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Calculating of Matric Marks and Pass Rate

Here’s how your matric marks are calculated and how much you need to pass

How Are Matric Results Calculated?

Matric results are calculated based on the following:

  • School-based assessments (SBA)
  • Final Examination


School-Based Assessments (SBA)

The SBA contributes 25% towards your final marks. These are the marks that are used to boost your final examination marks. You must make sure that you complete the School-based assessments so that you earn marks that will be helpful in your finals.

The SBA assessments include: 

  • Class presentations
  • June examination
  • Trial examination
  • Assignments
  • Tests


Final Examination

The final examination contributes 75% towards your final mark. You must ensure that you pass this well in order to have a good final mark. These are the results that will appear on your Matric Certificate.

Your final examination marks are combined with your School-based assessment marks and create your final marks. This is how your final marks are calculated.

How much do you need to pass?

To achieve a NSC pass, one must meet the minimum subject requirements.

The pupil must obtain at least the following:

  • 40% and higher with at least three subjects including your official home language.
  • 30% and higher in two other subjects.
  • You can fail one subject (home language included), however, you will need to attain at least 30% for six other subjects.

There are three other different pass levels which include a Bachelor’s Degree, Diploma and Higher certificate pass.

Bachelor’s Degree pass

The requirement to meet a Bachelor’s Degree pass include the following:

  • 40% and higher for your Home Language.
  • 50% and above for four high credit subjects.
  • 30% and higher in two other subjects.

Diploma pass

To achieve a Diploma pass, you must obtain at least the following:

  • 40% and higher for your Home Language.
  • 40% and above for three high credit subjects.
  • A minimum of 30% for two other subjects.

Higher Certificate pass

A Higher Certificate pass allows you to further your studies at TVET colleges and certain private colleges in a field of your choice.

A candidate must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects and obtain at least the following:

  • 40% and higher in your Home Language.
  • 40% and higher in two other subjects.
  • A minimum of 30% for four other subjects.

What grade system means

If you were wondering what a distinction pass in matric (a pass of 80% or more) and how to achieve it, a candidate must understand the different types of achievement. Take a look below.

  • 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)
  • Level 2: 30 – 39% (Elementary achievement)
  • Level 1: 0 – 29% (Not achieved: Fail)

This grading system contributes towards your Admission Point Scores (APS).

Your APS is calculated by looking at the percentage you have achieved per subject and then adding those to get a total. This total will be your APS and determines whether or not you qualify for admission into university or college.

Here is how the point system works:

  • 80 – 100% = 7 points
  • 70 – 79% = 6 points
  • 60 – 69% = 5 points
  • 50 – 59% = 4 points
  • 40 – 49% = 3 points
  • 30 – 39% = 2 points
  • 0 – 29% = 1 point

Sources: The Citizen and Matric College


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