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Matric

Matric is considered an important first step towards your future studies or job. Having a Matric Certificate will allow you to apply to an entry-level position, and study further by applying for a university.

A university’s entry requirements will differ depending on which course you choose to pursue.

The importance of Matric will depend on your interests. Whether you feel like you need Matric or not, you can further your education or get a job.

What Is “Matric”?

In South Africa, the word “Matric” is used to reference the twelfth / final year of high school. You finish Matric when you meet the minimum requirements to receive a Matric Certificate.

Students who attended and completed traditional high school will be awarded a National Senior Certificate.

Students who completed Adult Matric will be awarded a Senior Certificate (Amended).

There are small differences between the National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate (Amended) like:

National Senior Certificate – NSC

Senior Certificate (Amended) – SC(A)

  • You need to be younger than 21 when you write your final exams
  • Your final exams are written at a high school (Often the high school you are attending)
  • You can rewrite your final exams before you turn 21
  • You need to be 21 or older when you write your final exams
  • Your final exams are written at a institutions that are approved by the Department of Education
  • There is no limit on how many times you can rewrite

*TVET – Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Although there are small differences between these certificates, they both provide you with a NQF Level 4 qualification and can both be considered a Matric Certificate. They are also both equally important.

Why Is Matric Important?

A Matric Certificate is important because it will lay the foundation for your future success. By having a Matric Certificate on your name you will have opportunities like applying for an entry level job, learnership or to a university.

Entry Level Jobs

Entry level jobs are jobs that require small amounts of experience, training and minimal education. Having a Matric Certificate will be one of the most common requirements, so by finishing Matric you already put yourself at an advantage. 

An entry level job is a great way to gain experience, get paid, and get used to the work environment. There are a few sites where you can apply for an entry level job, like these:

Learnerships

Learnerships are a little different from internships.

In a learnership you will gain work experience. You will be offered both theoretical and practical training. You have to be between the ages of 16 and 35 to apply for a learnership.

Learnerships will offer you a wage that will assist with things like travelling fees and lunch.

University

If you really want to study at a university, you need to have passed Matric with a Bachelor’s Pass. A Bachelor’s Pass is the highest level of pass you can achieve in Matric, it’s also the minimum entry requirement for most universities.

The requirements will change depending on which course you choose.

What Are The Differences Between Matric Passes?

Passing Matric is an achievement that will come in handy with your future ambitions. A Matric Certificate: National Senior Certificate/ Senior Certificate (Amended), will open many opportunities for you.

Your Matric results will determine which courses you can study and jobs you can enter, so make sure to do your best if you want the best.

There are 3 different levels of pass in Matric. 

  1. National Senior Certificate Pass
  2. Higher Certificate Pass 
  3. Diploma Pass 
  4. Bachelor’s Pass

National Senior Certificate Pass

The National Senior Certificate pass is the lowest pass you can achieve when you complete your final Matric exams. This pass is awarded to you when you have met the minimum requirements needed to pass Matic.

With the National Senior Certificate, you will not be able to apply to a university. 

A National Senior Certificate pass you will be able to apply for entry-level positions. 

High School Matric

National Senior Certificate – NSC

Adult Matric

Senior Certificate (Amended) – SC(A)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 2 in two other subjects

(>30%)


  • APS of 3 in three other subjects

(>40%)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 2 in two other subjects

(>30%)


  • APS of 2 in two other subjects

(>30%)

If you are not satisfied with your results, you can pursue our Matric Upgrade Course. This will allow you to improve your Matric Certificate results.

Higher Certificate Pass

When you have achieved a Higher Certificate Pass in Matric, you will be able to study towards a Higher Certificate.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to enter a university with a Higher Certificate Pass. 

Do not let this rain on your parade though.

Passing Matric is a great achievement in itself, and if you are not satisfied with your results you can redo your Matric year or upgrade your marks.

Here are the criteria needed to achieve a Higher Certificate Pass:

High School Matric

National Senior Certificate – NSC

Adult Matric

Senior Certificate (Amended) – SC(A)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 3 in two other subjects

(>40%)


  • APS of 2 in four other subjects

(>30%)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 3 in two other subjects

(>40%)


  • APS of 2 in three other subjects

(>30%)

Diploma Pass

A Diploma Pass is the second-highest pass you can achieve when you pass Matric. When you have achieved a Diploma Pass in Matric you can attend a TVET or private college, or study a Diploma course at a university of technology. 

