Matric

Matric is an important qualification for those who decide to get it. Many students have questions about Matric. One of the most important things to note is that there are two types of Matric: 

  • National Senior Certificate – school Matric
  • Senior Certificate (Amended) – Adult Matric

They function exactly the same way. The differences are:

School Matric

Adult Matric

You will be under the age of 21 to write the exams

You will be over the age of 21 to write the exams

You will write Life Orientation, and you must pass it to pass Matric

You will not write Life Orientation

You will write seven subjects

You will write six subjects

What Qualification Is Matric?

Matric is an NQF level 4 qualification. For most, it is your school-leaving qualification. Any qualification that is not a Matric Certificate but is NQF level 4 is called a Matric Equivalent Certificate. 

What Is NQF?

NQF stands for National Qualifications Framework. This is a system designed by SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) so that educational institutions and potential employers can understand the educational level of your qualifications. 

 

There are 10 NQF levels:

NQF Level

Educational Level

1

Grade 9

2

Grade 10

3

Grade 11

4

Matric

5

Higher Certificate

6

Diploma/Advanced Certificate

7

Bachelor’s Degree/Advanced Diploma

8

Honour’s Degree

9

Master’s Degree

10

Doctoral Degree

What Age Is Matric?

Most South Africans are 18 in Matric. Some are 17, and a few are 19. However, there is no age limit for writing Matric. You can get your Adult Matric any time after you have turned 21. The oldest student to receive their Matric in South Africa was Lavis Vilakazi, who was 77 when he completed his Matric. 

Can You Do Matric Online?

Yes, you can study Matric online. If you have been educated through homeschooling, you are no longer considered a homeschooling student after Grade 10. Once you reach Grade 10, you are considered a distance learning student. 

 

If you have been educated in school, you can also study Matric through distance learning. Studying through distance learning means that you can study from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

It is important to note that you can study for your Matric online. However, you must write your exams in a government-designated venue. 

Where Can I Complete My Matric For Free?

It is free to register with the Department of Basic Education to write your Matric. However, you will not receive the relevant textbooks from the Department of Basic Education. Instead, you can apply for the Adult Matric Course at a college. 

How Much Does It Cost To Write Matric?

It is free to register with the Department of Education to write your Matric final exams. It is also free to do a Matric Rewrite. 

You will pay the school fees or college fees of the institution where you study for your Matric. These fees will cover your tuition, academic support, and study materials.  

Can I Get Matric Certificate With 5 Subjects?

You can get an Adult Matric with five subjects. However, you cannot get a school Matric with five subjects. 

How Many Subjects Do You Need To Pass Matric?

For school Matric, you will write seven subjects. You must pass six of these seven to pass Matric. 

 

For Adult Matric, you will write six subjects. You do not write Life Orientation for Adult Matric. You must pass five of your six subjects to pass Adult Matric. 

Can You Fail Maths And Pass Matric?

Yes, you can fail Maths and still pass Matric. However, to be eligible to apply to a university, you must achieve either 40% for Maths or 50% for Maths Literacy. If you fail your maths subject, you can rewrite it to pass it. 

What Happens If You Fail 3 Subjects In Matric?

If you have failed five subjects but passed Life Orientation and your Home Language subject, you can apply to rewrite four. You may rewrite a maximum of four subjects when taking a Matric Rewrite. 

 

However, you may still pass Matric if you have failed one subject. So if you rewrite four subjects and pass them, you will pass Matric. 

 

If you have failed Life Orientation or your Home Language, or failed more than five subjects, you will not be allowed to rewrite. If you fail more than five subjects, you will have failed one of the two aforementioned subjects. You will then have to either re-enrol for your Matric year, or wait until you are 21 to do a Matric Upgrade instead. 

What Is APS?

APS stands for Admission Points Score. This is a system used by universities to streamline the application process. This system allows universities to determine whether you are eligible to apply for admission to any of their courses. 

How Is Matric APS Calculated?

