How To Calculate Your APS

Calculate APS

There are a number of things students have to consider when wanting to study at university, with one factor being calculating their APS score. So – what is the APS score and how do we calculate it?

What is an APS Score?

APS stands for Admission Points Score. The APS is an easy-to-calculate method that universities use to determine whether potential students qualify for a qualification or not.

The combination of your final Matric marks determines the outcome of your APS. Each university in South Africa essentially have their own method of calculating the APS score – and Unisa is no different.

With Unisa, applicants would not only need to have the right APS but also need to match or better the specific admission requirements in order to qualify for a particular qualification. 

How Do I Calculate My APS?

Breaking down the calculation of a student’s APS score 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:

APS Calculations
APS Calculation

Each final Matric exam mark gives you a point (depending on the percentage). Tallying up the points will give students their APS score. Alongside the APS score, students would also have to meet the basic subject requirements in order to do a qualification.

Using an 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 w/degree endorsement);
  • A D on Higher Grade or C on Standard Grade in the language of teaching and learning as well as Mathematics (Senior Certificate w/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 their choice. Once there, you’ll 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 APS scores. However, some universities such as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) are beginning to scrap the APS method and come up with their own application method.

Others may follow suit, but only time will tell. An easier way to calculate your APS score is by using the Edumatch APS Online Tool. It’s an easy-to-use tool that students can use to calculate their APS to any South African university.

How Does APS Assist Universities?

All universities use the APS – there’s no way around it. 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.

Additionally, students can do the National Benchmark Test (NBT) to determine their academic readiness 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

42 thoughts on “How To Calculate Your APS”

    1. For a Higher Certificate, you need 15 points. For a degree qualification, you need an APS of 23.

      Note that there are other admission requirements that you have to match in order to be considered to study at UNISA.

  1. I wnt to study teaching so how many points do i need to qualify? I got 18 points but level 1 in mathematics so can i qualify

    1. You should be able to do a Higher Certificate in Education (remember that your LO score does not count). The APS is 15 and you do need at least a minimum of 30% in the language of teaching in order to qualify.

  2. Tlhatlogo Matshego

    My APS score is 24 excluding LO and my maths is 38% and I want to study teaching. Will I qualify?

    1. You should be able to study for certain BEd qualifications as some of them do not need maths as a requirement. Also, you’d qualify to do the Higher Certificate in Education as long as you have a minimum of 30% in the language of teaching and learning.

      Note that for BEd qualifications, you need to have a minimum of 50% in the language of teaching and learning.

      1. I would like to study teaching foundation phase i have 23 points excluding Lo my question is that do I qualify a degree in teaching?

    2. I want to Study Security Management at Unisa,I have 21 Aps Scores,I got 48% in English FAL and 52% in Maths Literacy..Will i Qualify?

      1. You need the following admission requirements:

        Diploma in Security Management
        APS: 18
        Additional requirements: A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Diploma endorsement) with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning


        a Senior Certificate (SC) with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning


        a Higher Certificate.

  3. Hi
    I passed matric with a bachelors pass but studying in unisa for a higher certificate due to finances. Is it unethical to study a higher certificate?

    1. Why would it be unethical? You’re studying what you can afford at this moment in time, so there’s nothing wrong with doing a higher certificate.

  4. hi,i would like to study higher certificate in education coz i have 16Aps but in future when i qualify i want to study Bed (intermediate).
    when can i apply?

    1. The earliest you would most likely be able to apply for a BEd Intermediate Phase would be for the second semester in 2021, unless UNISA allows you to apply for the 2021 academic year in August/September next year.

  5. Xoliswa Sogoni Simbosini

    Hi, can you please assist me. My APS is 15 but my application for Higher Certificate in Social Auxiliary Worker last last year was unsuccessful. I got symbol D in English and D in Xhosa. I met the admission requirements but I wasn’t sure about APS calculation which now I know. Kindly assist because I am very keen to pursue my career in Social Work field.

    1. Not everyone that applies will be accepted to study at UNISA. The main reason is due to the oversubscription of the qualification. There are limited spots open for each qualification. So even though you might qualify, it’s not a guarantee that everyone will be accepted.

  6. Mncedisi innocent

    I pass matric whith a diploma I obtained 21 points excluding LO would I able to do teaching at unisa coz i wanna take mathematics as my measure subjects at FET phase?

    1. You only qualify to do a Higher Certificate in Education. The APS needed to do a BEd qualification at UNISA is 23, so unfortunately you do not qualify.

      Read more on the HC in Education online here.

  7. Hi, my son needs to know how many APS points are needed to study physics. Also, what is the minimum requirement for Maths and Science?

    1. For a Bachelor of Science regarding Physics, the APS needed is 20. However, there are multiple streams to consider. So your son will have to decide which specific qualification stream it is that he wants to do.

      See below for the different Physics qualifications:

      Bachelor of Science Applied Mathematics and Physics Stream
      Bachelor of Science Chemistry and Physics Stream
      Bachelor of Science Mathematics and Physics Stream
      Bachelor of Science Statistics and Physics Stream

      Clicking on any of the links will show you what the additional admission requirements are for each qualification.