Despite this, you can not study for a Bachelor’s Degree at an l university with a Diploma Pass.

Below are the requirements needed to achieve a Diploma Pass:

High School Matric

National Senior Certificate – NSC

Adult Matric

Senior Certificate (Amended) – SC(A)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 3 in four higher credit subjects

(>40%)


  • APS of 2 in two other subjects

(>30%)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 3 in four higher credit subjects

(>40%)


  • APS of 2 in one other subjects

(>30%)

Bachelor’s Pass

The Bachelor’s Pass is the highest level of pass you can achieve in Matric. When you have achieved a Bachelor’s Pass in Matric, you can apply to a university. 

A Bachelor’s Pass is the minimum requirement needed to enter university.

Here are the requirements you need to get a Bachelor’s Pass:

High School Matric

National Senior Certificate – NSC

Adult Matric

Senior Certificate (Amended) – SC(A)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 4 in four higher credit subjects

(>50%)


  • APS of 2 in two other subjects

(>30%)

  • APS of 3 in Home Language

(>40%)


  • APS of 4 in four higher credit subjects

(>50%)


  • APS of 2 in one other subjects

(>30%)

*APS – Admissions Pass Score

What Are APS Levels?

APS is a tool used to measure the score needed to meet different National Senior Certificate requirements (Bachelor’s Pass, Diploma Pass, Higher Certificate Pass).

APS Levels:

Level 8

90 – 100%

Level 7

80 – 89%

Level 6

70 – 79%

Level 5

60 – 69%

Level 4

50 – 59%

Level 3

40 – 49%

Level 2

30 – 39%

Level 1

0 – 29%

How Many Subjects Are There In Matric?

In total, you have 7 subjects in Matric. Out of the 7 subjects you need to have 3 compulsory subjects and 4 optional subjects. 

Before you choose your subjects make sure you know what you want to do with your subjects. Ensure that your subjects are in line with your career path.

Below are the compulsory and optional subjects:

Compulsory Subjects

  • Home Language (this needs to be an official language of South Africa)
  • First Additional Language (this needs to be an official language of South Africa)
  • Mathematics OR Mathematics Literacy
  • Life Orientation

Elective Subjects

  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Biology / Life Sciences
  • Physics
  • CAT (Computer Applications Technology)
  • Hospital Studies
  • Tourism
  • History
  • Geography

What Are The Different Senior Certificates?

A National Senior Certificate and a Senior Certificate (Amended) are both Senior Certificates you get when you complete a Matric. However, the way you get each certificate differs a bit.

National Senior Certificate - NSC

You will be awarded a National Senior Certificate when you pass traditional Matric. A National Senior Certificate is commonly referred to as a Matric Certificate.

A National Senior Certificate will be a combination of your class tests, examinations and final exams. This certificate will consider your work from Grade 10 up until Grade 12.

National Senior Certificate – NSC

Will be awarded after you completed Grade 12 in school

You have to be under the age of 21 when you write your final exams

Will be written in high school (Often the high school you are attending)

You can rewrite before you turn 21

You are not able to add extra subjects

NQF Level 4

Senior Certificate (Amended) - SC(A)

A Senior Certificate (Amended) will be awarded when successfully completing Adult Matric. You can rewrite your Adult Matric exams as many times as you please. This means that you can keep improving until you are satisfied with your results.

A Senior Certificate (Amended) will only be your final exams results. There would be no class tests and examinations that would contribute to your final results.

Senior Certificate (Amended) – SC(A)

Will be awarded after you completed Adult Matric

You have to be 21 or older when you write your final exams

The final exams will be written at an institute 

You can rewrite multiple times

You can add extra subjects

NQF Level 4

What Is The Difference Between National Senior Certificate And Senior Certificate (Amended)?

A National Senior Certificate will be awarded to you when you complete traditional Matric, a National Senior Certificate is frequently referred to as a Matric Certificate. You have to be under 21 years of age when you write your final Matric exams.

You will be awarded a Senior Certificate (Amended) when you complete Adult Matric. Adult Matric is for learners or individuals who are 21 years or older.

What is Adult Matric?

