What Is A Good APS?

Deciding what is a good APS is subjective, and depends on what you want to study and where you want to study. 

 

There are four different pass levels for Matric, and each determines the highest level qualification that you can apply for. Each pass level has its own APS and subject requirements. 

 

Generally, a good APS is considered to be 35 or above. However, this score is not necessary to be able to apply for a lot of courses. An APS of 35 or above is only required for very specific and high-stress courses, such as medicine or law.

What Are The Four Pass Levels?

The four different pass levels and the minimum requirements to achieve them are:

Bachelor’s Degree Pass

To receive a Bachelor’s Degree pass, you must have the following: 

  • 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 

This makes your APS total 21.

Diploma Pass

To receive a Diploma pass, you must have the following: 

  • 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 

 

This brings your APS total to 18, which is the minimum entry requirement for a Diploma at a university.

Higher Certificate Pass

To receive a Higher Certificate pass, you must have the following: 

  • 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 

This brings your APS total to 15 which is the minimum entry requirement for a Higher Certificate at a college. 

NSC/SC Pass 

To receive an NSC pass, you must have the following: 

  • 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 

This brings your APS total to 14 which is the minimum requirement to pass matric, but will not admit you into any university or higher certificate courses. 

 

Remember that these are only the minimum requirements and that achieving these does not guarantee entry into a university course.

What Is The Highest Pass Level?

The highest pass level you can achieve at the end of Matric is a Bachelor’s Degree pass, which is also sometimes known as Matric Exemption. 

What Is The Minimum APS For A Bachelor’s Degree?

The minimum APS required to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree pass is 21. However, many courses require a higher APS than 21 to apply. Below is a list of universities that you can check to see their APS and subject requirements: 

What Is The Highest APS?

Your APS is calculated using six of your seven subjects. Life Orientation does not count towards your APS, although you do have to pass Life Orientation to pass Matric. The highest number of points you can achieve for a subject is 7. This means that the highest possible APS to achieve is 42.

How Do I Calculate My APS?

There are two ways you can calculate your APS:

  • Calculate it yourself 
  • Calculate it online 

To calculate it yourself, you will need the points allocation. They are 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 out how many points you scored for each of your subjects. Remember to exclude Life Orientation. You can then add up these points to get your APS.

How Is APS Calculated At Different Universities?

Sometimes a university will have its own method of calculating your APS. Most universities will either have their own online calculator on their website, or they will have instructions on how to calculate your own APS using their system. Check with the university you are applying to about how they calculate your APS.

What Do I Do If My APS Is Too Low?

There are options available to you if your APS does not meet the requirements for the course you want to study: 

  • Start at a lower course level
  • Rewrite your Matric 
  • Upgrade your Matric

Start At A Lower Course Level 

Starting at a lower course level will allow you to work your way up to a higher qualification. You may still be able to study the qualification you want to, it will just take a bit longer to get there. 

Rewrite Your Matric 

Rewriting your Matric is a good option for anyone under the age of 21 who would like to improve their Matric marks. You can rewrite two subjects, and they must be subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams. You cannot change subjects for the rewrite. 

To apply for a Matric Rewrite, you will need: 

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

Upgrade Your Matric

Upgrading your Matric is a good option for anyone over the age of 21 who would like to improve their 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 write the Adult Matric exams. 

 

You can upgrade as many subjects as you choose, and you can also choose to change any or all of your elective subjects. 

 

To apply for a Matric Upgrade, you will need: 

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

What Have We Learned?

A good APS is subjective, so only you can decide whether or not your APS is good. You can calculate your own APS, or use an online calculator. Different universities sometimes calculate APS differently. If your APS is too low, you still have options.

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

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