National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations In South Africa
The National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations commonly referred to as “matric” has become an annual event of major public significance. It not only signifies the culmination of twelve years of formal schooling but the NSC examinations is a barometer of the health of the education system.
The first national examination, under the newly elected democratic government was administered in November 1996, following a highly decentralized approach.
FAQs on Examinations
When will the final National Senior Certificate examination be conducted?
From October to December of each year.
Must a learner register to write the final National Senior Certificate examination?
Yes, before 15 March of the year that a learner will sit for the final examination. All subjects to be written, including those from approved assessment bodies must be registered.
Who is eligible to write the National Senior Certificate examination?
- Current Grade 12 learners
- Anyone whose School-based Assessment validity has not expired may register as a part-time candidate for the NSC examinations. The School-based Assessment validity expires after 5 years from the date the candidate first wrote the NSC exams.
What are the minimum requirements for a candidate to obtain a National Senior Certificate?
The minimum requirements are:
- Achieve 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level and 30% in three subjects.
- Provide full evidence in the SBA component in the subjects offered
What is the role of Umalusi?
Umalusi is responsible for the quality assurance of assessment in the Grade 12-year and issues the National Senior Certificate to successful candidates.
A supplementary examination may be granted to an unsuccessful National Senior Certificate candidate, provided they meet specific criteria. For further details on who qualifies to register for the supplementary exams and options for those who do not qualify, please click here.
Candidates may apply for re-checking or re-marking of examination answer scripts immediately after receiving their results. The closing date for application for a re-check or re-mark is usually announced in January. Application forms for re-checking or re-marking of examination answer scripts are available from schools or examination centres. Read more…
Candidates’ results are normally withheld due to irregularities, but those candidates whose results have been blocked or withheld have the right to appeal. When a candidate is informed that the results are withheld, they can do the following:
- Enquire, preferably in writing, and request the reasons for the withholding of the results. Candidates may also contact the district office or their school for assistance
- You can visit the nearest office of the Department of Education in your area to enquire about your results or make any other examination-related enquiries you may have.
A new policy for the Amended Senior Certificate for adults and out-of-school learners was published in August 2014. This policy allows adults, who are 21 years and older, who have no previous credits, to write the Senior Certificate examination, which will be based on the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), the curriculum that is currently being offered in schools. Read more…
What are the minimum requirements for further studies relating to Higher Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor Studies?
- Higher Certificate The minimum admission requirement is a National Senior Certificate with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution as certified by Umalusi, the Quality Assurance Council. Institutional and programme needs may require additional combinations or recognised NSC subjects and levels of achievement 15
- Diploma The minimum admission requirement is the National Senior Certificate with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution as certified by Umalusi, the Quality Assurance Council, coupled with an achievement rating of 3 (moderate achievement, 40% – 49%) or better in four (4) recognised 20-credit subjects listed from the designated list. Institution and programme needs may require additional combinations of recognised NSC subjects and levels of achievement
- Bachelor’s Degree To meet the minimum admission requirements to a Bachelor’s Degree study at a higher education institution, a candidate must obtain, apart from the National Senior Certificate, an achievement rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50% – 59%) or better in four (4) designated subjects: Accounting, Information Technology, Agricultural Sciences, Languages, Business Studies, Life Sciences, Consumer Studies, Mathematics, Dramatic Arts, Mathematical Literacy, Economics, Music, Engineering Graphics and Design, Physical Sciences, Geography, Religion Studies, History, Visual Arts