Your APS is calculated using your Matric final marks. Each mark falls under a percentage bracket. Each percentage bracket is allocated a number of points. This determines the number of points you have. The point allocation is as follows: 

Percentage Bracket

Point Allocation

80% – 100%

7

70% – 79%

6

60% – 69%

5

50% – 59%

4

40% – 49%

3

30% – 39%

2

0% – 29%

1

 

You can use this information to calculate your own APS. Alternatively, you can calculate it online. Remember that Life Orientation does not count for your APS, so enter it in the single point bracket when using an online calculator, no matter what your actual mark was. 

Which Subjects Count For APS?

The subjects that count towards your APS are as follows: 

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 toward your APS.

Is LO Included In APS?

No, Life Orientation is not included when calculating your APS. Some universities count LO for one point if you passed it. Other universities will count it for half the number of allocated points. Other universities will not count it at all.

What Is The Highest APS?

The highest APS possible is 42. This is because Life Orientation does not count for your APS, so it is calculated using six subjects. The highest number of points you can get for a subject is 7. 

What Is A Diploma Pass In Matric?

A Diploma pass is the second-highest pass level you can get for Matric. The four pass levels are as follows, from highest to lowest: 

 

  • Bachelor’s pass – minimum APS 23
  • Diploma pass – minimum APS 19
  • Higher Certificate pass – minimum APS 15
  • NSC pass/Matric pass – minimum APS 14

What Is The Minimum APS For A Bachelor Degree?

The minimum APS for a Bachelor’s Degree is 23. However, many Bachelor’s Degree courses require a higher APS and have specific subject requirements. Remember to check with the university you are applying to about any additional requirements they may have.

How Are Matric Final Marks Calculated?

For school Matric, your final marks are calculated in two parts: 

  • Your Matric year’s work including tests, assignments and projects
  • Your Matric final exams

 

Your year’s work counts for 25% of your final mark. Your Matric final exams count for 75% of your final mark. 

For Adult Matric, it is only your final exams that count for your final marks. 

What Is The Highest Pass In Matric?

The highest pass in Matric is a Bachelor’s pass. The minimum requirements to achieve this are as follows: ==

  • 40% or above for Home Language
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

There are three other passing levels as well:

  • Diploma pass
  • Higher Certificate pass
  • NSC pass/Matric pass

The requirements for a Diploma pass are: 

  • 40 % or above for English Home Language 
  • 40% or above for four other subjects
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

The requirements for a Higher Certificate pass are: 

  • 40% or above for English Home Language 
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for three other subjects 

The requirements for an NSC pass/Matric pass are: 

  • 40% or above for English Home Language 
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for four other subjects

Of these requirements, you may fail one subject except for your Home Language subject and Life Orientation. You will not pass Matric if you fail either of these subjects. 

Differences Between A Diploma Pass And A Bachelor’s Pass

The difference between a Diploma pass and a Bachelor’s pass is as follows: 

Differences Between A Diploma Pass And Bachelor’s Pass – Together We Pass

Bachelor’s Pass

Diploma Pass

50% or above for four subjects

40 % or above for four subjects

The requirements for a Diploma pass are slightly lower in some areas. This is because a Diploma is a lower qualification than a Bachelor’s Degree. 

Can You Do Matric In 6 Months?

No, you cannot complete Matric in six months. All Matric qualifications will take a minimum of 12 months to complete. However, it can take up to three years to complete Matric depending on how you choose to take your exams. 

 

You can do your Matric in one year by completing all six subjects on one year. Many students choose to take three subjects per year, completing their Matric after two years. Some students even choose to take only two subjects a year, taking three years to complete their Matric. 

Can I Do Matric With Grade 9?

Yes, you can complete your Matric if you have completed Grade 9. If you will be under the age of 21 when you write Matric, you can complete your Matric through school. If you are over the age of 21, or will be by the time you write Matric, you can study through a college. 

