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Frequently Asked Questions about the NSC

“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” ~ Confucius

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations commonly referred to as “MATRIC” has become an annual event of major public significance in South African Education. It not only signifies the culmination of twelve years of formal schooling, but the NSC examinations is a barometer of the health of the country's education system. The aim of the Second Chance Matric Programme is to provide support to learners who have not been able to meet the requirements of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) or the extended Senior Certificate (SC), thereby meeting the goals of the NDP and the sector, thus increasing learner retention. The information below provides assistance for adult candidates to guide their exam registration and preparation.

To qualify for a National Senior Certificate all learners must offer 7 nationally approved subjects and complete the school-based assessment for each subject.

SEVEN SUBJECTS
4 COMPULSORY SUBJECTS MINIMUM PASS SUBJECTS

2 Languages (one Language at Home Language level and the other on either Home or First Additional Language level)

Mathematics/ Technical Mathematics (for technical stream school only)

OR

Mathematical Literacy
Life Orientation

Must pass Home Language with at least 40%.

Must pass two other subjects with at least 40%.

Must pass three other subjects with at least 30%

No aggregate mark or % is used for promotion purposes

3 CHOICE SUBJECTS

Any 3 other NCS subjects

A candidate may not offer both:

  • Consumer Studies and Hospitality Studies

About Assessment and Examinations

School-Based Assessment (SBA) and Practical Assessment Tasks (PATs)

  • The school-based assessment tasks and PATs prepare you for your final examinations. It is important to obtain a very good mark for your PAT and school-based assessment (SBA).
  • Complete all your SBA tasks diligently. Make sure that you have handed in all your tasks by the stipulated dates. This will give you a good chance of passing and doing well. Remember if you do not hand in all of the PAT or SBA tasks you will receive a ‘444’ which means incomplete result. You will not matriculate with your friends.
  • The PATs are very important. By obtaining good marks for your PATs, you have already earned marks towards your final mark for grade 12. Put real effort into every phase of the PAT. Ensure that your PAT implementation plan is realistic and well planned.

Candidates who did not obtain a NSC Certificate but want to complete their NSC, can register as a private candidate to re-write the failed subject(s) at the next November NSC Examination.

Year marks/SBA (School Based Assessment marks) are valid for three years (the year in which a candidate wrote the NSC Examination for the first time and for the next two years).

Private candidates must register at a private education institution (one that is registered to offer the NSC Examination and is registered with the WCED as an Exam Centre) in order to obtain a year mark/SBA mark for the subject(s) that they wish to re-write.

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.

Registration for repeater candidates usually takes place from 15 February to 15 March of the year the examinations are written.

WCED Examination client contact centre
2nd Floor
Grand Central Towers
Lower Parliament Street
Cape Town
8001


Contact telephone numbers:
021 467 2910 | 2911 | 2912 | 2913 | 2914 | 2915

For more information, check out WCED Online.

From October to December of each year.

  • 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 3 years from the date the candidate first wrote the NSC exams.

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

Umalusi is responsible for the quality assurance of assessment in the Grade 12-year and issues the National Senior Certificate to successful candidates.

The supplementary examination in February/March has been phased out and is not available anymore. Candidates can however register for the June NSC examination to improve their results. For further details on who qualifies to register for the June examination, 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.

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.
  • Diploma - 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, coupled with an achievement rating of 3 (Moderate Achievement, 40% - 49%) or better in four (4) recognised 20-credit subjects. Institution and programme needs may require additional combinations of recognised NSC subjects and levels of achievement.
  • Bachelor’s Degree - 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, coupled with an achievement rating of 4 (Adequate Achievement, 50% - 59%) or better in four (4) recognised 20-credit subjects. Institution and programme needs may require additional combinations of recognised NSC subjects and levels of achievement.

From the examinations section of a Provincial Department of Education.

Enquiries regarding replacement certificates from the Western Cape Education Department may be made at the following telephone number: 021 467 2000

The Statement of Results is obtainable immediately after you have made a request.

A copy of a matric certificate takes 8 to 10 weeks.

Learners who failed their matric may re-write the Senior Certificate in May/June. Only candidates who have already written their Senior Certificate and need one or more subjects to obtain their certificate qualify to write the May/June examinations. Registration closes on 31 January 2019.

The Department of Basic Education will develop a qualification for adults which will be equivalent to matric for candidates who did not obtained their matric under the old curriculum.

Yes, the SC adult learners will be writing the same examination papers as the 2020 NSC school learners. This has in fact been the case since June 2019.

The exception will be in the subjects Business Studies and Accounting only. The 2020 NSC school learners will be the first cohort to write two papers for these two subjects. The SC learners will only write one paper.

Yes, since 2015 the Senior Certificate (amended) learners have been studying and writing the same curriculum as the NSC school learners.

No, you will not need to register again for the November 2020 examination. All learners who were registered for the May/June 2020 examination, will automatically be transferred to write the November 2020 examination.

No. No new registrations will be allowed. The registration period for the May/June 2020 examination closed on 31 January 2020. Candidates had from October 2019 to 31 January 2020 to register for that examination. Registration for the 2020 NSC candidates to write in November 2020 closed on 30 April 2020.

No. Learners will not be allowed to register for new subjects, however learners must communicate any corrections to their May/June 2020 registrations to [email protected] before the end of May 2020.

Learners who registered for the May/June 2020 examination can download and check their registration details on https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/exams on the relevant examination tab. Click on “May/June Registration Information”. You will need your ID number and Surname to access your registration status.

Please send a request for an investigation into your registration status to [email protected]with the following key information:

  • Full name and surname;
  • ID number;
  • Highest grade passed;
  • How and when did you submit your application
  • For online registrations via eservices, please include your tracking number

The writing venues will be confirmed later in the year. The Western Cape Education Department will make every effort to place learners at writing venues that are easily accessible and on public transport routes. However, due to the large number of learners writing this examination, learner placement will be made according to the space available.

If you choose not to write the November 2020 examination, please email [email protected] with your ID number and full name and a request to cancel your registration.

You can then enter for the June 2021 examination once the registration process opens in October 2020.

The final timetable for the November 2020 examination is still being finalised and will be communicated to candidates later in the year.

The final timetable for the November 2020 examination is still being finalised, however it is likely that the examinations will include a mix of morning and afternoon sessions, depending on the subject or paper being written.