What marks do I need to pass matric? - Youth Capital
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What marks do I need to pass matric?

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Young people in matric this year and those rewriting their matric will start their mid-year exams very soon. One of the questions possibly running through their minds is “what marks do I need to pass matric?” and “what are my next opportunities?”. There are different categories for passing matric, namely Higher Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor. Each category includes grades you need to obtain; it also allows learners different possibilities to study further.

The results are summarised in the table below.

A Higher Certificate pass.

A Higher Certificate pass requires young people to get 40% and above in Home Language and two other subjects. This means that to get a Higher Certificate pass,  it is compulsory for a learner to obtain at least 40% in three subjects. In the three other subjects, a learner needs to obtain at least a 30% pass. 

What can I do with a Higher Certificate pass?

With a Higher Certificate pass, you can go to a Further Education and Training (FET) college to study to become an artisan or a makeup artist, for example.

A Diploma pass.

Unlike a Higher Certificate pass, a Diploma pass requires a learner to obtain at least 40% in five designated subjects including Life Orientation. A learner is also expected to get at least 30% in two other subjects.

What can I do with a Diploma pass?

With a Diploma pass, you can go to some universities or study at some technical colleges, and study to become an engineer, a nurse or a technician for example.

A Bachelor’s pass.

Lastly, to obtain a Bachelor’s pass, a learner needs to get 50% and above in five designated subjects including Life Orientation. They must also get at least 30% in two other subjects.

What can I do with a Bachelor’s pass?

With a Bachelor’s pass, you can go to University to study to become a doctor, a lawyer or a psychologist.

What if I fail my matric exam?

In all the above categories, a learner is only allowed to fail one subject. In the same way that there is a benchmark for passing, there is one for failing. If you get level 1 (between 0% and 29%) in any two subjects, then you have failed matric. This means that you can register for the Second Chance Matric Programme with the Department of Basic Education, go to a FET college or look for a job. 

What about the School Based Assessment for second chances? 

The above requirements also apply if you are re-writing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam as a second chancer. The internal SBA counts for 25% of a learner’s final matric grade. If you want to read more about SBA, here is a post.

Tsepang Khobokofrom ‘I Know You Know’ summarised this post into a great explainer.


What is your experience of upgrading or rewriting your matric? Get in touch.

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