 

You can study for your Matric through a distance learning college or through a TVET college. You will receive TVC (Technical Vocation Certificate) qualifications. You will study TVC levels 2, 3, and 4. These are equivalent to NQF levels 2, 3 and 4, or Grades 10, 11, and 12. 

 

Oncew you have completed these levels, you will receive your National Certificate (Vocational). This is the certificate you receive after completing your Matric through a TVET college. It works exactly the same way as a National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended). 

Can I Write My Matric At UNISA?

No, you cannot write your Matric at UNISA. UNISA is a tertiary education institution and only offers university courses. UNISA does not offer any Matric courses. 

Can Matric Be Repeated?

Yes, you can repeat your Matric year if you failed. If you failed five subjects or fewer, you can choose to do a Matric Rewrite to improve the marks in four subjects so that you can pass. If you failed more than five subjects, you can re-enrol for your Matric year and repeat it. 

Who Issues Matric Certificate?

Umalusi issues all Matric Certificates through the Department of Education. 

Who Marks Matric Exam Papers?

Teachers who apply and are accepted mark Matric exam papers. Teachers must meet certain requirements to be able to mark Matric exam papers, and they must complete a competence test before they can be appointed. 

How Can Matric Results Be Improved?

There are two ways you can improve your Matric results:

 

  • Matric Rewrite
  • Matric Upgrade

Matric Rewrite

This option is available to anyone under the age of 21. You must meet the following requirements: 

 

  • You passed Matric but are unsatisfied with your results and would like to improve the marks of four subjects or fewer
  • You failed Matric but can pass by improving the marks of four subjects or fewer

 

You may rewrite a maximum of four subjects. These must be subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams, you cannot change subjects for the rewrite. There is no limit to the number of times you can rewrite your Matric as long as you are still under the age of 21. 

 

To apply for a Matric Rewrite, you need: 

 

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

Matric Upgrade

This option is available to anyone over the age of 21. You must be over the age of 21 because you will write the Adult Matric exams. 

You may upgrade as many subjects as you like. You may also choose to change any or all of your elective subjects. There is no limit to the number of times you can upgrade your Matric. 

To apply for a Matric Upgrade, you need: 

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

Where Can I Improve My Matric Results?

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric programmes to help you get your Matric, such as:

 

 

These colleges also offer Adult Matric courses for those over the age of 21 who did not get to complete their high school education and would like to get their Matric. 

Can I Rewrite My Matric After 10 Years?

Yes, you can rewrite your Matric after 10 years. When registering, you can choose whether to rewrite the NSC exams or convert to the SC exams if you are still under the age of 21. Once you turn 21, you will write the SC exams. 

Do People Who Rewrite Matric Pass Exams?

Yes, people who rewrite their Matric do pass their exams. Some helpful tips for passing your exams: 

 

  • Get a good night’s sleep – a tired brain is not functioning at its best
  • Make a study schedule – remember to make time for breaks as well
  • Ask for help – if you do not understand something, ask for help in advance so you can understand before your exams
  • Join an online study group – studying in groups has many benefits, including helping you identify your weaker areas so you can revise before your exams

Who Qualifies For Matric Rewrite?

To qualify for a Matric Rewrite, you must meet the following requirements: 

 

  • You are under the age of 21
  • You passed Matric but are unsatisfied with your results and would like to improve the marks of four subjects or fewer
  • You failed Matric but can pass by improving the marks of four subjects or fewer

How Much Does It Cost To Rewrite Matric?

It is free to take the Matric Rewrite exams. The costs will be the fees of the school or college where you study for your Matric Rewrite. 

Does NSFAS Fund Matric Rewrite?

No, NSFAS does not fund any Matric studies. NSFAS also does not fund any short courses or studies done at a private college. NSFAS only funds South African students doing an undergraduate qualification at a South African university. 

How Many Times Can You Rewrite Matric?

There is no limit to the number of times you can rewrite Matric as long as you are still under the age of 21. 

