Who Marks Matric Exam Papers?

Matric teachers who have applied and been accepted, mark Matric exam papers. Matric teachers must apply by the set deadline each year. The deadline is usually in February. Teachers will then be screened and either accepted or rejected to mark Matric exam papers. 

How Do You Become A Marker In South Africa?

You must apply to be a Matric marker each year, regardless of whether you have been a Matric marker before. You must meet the set criteria, which are: 


  • Must have five years of teaching experience 
  • Must be currently teaching the relevant subject 
  • Must have a second-year university level in the relevant subject
  • Must have taught the relevant subject for two of the last three years


Any additional requirements may be added by the current Head of the Assessment Body or their representative. 


The deadline for applications is in February. This is because the appointment of Matric markers must begin at least six months before the start of the Matric final exams. There must also then be time for the competence testing of the appointed markers to take place. 


There are also senior markers appointed to review the exam papers once they have been marked to ensure uniformity in the accuracy of marks. Once all marks have been checked, they are uploaded onto a national database. 


Then, in December of each year, a National Standardisation meeting is held for Umalusi to check, review and approve or revise the standardisation of Matric marks. 

How Are Matric Marks Calculated?

Matric marks are calculated using your Matric year’s assessments, tests and projects. Altogether, these marks count for 25% of your final Matric mark. Your Matric final exams count for the remaining 75% of your final mark. 

What Marks Do You Need To Pass Matric?

The minimum requirements to pass Matric are as follows: 


  • 40% or above for English Home Language 
  • 30% or above for Mathematics OR Mathematical Literacy 
  • 40% or above for one other subject 
  • 30% or above for Life Orientation
  • 30% or above for two other subjects
  • You may fail one subject

What Is The Pass Mark For Maths In South Africa?

The pass mark for Maths in South Africa is 30%. The pass mark for Maths Literacy is also 30%. However, universities will not accept a Maths Literacy mark lower than 50%. 

What Are APS Points?

APS points are used to determine what courses you are eligible to study at a university. APS stands for Admission Points Score. Each university may have its own entry requirements, and certain courses will require a higher APS than others. However, the standard starting requirements are: 


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


However, these are only the minimum requirements. Achieving these Matric Pass Levels does not guarantee you entry into any university course. Check with the university you are applying to for any other APS requirements or additional subject requirements. 

How Do You Calculate APS?

Your APS is calculated using your Matric marks. The marks are separated into percentage brackets, which are each allocated a number of points. The point allocation is as follows:

Percentage Bracket

Point Allocation

80% – 100%


70% – 79%


60% – 69%


50% – 59%


40% – 49%


30% – 39%


0% – 29%


Using this, you can find how many points you have for each subject. Add up these points to get your APS. 


You can also use an online calculator. Remember to input Life Orientation as the single point bracket, no matter what your actual marks were. 

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.

Which Subjects Count For APS?

The subjects that count towards your APS are as follows: 


Agricultural Management Practices

Agricultural Sciences 

Agricultural Technology

Business Studies 

Civil Technology

Computer Applications Technology

Consumer Studies 

Dance Studies

Dramatic Arts 


Electrical Technology

Engineering Graphics and Design 



Hospitality Studies

Information Technology 

Life Sciences 


Mathematical Literacy

Mechanical Technology


Physical Sciences 

Religion studies 


Visual Arts

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

How Many Subjects Do You Need To Pass Matric?

You will write exams for seven subjects in your Matric final exams. You must pass six of your seven subjects, including Life Orientation. You may fail one subject, except for Life Orientation. 


You will also not pass Matric if you fail your Home Language. However, you can write supplementary exams/second national exams/Matric Rewrite for these subjects. 

What Have We Learned?

Matric teachers mark Matric exam papers. Teachers must apply by February and will have to complete a competency test before their appointment as a Matric marker is finalised. Your final Matric marks are calculated using your year’s work and your Matric final exams. 


There are minimum requirements for each subject in order to pass Matric. The pass mark for Maths is 30%. The pass mark for Maths Literacy is 30%. You must also pass your Home Language and Life Orientation.


APS points are used to determine whether you are eligible to study at a university. You can calculate your own APS online or on your own. Life Orientation does not count for your APS. You must pass six out of your seven subjects to pass Matric. 

Author: Chloe Bydawell

Editor: Razeen Dollie

Date: June 8, 2022

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