There are many things to consider when you are wanting to study at university, one of those things being calculating your APS. So, what is the APS, and how do you calculate it?
What is an APS?
APS stands for Admission Points Score. The APS is an easy method that universities use to determine whether potential students are eligible to study for a qualification or not, for example, a diploma course.
Your final Matric marks determine your APS. Each South African university essentially has their own method of calculating the APS, and UNISA is no different.
With UNISA, applicants not only need to have the right APS, but they also need to match or better the specific admission requirements in order to qualify for a particular field of study.
How Do I Calculate My APS?
Breaking down the calculation of your APS is quite simple. When students receive their final exam marks, it usually comes in the form of percentages or a grade symbol (A, B, C, etc).
Using the final Matric marks, students who want to apply at UNISA can determine their APS score by use of the following chart:
Each final Matric mark gives you a certain number of points (depending on the percentage). Tallying up the points will give students their APS. Alongside the APS, students would also have to meet the basic subject requirements in order to do a qualification.
For example, the Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management undergraduate degree has an APS of 21. Additionally, students would have to have at least the following in order to qualify:
- 50% in the language of teaching and learning as well as at least 50% in Mathematics (National Senior Certificate with degree endorsement)
- D symbol on Higher Grade or C symbol on Standard Grade in the language of teaching and learning as well as Mathematics (Senior Certificate with matric exemption).
As you can see, the APS is only one piece of a larger puzzle. Students who want to study at UNISA can head to their admissions page here. Once there, click on the type of qualification, go through the application process and view the qualification of your choice. Once there, you will be able to see the APS requirements.
Each type of qualification offered by UNISA has a set minimum APS score that students have to match. The minimum requirements for the undergraduate qualifications are:
- Higher Certificate: 15 points
- Diploma: 18 points
- Bachelor Degree: 21 points (some exceptions may apply)
Each university has its own way of calculating your APS. Make sure you check how each university you want to apply to will calculate the APS. Some universities, such as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), are using their own system, however the only difference is that NMMU does not give a point for Life Orientation, it excludes it from your score completely.
This means the APS system is nearly identical, so using the APS system will still give you a clear idea of what your eligibility for admission will be. If you are applying to NMMU, all you need to do is subtract a single point from your APS to find out what your NMMU Admission Score will be.
An easier way to calculate your APS score is by using the What Can I Study APS Online Tool. It is a user-friendly tool that students can use to calculate their APS for any South African university.
Remember that no universities will count Life Orientation in your APS. You will get a single point if you passed Life Orientation, but not more than one, no matter what your percentage is, so when using the calculator, be sure to click the single point bracket for Life Orientation, or your APS will be slightly inaccurate.
How Does APS Assist Universities?
All universities use the APS. The APS streamlines the application process for universities. It makes handling the number of applications received by the university much easier, with a fair elimination of applications who do not meet their standards.
Students can also do the National Benchmark Test (NBT) to determine their eligibility for tertiary education. The National Benchmark Test is a series of tests that are provided to students by universities to test an applicant’s readiness for tertiary education. Read more on the NBT here.
Important Information on the APS
Always remember the following:
- Students HAVE to match the APS score of a qualification provided by the university in order to study that course;
- Study Hard: Studying harder means better grades. Better grades mean a better chance of getting a good APS.
- Every university has different APS standards. Know what you want to study. There’s no harm in doing some research on what various universities offer in terms of similar courses.
Also Read: Guide on Applying At UNISA 2020
Last Updated: 22 August 2019