 

Matric Rewrite exams are only held once a year. Most Matric students are 18, which means most students will only be able to rewrite Matric three times. However, after this, you can apply for a Matric Upgrade instead. 

Can You Rewrite Your Matric While In University?

Yes, some universities do allow students to begin studying at a lower level while completing a Matric Rewrite. You may then be allowed to transfer into a higher qualification once you have successfully completed your Matric Rewrite. 

 

For example, if you want to study for a Bachelor’s Degree, but only got a Diploma pass, you may be allowed to enter a Diploma course while doing your Matric Rewrite. If your Matric Rewrite results are satisfactory, the university may allow you to transfer into the Bachelor’s Degree course. 

 

However, this is usually not the case if you failed Matric. If you failed Matric, you will need to complete your Matric Rewrite and pass Matric before you can apply to study at a university. 

How Many Matric Subjects Can I Rewrite?

You may rewrite a maximum of four subjects. These must be subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams. You cannot change your subjects for a Matric Rewrite. 

If I Fail In June Can I Rewrite In November?

No, if you fail the rewrite exams in May/June, you cannot rewrite in November. The rewrite exams are only held once a year in May/June. If you fail your Matric Rewrite, you will have to wait until the following year to rewrite again. 

Can I Upgrade My Matric At UNISA?

No, you cannot upgrade your Matric at UNISA. UNISA does not offer any Matric courses, there are only university courses available at UNISA. 

Where Can I Upgrade My Matric Marks?

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric Upgrade courses, such as: 

 

Can I Upgrade My Matric After 10 Years?

Yes, you can upgrade your Matric after 10 years. You can upgrade your Matric any time after you have turned 21. There is also no limit to the number of times you can upgrade your Matric. 

Do Universities Accept Upgraded Marks?

Yes, universities do accept upgraded marks. Once you have completed your Matric Upgrade, you will receive your Senior Certificate (Amended). This works exactly the same way as a National Senior Certificate/Matric Certificate. 

What Is The Difference Between Matric Rewrite And Upgrade?

There are three main differences between Matric Rewrite and Matric Upgrade: 

Matric Rewrite

Matric Upgrade

Must be under the age of 21

Must be over the age of 21

May rewrite a maximum of four subjects

May upgrade as many subjects as you like

May not change subjects

May change any or all elective subjects

Can I Study At UNISA Without Matric?

No, you cannot study at UNISA without Matric. UNISA is a university, and all universities require Matric to be able to apply. 

Can I Go To College If I Failed Matric?

Yes, you can still further your studies at a college even if you did not pass Matric. There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer accredited ICB courses that do not require Matric, as well as open-access short courses. 

 

Open access means that you only need to meet two requirements: 

 

  • You must be over the age of 16
  • You must be able to understand, read and write in English

 

Some reputable distance learning colleges that offer such courses are: 

 

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

What Can I Study Without Matric?

There are options for you to study without Matric, some options are:

 

  • ICB courses 
  • Short courses

ICB Courses

There are two ICB courses you can choose to study without Matric:

 

  • Business Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Office Administration

 

The ICB Business Management course requires you to have Grade 11 to apply. There are three levels in this course going up to the Diploma level. 

 

The ICB Financial Accounting course only requires you to have Grade 10 to be able to apply. There are four levels in this course going up to the Diploma level. 

 

The ICB course in Office Administration requires Matric or a Matric Equivalent to apply. This means you can study the first level of the ICB Business Management course, or the first two levels of the ICB Financial Accounting course, and use that to apply for this course. 

Where Can I Study ICB Courses?

There are many places you can study ICB courses. Some reputable distance learning colleges that offer these ICB courses are: 

Short Courses

There are also many short courses offered at four of the above colleges. 

Short Courses At Matric College

Short Courses At Skills Academy

Short Courses At Ember Academy

Short Courses At Learning Group

Can I Do Matric At TVET College?

