How To Apply For Supplementary Exams?

Supplementary examinations are a fantastic way to pass your exams and receive your Matric certificate without having to repeat your full Matric year. They are simple to register for and can help you get the extra marks you need to earn your Matric certificate and further your studies.

What Is A Supplementary Exam?

A supplementary examination is an exam that you can take if you did not pass the initial exam. This exam takes place a few months after the initial exam, and if you register in time, you will be able to sit for it.


The reasons supplementary exams are written are because students did not achieve the grades they were meant to achieve to pass or because of unforeseen circumstances, they were not able to attend the initial exams.


Do I Qualify For Supplementary Exams?

If you meet one of the following criteria and are under the age of 21, you will be eligible for the supplementary exams:


  • You were medically unable to write your initial exams and must now retake them
  • You failed more than one subject in your initial exams
  • A death in your family has caused you to be unable to write your Matric exams
  • Your grades are too low to apply to universities or colleges. You can take supplementary tests to raise your grades and fulfil the minimum requirements
  • If an irregularity was discovered or is being investigated in the initial exam, you may be permitted to take the supplementary exam
  • If, due to a medical condition, injury, or death in the family, you were unable to write the initial exam. If you have a genuine excuse for not attending, your principal can prepare a report that allows you to take the supplementary exams

How Do I Register For Supplementary Exams?

To register for the supplementary exams, simply complete the following steps:


  1. Request an application for the supplementary exam, which is available at:
    • Your high school
    • District and Provincial Education offices
    • Request a form via email from the Department of Education
    • Alternatively, register online on the South African e-Service Portal
  2. Check that you have provided the necessary documentation and stated which subjects need to be rewritten
  3. Please return this information to the Department of Basic Education
  4. Wait for your admission letter to receive the location and dates of the supplementary exams

What Documentation Do I Need To Register? 

To register for the supplementary examinations, you will need the following documentation:


  • A certified copy of your Identity Document (ID) or your passport
  • A copy of the statement of results you received in the original examination
  • If you were unable to attend the exam, you must provide a written statement explaining why you were unable to do so, as well as supporting documents

When Can I Write The Supplementary Exams?

You can write the supplementary exams a few months after the initial exams were written. The supplementary exams were usually in February/March, but a few years ago they were moved to May/June. 


This was done to offer students additional time to study and be properly prepared, increasing their chances of passing the supplementary exams.


How Many Subjects Can I Register With The Supplementary Exams?

You can enrol for as many subjects as you want for the supplementary exams. You cannot, however, register for new subjects; they must be subjects you took and wrote in high school. You will also have to pay a fee for each subject you take in the supplementary exams.


If you want to write new subjects to add to your National Senior Certificate (NSC), you will need to apply for a Matric Upgrade through an external institution such as UNISA.


Where Do I Write The Supplementary Exams?

After you have registered for the supplementary exams, you will be able to write your exams at one of the following locations:


  • The high school you have attended
  • The Department of Provincial Education (DPE)
  • The Department of Basic Education (DBE)

Will The Supplementary Exams Be Easy?

It is considered somewhat more difficult than the initial examinations. This is due to the fact that you are given a second chance to complete your exams.


This, however, should not be viewed as a setback. You have plenty of time to study all of your work and perform well in the supplementary exams.


How Do I Study For The Supplementary Exams?

You can prepare for the supplementary examples by following these tips:


  • Find past exam papers and study the questions to become familiar with the exam’s structure
  • Focus on the most difficult work first, then move on to the simpler work
  • Create a schedule for yourself that allows you to spend enough time on all the topics you need to study
  • Form a study group in which you can discuss questions and answers
  • If your current study technique is not working, do not be afraid to try something new

What Happens If A Student Fails A Supplementary Exam?

If a student fails the supplementary exams, it is not considered a major setback. As long as you are under the age of 21, you may simply apply for the next supplementary exam. You can also re-enrol as a full-time student at your high school and repeat your Matric year.

What Do I Do If I Do Not Qualify For The Supplementary Exams?

If you are 21 years old or older and want to do the supplementary examinations, you will be unable to do so. However, this does not prevent you from completing your Matric Certificate. You have the following options:


  • Apply to a Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College and study there
  • Apply to a learning institution for your Amended Matric Certificate (Adult Matric)
  • Apply for a Matric Upgrade at a college or university
  • Study courses that do not require a Matric Certificate

Author: Esmari Pool

Editor: Esmari Pool


Date Published: November 8, 2022

6 thoughts on “How To Apply For Supplementary Exams?”

  1. if i fail the supplementary exam,does the department of education change the previous results in the year that i was in matric or does it stay the same

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