Afrikaans second Language SG – 39
    English HG – 39

    IN 1997
    Economics SG – 49

    IN 2018
    Religion studies 38

    Setswana 59 IN 2019

    I will be able to accumulate the Aps that needed with this score .

  4. Good day, wanted to know if I’ll receive the Amended Senior Certificate if I’ve failed Afrikaans but passed my other 5 subjects.

  5. Good day I passed my matric in 2017 all the seven subjects but I wanted to upgrade my mathematical literacy and English and add life sciences which I did not do in matric will I be able to apply for the amended senior certificate.

  6. I finished my grade 10 and I am now doing AET but from what I have read AET level 4 is grade 9 I thought I was doing my grade 11 now I lost what should I do now??

  7. Hi ..I wrote my matric in 2001 ..I obtained
    C in setswana HG
    E in English HG
    E in Afrikaans HG
    F in Biology LG
    F in physical science LG
    Then this year on June I wrote agricultural sciences and I obtained 31 percent ..can I qualify for matric certificate

    1. Could you please tell us what your APS is so that we can tell whether you would qualify for a Matric certificate or not

      1. setswana 60%-69%
        English 40%-49%
        Agric 31%
        physical science LG 33%-39%
        Biology LG 33%-39
        with these result can I qualify for senior certificate

        1. Your Matric certificate will tell you what kind of pass did you pass your Matric with, so you should be able to tell what kind of pass did you pass your Matric.

  8. my 1998 result is as follows i have SETSWANA SG 40%,ENGLISH SG 33,3%,AFRIKAANS HG 40%,BIOLOGY LG 33,3%,PHYSICAL LG 33,3 MATHEMATICS SG 29% and this year i wrote subject BUSINESS STUDY 58% WHICH IS LEVEL 4 and MATHS LITERACY 30% LEVEL 2.Can i qualify for amendend senior certicate

    1. When it comes to the Amended National Senior Certificate, you only need to have the minimum of a Grade 9 certificate and be over the age of 21 to qualify. There is no stringent admission requirements when it comes to doing it.

  9. Hi.. My name is Boitumelo… I would like to do adult matric.. Do you offer full time classes.. Beacuse I really need to study full time.

    1. I am doing my matric but I did only apply for maths and business that I failed,registeration is finish and I realized that I need a 40% in English Home language but I only have a 36% what can I do.?what is the pass percentage?to get a senior certificate

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