How To Calculate Your APS

Calculate APS

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:

APS Calculations

APS Calculation

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

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182 thoughts on “How To Calculate Your APS”

      1. Good day. I passes my matric with diploma and a APS of 19 excluding LO, no Maths.. I also NCV L4 with Bachelors degree entry with 30 points excluding LO with more than 50% in the language of teaching. I also obtain a certificate of competence in Environmental Practice offered by Department of Environmental Affairs through LGSETA. My question is can I get admission using my NCV results and the certificate of completion for Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Management?

        1. If you have a Bachelors admission, then there should be no reason that you won’t qualify with the above-mentioned marks. Although not stated on the Unisa website, you should be able to qualify with your NCV results.

          However, this would most likely only qualify you for the BA: Environmental Management and not a BSc: Environmental Management as the latter does require you to have both Mathematics and either Life Sciences or Agricultural Sciences as a passing subject.

        2. Good day, I passed my matric with bachelors degree and my my aps score is 25 excluding l.o. I want to find out that am I allowable to study teaching courses specializing in languages and mathematical literacy?
          My subjects are as follows:sepedi hl, English fal, mathematical literacy, religion studies, history studies,tourism studies,life orientation

      2. I am already a unisa student. I would like to ask that will i be able to change the course? I am doing higher certificate of Economics and Management Science i would like to do teaching now but i don’t want to do high certificate again is that possible?

        1. I would recommend that you complete your current qualification before deciding to apply for a BEd qualification. You cannot change your qualification halfway straight up to a Bachelors qualification as Unisa will reject your application.

          Keep in mind that you do have to apply in order to do the qualification and the university will have your academic records on hand. They will see whether you qualify or not. The best option would be to complete your qualification and move from there.

      3. If you APS score is 20 on your senior matric certificate and you completed a bachelor’s degree and honours degree in psychology at university and you currently studying early childhood development nqf level 4 120 credits would you qualify to study B.Ed Degree in foundation phase. please help and guide me. thank you so much

    1. Does the Higher Certificate increase my APS ? My APS is not high enough for the BSC applied maths, if i do the higher cert first, will that improve my APS ?

      Im almost 40 years old – I do not want to rewrite matric now.

      1. The higher certificate does not increase your APS. However, it is accepted that you can study a degree within the same field of the higher certificate upon completion of the qualification.

        For example, completing a Higher Certificate from the College of EMS allows you to apply for a degree within the same College.

    2. Hello I have 23 aps points without maths there Is any chance I can get accept to do teaching course (BED) Fet phase?

      1. Remember that you also need to pass your Matric with a Bachelors pass in order to apply successfully for a BEd Senior and FET degree. There are a number of Senior and FET BEd degrees and each have their own requirements.

        You need to meet the admission requirements in order to qualify – and even then, it may not be a guarantee that you will be accepted to Unisa due to the high volume of applications that the university gets each semester for Education qualifications.

    3. Hello .. I passed my matrix with bachelor… aps 23 with level 4 in maths lit.. I want to study education

    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. Hello I passed my matric with higher certificates 16points excluding LO
        and i have n6 certificate in public management
        my question is
        is it possible for me to study for a diploma in public management and administration ?

          1. Unfortunately you will not be able to study at Unisa due to your low APS. You need a minimum APS of 15 in order to at least study the Higher Certificate in Education at Unisa.

        1. Lersean De Jager

          I have 40% in maths lit on my matric certificate & UNISA requires 50% to enroll for a Bachelor’s degree in education. Overall I have an APS score of 30. Do I still qualify for a degree in education?


  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.

      1. I have 15 points excluding LO and 39% in the language of teaching and learning but they have rejecred my application in higher certificate.stressed😥😥😥😥😥

    1. I pass with a D and I have 22 points excluding Lo .also I have national deploma on financial management do i qulify for teaching

      1. You need to meet the relevant admission requirements set by Unisa for their qualifications in order to study an Education qualification. Which teaching qualification in particular are you interested in studying?

  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?

          1. Betresa Madeleen Olivier

            I passed matric in 1988.E symbols for each subject.
            Afrikaans HG
            English HG
            Physical science SG
            Mathematics SG
            Geography LG
            I would like to study teaching. Where do I start

          2. Please take a look at the following to calculate your APS score here. As you passed your Matric before 2009, you will have to recalculate and convert your marks to determine what your APS score is.

            Note that alongside your APS score, you will also have to meet the additional requirements set by UNISA in order to stand a chance of being accepted by the university.

          3. I have 18 aps score and 56 in english and 65 in home languge ,I want to do teaching .Is it possible in Unisa?.

        1. The type of pass that you passed your Matric with determines what kind of qualification you can study. Once that’s known, look at qualifications that you’re interested in studying. On the qualification info page, you will see what the admission requirements are. If you meet the admission requirements, then you will qualify for that course.

          But keep in mind that when you apply, it is not a guarantee that you will be accepted for the qualification. It’s up to the university to decide whether to accept your application or not.

          1. Balungile Mbhele

            I matriculated in 2004 ,English HG
            Geography HG
            English HG
            Physical science,maths,biology and Afrikaans SG
            And I would like to study at Unisa do I qualify?

    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.

          1. I cannot say if you qualify to study social work or not as Unisa has certain admission requirements for each and every qualification. You need to meet the admission requirements before determining whether you qualify or not.

        1. Hi I passed matric with 21 points excluding L.O and I did mathematical literacy which I obtained 68% level 5 and 59% level 4 on the language of teaching and learning would I qualify for an education course at Unisa?

        2. Hi,I have passed matric and my point are 21 and also did national n diploma in educare am waiting for my diploma to be released and also completed higher certificate in banking, can I qualify for bachelor degree in education in foundation

  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.

        1. If you meet the admission requirements of the qualification (BEd Intermediate Phase) set by UNISA, then you should be able to apply for the degree.

          1. Hi can u kindly assist me, I passed my matric with Bachelor(SC), Sepedi Home language -3, English First Additional Language – 5, Mathematical Literacy – 4, Business studies – 5, Economics – 4, History – 3, do I qualify to study Bed intermediate phase?

          2. Keep in mind that you have to meet the university’s admission requirements rather than just rely on your APS. That being said, view the admission requirements set by Unisa for its BEd Intermediate Phase qualification online here.

  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.

      1. I got 32 APS score points and I would like to study teaching online (distance learning) next year can u please help me.

  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.

      1. Manelisi thabede

        Hi I have a higher certificate from a saqa accredited college and want to go to university to study with my n6 for a diploma in supply chain management and I have 13 points will I be able too

    2. Mahlamba Landiwe

      Hy,I passed my matric with higher certificate and I obtained 16 points excluding LO, I was studying archive and record management in 2018 but I didn’t complete my course so would I be able to return and do education?

  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

        1. Remember that the qualification that you possess at the moment has to match what it is that you’re studying for. For example, Mechanical Engineering and Education is not in the same field, so it’s hard to say that you can study for an education qualification or not.

          Read more online on the education qualifications offered by UNISA for the 2020 academic year here. You’ll get an idea of what it is you need to qualify to study for a BEd qualification.

        2. Hi
          I have an aps score of 17 and an N6 in Management Assistant. I have applied to UNISA twice, but did not find space. Interested in studying teaching. Do I stand the chance or I’m forcing my chances?

  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?