  8. I have 6 ZIMSEC O level subjects passed at 50-59 % each maths and English included which courses do I qualify for and at which level

    1. You would need to match the admission requirements given by each of the qualifications. Additionally, as you’re an international student – For a list of acceptable school qualifications for admission per country, visit

      If you qualify for admission on the basis of a conditional exemption certificate, Unisa will facilitate this during the application processing stage. A separate fee is applicable for the Matriculation Board to issue the conditional exemption certificate.

  9. Hi I wrote senior certificate amended in 2018 and 2019 .I would like to study teaching but my APS is 12 .can you please help me what can I do to gain more APS and access .I’m 36 years old

    1. The only way to increase your APS is by rewriting some of your subjects and obtain a higher score.

      The lowest education qualification at UNISA is the Higher Certificate in Education. You need an APS of 15 and a minimum of 30% in the language of teaching and learning.

  10. Hi,plz help im a little confused.i passed matric with a diploma and i have 24 aps score excluding LO can i apply for Bed teaching course?

    1. You cannot apply for a BEd qualification if you passed Matric with a Diploma (despite your APS).

      These are the requirements needed for a Bachelor Pass:

      Must obtain at least 40% for your Home Language (compulsory),
      Must obtain at least 50% for four other subjects excluding Life Orientation,
      Must obtain at least 30% in Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) of the tertiary (Higher Eduction) institution,
      Must obtain at least 30% for one other subject,
      Must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects.

      If you didn’t get these results, then you would not qualify with a Bachelors

  11. Hi… I would like to find out more the national diploma in electrical engineering. I have the national N diploma in electrical engineering heavy current. I completed my matric in 2003. Would i able to apply for the diploma with Unisa?

    1. This is the current requirements for the National Diploma: Engineering: Electrical Clinical Engineering:

      A National Senior Certificate (NSC) (Diploma endorsement) or equivalent with at least 50% in the language of teaching and learning, 50% in Mathematics and 50% in Physical Science, if any Physics or Chemistry modules form part of the curriculum of a selected qualification,


      at least N4 Mathematics passed with a minimum of 50% and N4 English, or N4 Communication, or N4 Communication Technology passed with at least 50%, and at least N4 Engineering Science passed with a minimum of 50%, if any Physics or Chemistry modules form part of the qualification.


      a Senior Certificate (SC) with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in the language of teaching and learning, and with at least a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in Mathematics, and a D symbol on HG or a C symbol on SG in Physical Science, if any Physics or Chemistry modules form part of the curriculum of a selected qualification,


      at least N4 Mathematics passed with a minimum of 50% and N4 English, or N4 Communication, or N4 Communication Technology passed with at least 50%, or and at least N4 Engineering Science passed with a minimum of 50%, if any Physics or Chemistry modules form part of the qualification.

      Applicants who comply with the minimum statutory admission requirements but do not meet the additional College requirements, may follow Unisa’s alternative pathway. Applicants who do not comply with the above requirements should consider applying for a lower level qualification for which they meet the statutory and additional requirements.

      It’s possible for you to apply for the ND as long as you meet the requirements (especially regarding your N4 qualification).

  12. hi I want to apply for higher certificate in teaching so I want to ask how to calculate my APS score since I have a Senior certificate obtained in 2006. please assist in terms of HG and SG, Do they weigh the same when you convert them to 1-7 APS of NCS?

  13. I would like to study Sales Data analyst Management i have matric without distiction i am 41 Where and how do i start with the career path please advise.?

    1. UNISA has something called the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Your prior work experience could translate into subject credits within your qualification or direct access into a postgraduate qualification.

      Learn more on the RPL online here.

      Learning more on this will direct you with your career path.

  14. Khensani Mabasa

    I passed my matric with a higher Certificate I also did higher Certificate in Archives and Records Management so my question is do i qualify to do degree in education or social worker?

    1. It’s hard to say as your higher certificate qualification has to be relevant to the degree that you want to apply. Please speak to a UNISA student advisor at your nearest UNISA campus to confirm whether you can apply for a BEd or Social Work.

      UNISA has 2 Higher Certificate aimed at the qualifications that you’re aiming for:
      Higher Certificate in Education, and
      Higher Certificate in Social Auxilary Work

  15. Hie if i qualify for complete exemption is there a fee at to be paid at the Matriculation Board.
    i wanted to do B com Law cant find it on the list of qualifications is there an alternative curriculum for the degree. and finally when scanning documents should they be certified or black n white copies are good enough?

    1. Issuing of complete or conditional exemption certificates by the Matriculation Board: R530.00. The fees are payable before or on registration.

      Regarding your BCom Law query, there were alternative Law qualifications offered by UNISA. Unfortunately, this year was the last year that new students were able to register for the qualification. From 2020, only students who are already taking the qualification will be able to register for it. No students allowed.

      You can find those qualifications here.

      UNISA does not state that the documents need to be certified but it’s better to be safer than sorry. I recommend that you get your documents certified before applying. It has to be in black and white as stated by UNISA.

  16. I apply for higher certificate but they dnt accept me,I pass matric in 2004 with senior certificate now I dnt understand if I calculate my score wrong, bca l need to study

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