If you make it to Matric, you can pass Matric! No matter what your plans are after Matric, aim to achieve the highest results! The greater your results, the better your chances of getting into a college or university programme and achieving your career goals.


To qualify for an NSC (Matric Certificate), you must have a minimum of 7 subjects:

  • 2 official languages (1 at Home Language Level)
  • Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics
  • Life Orientation
  • 3 other National Senior Certificate (NSC) approved subjects


Your final Matric marks are made up of:

  1. 25% coursework or continuous assessment (CASS) marks. This portfolio includes all the tests, examinations, tasks, activities, orals exams and projects done throughout the year.

  2. 75% final examination results.

  3. Some practical subjects may include a performance assessment component, or language subjects may include an oral examination, meaning your final mark is made up of:

    • 25% coursework marks

    • 25% performance assessment or oral examination marks

    • 50% final exam results


The amount of time and effort you put into preparing for your finals is important. If you did not perform well during the year, your final exams would provide you with the opportunity to improve your marks and pass.


Matric Pass Requirements

The minimum (lowest level) requirements you need to pass Matric are:

  • 40% or more in 3 subjects (1 subject must be your Home Language)
  • 30% or more in 3 other subjects
  • You can fail or get less that 30% for 1 subject, including your first additional language but not your Home Language.


The minimum pass requirements are not high enough to get into university and some college programmes. Your results determine which tertiary qualification you can apply to do. Depending on the level at which you pass, you will be able to study towards a higher NQF level (5, 6 or 7) qualification.


Matric pass levels for admission into higher education are divided into 3 categories:

1. Higher Certificate pass, you will need to pass:

  • 3 subjects (1 must be your official Home Language) with 40% or more; and
  • 3 subjects with 30% or more
  • A Higher Certificate pass will give you provisional entrance (conditional acceptance) into any college or Higher Certificate qualification programme.
  • There are many programmes and courses (at NQF Level 5) you can complete at a university or college to get a Higher Certificate. For example, in accounting sciences, law, marketing, tourism management, and much more.
  • Once you have completed your Higher Certificate, you can apply for a National Diploma qualification (at NQF Level 6).

2. Diploma pass, you will need to pass:

  • 4 subjects (1 must be your official Home Language) with 40% or more, excluding Life Orientation.
  • A Diploma pass will gain you provisional entrance into university, technical university or college to complete a diploma or certificate qualification programme.
  • Once you have completed your Diploma qualification (at NQF Level 6), you can use it as a stepping stone into a Bachelor degree programme (at NQF Level 7).


3. Bachelor pass (or exemption), you will need to pass:

  • 4 designated subjects (1 must be your official Home Language) with 50% or more, excluding Life Orientation.
  • A Bachelor pass will gain you provisional entrance into university, technical university or college degree, diploma or certificate qualification programme.


If you fail or get less than 30% for 1 subject, you cannot pass with a Diploma or Bachelor’s pass exemption. You can, however, pass with a Higher Certificate pass, if the subject is not a language.


Each university or college’s requirements are different. For example, you may have a Matric with Bachelor pass/exception with 60% for Math but not be able to study medical science at some universities because they require 80% in math for admission. Various programmes and different universities and colleges may ask for specific marks in certain subjects, or a combination of certain subjects. It is extremely important to check with the university or college that you are interested in what marks you need for admission. You can use the Matric results calculator to calculate your pass level, or you can match your grades to university programmes at GradesMatch or EduMatch.