What Is The APS Needed For University?

The APS you need to apply to university depends on the course you want to study. There are four different pass levels for Matric, and each has its own requirements. These pass levels determine what you will be able to apply to study for at university.

Universities And Their APS Requirements

Each University sometimes has its own way of adding up your APS. These universities have their own calculators on their websites. However, calculating your own APS gives you an excellent idea of what your APS will be, even if it is calculated slightly differently at a particular university. 

 

Often, universities will also have their own subject requirements and APS requirements. Below is a list of some universities. Follow the links to read more about the requirements at each university. 

 

Pass Levels And The Minimum APS Requirements

When looking at the requirements, remember that Life Orientation does not count for the designated number of points, but it counts for a single point if you pass no matter your actual marks for it.

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 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. 

 

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

 

Some Bachelor’s Degree courses require an even higher APS, such as Law and Medicine. Depending on the university you go to and the course you are applying for, the minimum APS for Law can range from 28 to 37.

How To Calculate Your APS

To calculate your APS, you must first know what marks are allocated what number of points. The point 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 

To add up your APS, use your final Matric marks and find their corresponding points. Add these points up, and remember to add only one point for Life Orientation.

What 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. Life Orientation does not count towards your APS.

What App Can I Use To Calculate My APS?

To calculate your APS, you can use an online calculator. When inputting your marks, remember to count Life Orientation in the single point bracket, no matter what your marks are.

What Can I Do If My APS Is Not High Enough?

There are options for what to do if your APS does not meet the requirements for the course you want to apply to study. These options include: 

 

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

Start At A Lower Course Level

If you want to study for a Bachelor’s degree, but your APS only meets the requirements for a Diploma, you can start there. Beginning your studies at a lower level is easy to do, and all it means is that your studies may take longer than anticipated. 

 

Once you have completed your Diploma, you can move on to a Bachelor’s Degree, or sometimes you will be allowed to go straight to an Honours Degree. If your studies go well enough, some universities will allow you to transfer to a Bachelor’s degree from the Diploma after a year.
 

Rewrite Your Matric 

Rewriting your Matric is an option for anyone under the age of 21. It allows you to improve your marks for two of your Matric subjects. You may rewrite as many times as you would like to, as long as you are still under the age of 21.

Upgrade Your Matric

Upgrading your Matric is available to anyone over the age of 21 who would like to improve their Matric marks. Upgrading your Matric allows you to improve your marks in as many subjects as you choose, and you can also choose to change any or all of your subjects if you would prefer to. 

 

You may apply for Matric Upgrade as early as 19, but you must be 21 or older to write the exams, as you will write the Adult Matric exams. 

 

These options are also very good for anyone who failed Matric and would like to improve their marks to a pass. Note that because you may only rewrite two subjects, you will only be allowed to rewrite if the improvement of two subjects will change the fail to a pass.

Can I Be A Doctor With Maths Literacy?

Unfortunately, to study for a Medical Degree, all universities require math. If you want to become a doctor but you did Maths Literacy, you can apply to take a bridging course in Maths before you apply to study for a Medical Degree.

Why Is Grade 11 Important?

When applying to universities, most institutions will allow you to apply early using your Grade 11 report. It is important to do well in Grade 11 because it will give you a good foundation to start your Matric year, and also because this can grant you provisional entry into a university. 

 

Provisional entry is available so that universities can streamline the application process, as they receive thousands of applications every year. Universities will look at your Grade 11 marks to see what your academic skills are like. 

 

Once you have received your Matric marks, you will submit them to the university for review, and they will decide whether or not to give you a place in the course you are applying for.

What Marks Do Universities Look At?

If you decide to apply early to universities, they will look at your Grade 11 marks to decide whether or not to give you provisional entry. Once your Matric marks have been released, you will then submit them for review, and the university will use your Matric marks to decide whether or not to grant you admission. 

 

This means that if you apply early, universities will look at both your Grade 11 marks and your Matric marks. If you do not apply early, they will only look at your Matric marks.

What Is A Good APS?

Deciding whether or not your APS is good is subjective. It depends on what you want to study after Matric. Remember to check with the university you are applying to about whether there are any extra requirements along with the required APS.

What Is The Highest APS?

Because Life Orientation is not counted, the maximum number of subjects included in your APS is 6. The maximum number of points you can receive for a subject is 7. This means that the highest possible APS is 42.

What Is The Minimum APS?

The minimum APS to pass Matric and the minimum APS to get into university are different. 

 

To pass Matric, the minimum requirements that you must meet are the requirements for the NSC pass. 

 

To get into university, the lowest qualification you can apply for is a Higher Certificate, and so the minimum that you need to achieve to get into university is the Higher Certificate pass.

What Is The APS Score For Medicine?

The minimum APS to apply to study medicine in South Africa is 35, however, this can vary depending on the university you are applying to. This is because medicine requires much higher results than other qualifications to apply, such as Maths. For a Bachelor’s pass, you are required to get 40% or above for Maths, however, to be eligible to apply to study medicine, you must pass Maths with at least 60% and some universities require you to pass with at least 80%. 

What APS Score Is Needed For Engineering?

Engineering does not have a set APS requirement, each university has its own. However, it is higher than 21 at every university. For example, the requirement at Tshwane University of Technology is 25, but the requirement at the University of Witwatersrand is 42. Check with the university you are applying to for their specific APS requirement and any specific subject requirements.

What Have We Learned?

The APS you need will depend on the course you want to study and the university you want to study at. Certain courses will have certain subject requirements as well as achievement requirements for those subjects. 

 

There are always options available if your APS is lower than the requirement for the course you want to study, or even if you failed Matric.

 

It is always best to check with universities about specific APS and subject requirements.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: April 11, 2022

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