Yes, you can study for your Matric through a TVET college. You will study for TVC qualification levels 2, 3, and 4. These are equivalent to Grades 10, 11, and 12 respectively. 

 

Once you have successfully completed them, you will have your Matric in the form of Technical Certificate (Vocational). This Matric works exactly the same way as a National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate (Amended). 

What Is Amended Matric?

Amended Matric is the common name given to the certificate received once you have successfully completed a Matric Upgrade or Adult Matric. This is the Senior Certificate (Amended). 

 

The “amended” refers to the change in the curriculum, and not the changes to the certificate or the marks. 

How Do I Replace My Matric Certificate?

There are only two reasons why you would need to replace your Matric Certificate: 

 

  • Your Matric Certificate is lost
  • Your Matric Certificate is damaged 

 

To replace a lost or damaged Matric Certificate, or to have a mistake corrected, you will have to apply through the Department of Education:

 

  • Get an affidavit at the police station. In the affidavit, you will explain what happened to the certificate, for example, a fire or robbery
  • Have your original ID and a certified copy of your ID
  • The original certificate if it is damaged. This is not applicable if it is lost
  • Applicants need to complete a replacement application form. You can complete this form online
  • You must pay the application fee of R153. You can pay online or via the post office. If you also need a Statement of Results, this will cost an extra fee of R55. Note that these prices are valid until 31 March 2023
  • All applications have moved online because of the pandemic. You need to upload all the documentation. Remember to include your proof of payment

 

If you wrote your exams in more than one sitting (for example, you wrote Matric final exams and then took a Matric Rewrite for one or two subjects, or if you did a Matric Upgrade) you will need to apply for a re-issue to combine your results. A re-issue and a replacement are not the same. 

 

Note that you cannot apply for a combination of results if you passed Matric with a Bachelor’s pass. You will have two Matric Certificates. 

 

To apply for a re-issue, you need to do the following: 

 

  • Have all of your results from all exam sittings 
  • Have your original ID and a certified copy of your ID
  • Fill in the application form
  • You must pay the application fee of R153. You can pay online or via the post office. If you also need a Statement of Results, this will cost an extra fee of R55. Note that these prices are valid until 31 March 2023
  • All applications have moved online because of the pandemic. You need to upload all the documentation. Remember to include your proof of payment

 

For both a replacement and a re-issue, it will take four to six weeks from the time your application is received to when you will be able to fetch your Certificate. 

 

Your Statement of Results is given to you immediately, which is why you are able to use it in place of your Matric Certificate while you wait for it to arrive.

What Have We Learned?

  • Matric is an NQF level 4 qualification. NQF levels determine the educational level of any qualification
  • Matric students are usually 18
  • You can study Matric online
  • You can get your school Matric with six subjects. You can get your Adult Matric with five subjects
  • Your Matric final marks are calculated using your Matric year’s work as well as your Matric final exams
  • The highest passing level is a Bachelor’s pass
  • There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Matric programmes for you to improve your Matric marks
  • There are two options to improve your Matric results, which are Matric Rewrite and Matric Upgrade
  • You can study for your Matric at a TVET college
  • You cannot do a Matric Rewrite or a Matric Upgrade at UNISA
  • You cannot study at UNISA without Matric
  • There are still many study opportunities available even if you failed Matric. You can still go to college if you failed Matric. You can study open-access short courses or accredited ICB courses
  • You can replace your Matric Certificate if it gets lost or damaged. You can get a re-issue if there is a mistake on the certificate
  • You can get your results combined if you do your exams in more than one sitting or if you do a Matric Upgrade. Only the best marks will be on the combined certificate
  • Your APS is calculated using your Matric final marks. You can calculate it yourself or use an online calculator
  • Life Orientation does not count for your APS
  • Each of the four passing levels for Matric has its own APS requirements
  • The minimum APS to pass Matric is 14

 

Author: Chloe Bydawell 
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: June 17, 2022

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