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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.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will release the results of individuals at schools on Tuesday, 23 February at 12:00.

View or print a copy of your results from 23 February 2021 at 12:00.

Closing date for re-marking and rechecking: 10 March

Closing date for registration for NSC supplementary examination: 26 March.

Collection of 2020 NSC examination certificates at schools: July 2021

The Exams Helpline (021) 467 2300 will be available for a limited period from 23 February to 23 March 2021, on weekdays from 08h00 to 16h00 to assist candidates with result-related enquiries.

  1. Ensure that all names as per the identity document are included on the statement of results.
  2. Check that the name(s) and surname are spelled correctly.
  3. Check that the correct date of birth/identity number is printed on the results.

Please note: Administrative errors like these can be rectified within three months after the results have been released.

If there are any errors on the results, contact Head Office with the following documents:

  • The current statement of results;
  • A certified copy of the identity document;
  • An affidavit, declaring that you are the rightful owner of the statement of results;
  • Specify the error to be rectified; and
  • Complete the re-issuing application form.

Due date: 10 March

Who qualifies?

  • Candidates may apply for the re-marking or rechecking of their scripts if they feel that the marks allocated on the written papers are not a true reflection of their performance.
  • A re-mark means that the original answer script is marked for a second time by a marker.
  • A recheck of your script is a further check to ensure that all questions are duly marked and that all marks are correctly calculated.

What is an application for a viewing?

  • Once you have received your results, AFTER re-marking and rechecking, you may apply to view your answer scripts.
  • Apply to, with proof of payment, to view your answer scripts.

Re-marking = R120 (per subject)
Rechecking = R29 (per subject)
Viewing of scripts (only after re-marking and rechecking) = R234

Payments can be made by EFT or into the following Nedbank account at a Nedbank branch:

Bank: Nedbank
Account name: WCED
Account type: Current Account
Account number: 1452 045 089
Branch code: 145 209
Deposit reference: 15 + ID Number

How do I apply to have my examination re-marked or rechecked?

  • No hard copy applications for re-marking will be accepted.
  • Apply for re-marking or rechecking by using the online registration services at:
  • Note: There is no re-marking for the Common Assessment Task for Life Orientation.
  • Please note that a new statement of results will only be issued if your subject results improve to a higher level or if your pass status changes.

Please note: Candidates who apply for re-marking/rechecking are advised to register for the supplementary examination in case there is no improvement in their results.

Candidates who failed to achieve a Diploma or Bachelor’s pass status in their current examination sitting, can improve their pass status if they register and write the NSC supplementary examination of May/June. Improved results can lead to a change in their pass status and a new certificate can be issued by Umalusi.

With achieving a Bachelor's degree pass status, you can apply to study towards a degree at a university, university of technology, TVET college or any accredited higher learning institution.

Level system: What the grades mean

  • Level 7: 80–100% (Outstanding achievement)
  • Level 6: 70–79% (Meritorious achievement)
  • Level 5: 60–69% (Substantial achievement)
  • Level 4: 50–59% (Moderate achievement)
  • Level 3: 40–49% (Adequate achievement)

Which subjects are compulsory?

  • Home Language
  • First Additional Language
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation

You have to offer your language of learning and teaching (either English or Afrikaans) as one of your language subjects.

All school-based assessment (SBA) marks achieved in 2020 are valid and learners repeating subjects, therefore, only need to rewrite the written papers.

Registration: June 2021 NSC supplementary examination

Hard copy applications must be submitted by the closing date: 26 March 2021.

  • Candidates must complete their application forms at their schools.
  • A drop-off box will be available at each district office for the submission of completed NSC registration forms

May | June 2021 examination registration forms: NSC 2021 | SC(Adult) 2021


The June 2021 NSC supplementary examination is open to all candidates who wrote the 2020 NSC examination.

NB: An examination helpline is available for enquiries during the week from 07:30 to 16:00 at tel. 0861 92 33 22.

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, in the begining 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.

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 please click here.

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 supplementary Senior Certificate. Only candidates who have already written their Senior Certificate and need one or more subjects to obtain their certificate qualify to write the supplementary examinations.

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 NSC school learners. This has in fact been the case since June 2019.

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 examination. All learners who were registered for the May/June examination, will automatically be transferred to write the November examination.

Please send a request for an investigation into your registration status to 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

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

You can then enter for the June supplementary examination once the registration process opens.

Click here to access the examination timetable.

Yes. The examinations will include a mix of morning and afternoon sessions, depending on the subject or paper being written.