Are you afraid that you are too old to get a Matric Certificate?

Well, Adult Matric allows you to get a Senior Certificate no matter your age. Adult Matric is for learners who have decided to pursue a Matric Certificate but are too old to attend traditional high school.

Adult Matric is a course that can be studied at your own pace, and gives you all the information you would have learned in high school Matric. 

By getting this Senior Certificate, you will now be able to apply for entry level jobs or further your education even more.

Below are the requirements for Adult Matric:

  • Successful completion of Grade 9 OR a Grade 9 Equivalent
  • You need to be 21 years or older when you write your final exams
  • You need to be able to read, write and understand English OR Afrikaans

Below are a few institutes where you can take an Adult Matric Course:

How Is A Senior Certificate (Amended) Different From The National Senior Certificate?

Both a National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate (Amended) will issue you a NQF Level 4 certificate. 

However, a Senior Certificate (Amended) is awarded to you when you complete Adult Matric.

High School Matric - National Senior Certificate

In high school, the contents of the final exams will be taught to you over 3 years. Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12. Your National Senior Certificate results will reflect on all the classwork you have done throughout those 3 years.

Any in-class assignments will also contribute to your final results.

Adult Matric - Senior Certificate (Amended)

The Adult Matric Course will go over all the same work as high school, the only difference is how fast you learn this work. You can complete as fast as you want or take your time to complete. We recommend that you take 12 – 36 to complete the course.

There are no in-class assignments with Adult Matric. So your final result will be a full reflection on what you have learned.

Where Can I Study An Adult Matric Course?

You can study an Adult Matric Course from the comfort of your home. 

The internet is a wonderful place, and thanks to the internet you can study an Adult Matric Course via distance learning.

Distance learning is a convenient way to study. It gives you flexibility and is much cheaper than traditional learning, as you would not have to pay for travelling and accommodation fees.

South Africa has a bunch of institutions where you can study online. Here are some that offer Adult Matric Courses:

Is It Too Late To Get My Matric?

No it is not. When you apply for an Adult Matric Course, you can study towards a Matric Certificate no matter how old you are.

This will be beneficial for your future and will allow you to apply for an entry level job.

Do not let your age get in the way of you achieving your dreams.

Do I Have To Do Matric?

If Matric is not in your interests, then no. There are plenty of courses you can do without a Matric Certificate. ICB Courses are a great way to further your studies, get recognised, and earn a better pay cheque.

*ICB – Institution of Certified Bookkeepers

What Is A Matric Equivalent Course?

A Matric Equivalent Course is a course that will eventually provide you with a NQF Level 4 qualification.

A Matric Certificate; both a NSC and an SC(A),  and a Matric Equivalent Certificate will award you with a NQF Level 4 qualification.

That is why it is called a Matric “Equivalent” Course.

*NSC – National Senior Certificate

*SC(A) – Senior Certificate (Amended)

Why Should I Study A Matric Equivalent Course?

A Matric Equivalent Course will provide you with a Matric NQF Level, this means that you will be able to further your studies. A Matric Equivalent Course will also equip you with a special set of skills called scarce skills.

Scarce skills is a rare qualification that will give you an advantage over other jobseekers . 

Employers will always welcome a person with scarce skills because of their valuable skills and knowledge.

Studying a scarce skill will make you more employable and harder to replace.

What Have We Learned?

Matric is a South African term used to reference the final year of Matric (Grade 12). 

A Matric Certificate will lay the foundation for your future studies, it also allows you to apply for entry level jobs. However, how you pass Matric will also determine what you can study in the future. 

A National Senior Certificate is awarded to students who pass traditional Matric.

A Senior Certificate (Amended) is awarded to students who successfully completed Adult Matric.

The different levels of a Matric pass (from lowest to highest) are:

  • Higher Certificate Pass
  • Diploma Pass
  • Bachelor’s Pass

The system used to classify which pass you achieve is called the Admissions Pass Score (APS).

Even though a Matric Certificate is important, you do not need it if it does not line up with your interests. You can study a Matric Equivalent Course and get a NQF Level 4 qualification, this is the same level as a Matric Certificate.

No matter what you choose to do, there is always an opportunity for you to further your education and get the career you want.

Author: Tyla Groenewald
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: July 13, 2022

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