Low APS Courses

Once you have calculated your APS, you may find that it is not as high as you hoped it would be. However, no matter how low your APS is, there are options for what you can study. 

 

To find what courses you can apply to study, it is helpful to know the minimum APS for each of the four Matric pass levels. They are: 

 

  • Bachelor’s pass – minimum APS 21
  • Diploma pass – minimum APS 18
  • Higher Certificate pass – minimum APS 15
  • NSC pass/Matric pass – minimum APS 14

Courses For APS 14 And Below

With an APS of 14 or less, your options can feel limited. However, you still have much to choose from: 

  • NATED courses (requires APS 14, as NATED courses require Matric or Matric Equivalent)
  • ICB courses 
  • Short courses 
  • Rewrite Matric 
  • Upgrade Matric 

NATED Courses

NATED stands for National Accredited Techincal Education Diploma. NATED courses require that you have passed Matric to apply. However, that is the only requirement. There are many NATED courses available, they are: 

NATED courses are designed so that you can begin working in your chosen career field as soon as you have completed your first year of studies. This creates an excellent opportunity for you to work to earn money while you continue your studies.

ICB Courses 

ICB is the Institute for Certified Bookkeepers, and most of these courses also only require Matric for you to apply. The ICB Financial Accounting course requires only that you have your Grade 10 certificate. ICB courses are also designed to help you be ready to begin working after just your first year of study. Available ICB courses are: 

The ICB Financial Accounting courses are available even if you did not pass Matric. This course only requires Grade 10 for you to be able to apply.

Short Courses 

Short courses are a great way to get the basic skills you need to be able to begin working. The following courses are open access, meaning all you need is to be able to read and write in English: 

  • Beauty Therapy course
  • Child Daycare course 
  • Child Psychology course 
  • Creche Management course 
  • Digital Photography course 
  • Event Management course 
  • Facial Skincare course 
  • Guesthouse Management course 
  • Human Resource Management course
  • Make-up Application course 
  • Nail Care course 
  • Operational Health and Safety course 
  • Personal Assistant course 
  • Project Management course 
  • Receptionist courses 
  • Supply Chain Management course 
  • Tourism Marketing course 
  • Tourism Management course 
  • Wedding Planning course 

Rewrite Matric 

Rewriting your Matric is a great option if you are under the age of 21 and would like to improve your Matric marks. 

If you would like to improve your marks from a fail to a pass, you must be able to do that with just two subjects, as you are only allowed to rewrite two subjects. If you will not pass even if you better the marks in two subjects, you will not be allowed to rewrite. 

To apply for a Matric Rewrite, you will need: 

  • A copy of your Statement of Results
  • A certified copy of your ID

Upgrade Matric 

Matric Upgrade is the option available if you are over the age of 21 and would like to improve your Matric marks. You can apply to upgrade your Matric as early as 19, but you must be over the age of 21 to write the exams because you will be writing the Adult Matric exams. 

For a Matric Upgrade, you may upgrade as many subjects as you like, and you can also choose to change subjects. 

To apply for a Matric Upgrade, you will need: 

  • A copy of your Statement of Results
  • A certified copy of your ID

Where Can I Study Courses For APS 14 Or Lower?

Choosing to study through distance learning is a great option to allow you to work while you study. When choosing distance learning, there are many reputable colleges to choose from that offer NATED courses, ICB courses, and short courses. Some of these colleges are: 

 

  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Matric College
  • Skills Academy
  • Ember Academy
  • The Learning Group

Courses For APS 15 To 17

With an APS in this bracket, you can study Diploma courses. You can apply to study for a Diploma at a university, or your could choose to study an accredited ICB or NATED course. These two types of courses go all the way up to the Diploma level.

What Is The Minimum APS?

The minimum APS score you need to achieve to pass Matric is 14. However, this will not allow you to apply to study at a university. 

 

The minimum requirements for each passing level are as follows:

Bachelor’s Pass/Matric Exemption 

The requirements to achieve a Bachelor’s pass are as follows: 

 

  • 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 

Diploma Pass

For a Diploma pass, the following minimum scores must be achieved: 

 

  • 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

Higher Certificate Pass

  • 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

NSC / SC Pass/Matric Pass

  • 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

 

Note that these are just the minimum requirements, and achieving this does not guarantee you a place in the courses that you apply to.

Which Subjects Count For APS?

All subjects except for Life Orientation count towards your APS. To make it simple, subjects that count are listed below: 

 

  • Accounting 
  • Agricultural Management Practices
  • Agricultural Sciences 
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Business Studies 
  • Civil Technology
  • Computer Applications Technology
  • Consumer Studies 
  • Dance Studies
  • Dramatic Arts 
  • Economics 
  • Electrical Technology
  • Engineering Graphics and Design 
  • Geography 
  • History 
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Information Technology 
  • Life Sciences 
  • Mathematics 
  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Music 
  • Physical Sciences 
  • Religion studies 
  • Tourism
  • Visual Arts

Your Home Language and your First Additional Language subjects will also count towards your APS.

How To Calculate Your APS

Your APS is calculated using your final Matric marks. Your marks are converted into a points system, and the points are then added up to find your APS. The points allocation is as follows: 

 

  • 80% – 100% = 7 points 
  • 70% – 79% = 6 points 
  • 60% – 69% = 5 points 
  • 50% – 59% = 4 points 
  • 40% – 49% = 3 points 
  • 30% – 39% = 2 points 
  • 0% – 29% = 1 point

 

Using this information, you can find how many points each of your subjects have, and add these up to get your APS. Remember to exclude Life Orientation when adding the points, as most universities do not count Life Orientation when calculating your APS. 


You could also use an online calculator. Remember when inputting your marks to enter Life Orientation in the single point bracket, no matter what your marks really were.

What Have We Learned?

There are always options available, no matter how low your APS is. There are courses available for those who have a low APS, and there are ways to improve your APS.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: April 12, 2022

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