After at least 12 years of study at school and college, waiting to hear the results of matric examinations is both exciting and nerve-wracking. So much seems to hinge on those results – what further studies you can undertake, what job you will be able to get, in fact what your entire future might hold.
Keep reading if you want to know how to check your Matric results Online and/or what to do if you failed your matric certificate.
Matric is the final year of schooling at Grade 12, and ends with a national matric examination. The technical name for a matric certificate is the National Senior Certificate (NSC). Adult learners above the age of 21 can also receive a matric certificate by completing the requirements for the Amended Senior Certificate (SC). You can also get a Technical Matric through completing an N3 at a TVET college, plus Business English and Afrikaans.
Usually matric examinations are conducted between October and December and results are available during the first week of January.
Because of the COVID 19 disruptions during 2020, the examinations were completed only on 15 December, marking of papers will happen between 4 and 22 January 2021, and results will be available on 23 February 2021. Results for the Western Cape will be available at 5am on the following day, 24 February 2021.
IEB results will be released on 19 February 2021. SACAI results are usually released on the same day as DBE results.
There are three types of matric certificate passes:
The minimum requirements to receive a matric certificate (also called Higher Certificate pass) are:
This means that you can fail (below 30%) only one subject of the seven taken.
A Higher Certificate pass gives you access to certificate courses at TVET Colleges, trade schools like beauty schools, chef schools, nursing or IT colleges, and in-house training in various industries. It is also the minimum educational requirement for many jobs.
A Diploma pass allows you access to post-school National Diploma courses at Universities of Technology, TVET Colleges and institutes for Distance Learning.
A Bachelor pass is a minimum requirement for degree studies at a university. However, each University has its own admission requirements per course, and it is important to check these on the University website.
All Grade 12 learners must cover the same curriculum that is set by the Department of Basic Education and achieve the same National Senior Certificate, known as the matric certificate .
The difference is in how the examinations are set and administered. For all public schools and some independent schools, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) sets and administers the examinations. Some independent schools choose to have either the Independent Examination Board (IEB) or The South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) set and administer their examinations. Many students who are home schooled or those completing matric by correspondence and distance learning also sit for the SACAI examinations.
To make sure that the results are fair and the same for everyone, Umalusi checks the standards of all exams and also how they are marked. No results may be published until Umalusi has certified them. Umalusi also issues all official matric certificates and keeps the records of all learners.
These are several ways to get your matric results:
A Statement of Results document is issued when the results are released by DBE, IEB or SACAI. While this document reflects the candidate’s results, it is not a certificate. It is a temporary document to be used for employment and/or further studies, until it is replaced by the official Umalusi matric certificate which is usually issued by July of the year following your final examinations.
If you have failed subjects or have not received the marks that you expected or that you need to continue to higher education these are some of the routes you can follow.
A candidate can ask for exam scripts to be checked or re-marked. The instructions for how to do this, including the cut-off date, are printed on the reverse of the Statement of Results. Scripts can also be viewed after a re-mark or check has been done – an application for this must be received within 7 days of the release of the re-mark results.
The 2019/20 fees were as follows:
The old “supplementary examinations” that were conducted in February/March have been discontinued. Students can register instead for the examinations to be written in June of each year. The closing date for applications is usually 31 January. The details for the June 2021 examinations will be provided by the Department of Education.
Who is eligible to write the June Exams?
Documentary proof substantiating the reason/s for absenteeism must be submitted at the centre of registration to ensure entry to the June examination. The Statement of Results should also be presented for proof of the November examinations registration.
Note: The Department of Education has from 2020 phased out the Multiple Exam Option for “progressed learners” – those who have failed a grade twice but had been progressed to the next grade. The MEO allowed these learners to write a minimum of three subjects in November and the rest in June of the following year.
Students can re-enrol at a school to repeat the Grade 12 year and rewrite the NSC examinations, provided they are younger than 21.
Complete all or some of the subjects on a part-time basis. Check that the centre you choose is registered by Umalusi (private centres) or the Dept of Higher Education and Training (public centres).
Some of the better-known institutions in South Africa that will allow you to repeat or upgrade your matric marks include Damelin, Matric College, Intec, Oxbridge Academy, Taal-Net Training Institute, College of Cape Town, Abbotts College, Brainline, ICESA.
Some universities offer bridging courses to allow students to improve certain subject marks.
For example, Stellenbosch runs a programme called SciMathUS (an acronym for Science and Mathematics at Stellenbosch University). It offers students who have an average of at least 60% a choice to upgrade their mathematics and physical science marks and offers a choice between Science and Accounting streams. It also provides additional core academic material as well as reasoning, interpersonal and problem solving skills and computer skills.
The Unisa bridging programmes depend on students completing a post-school qualification at a Higher Certificate or Diploma level to prepare students for studies at the Degree level. For example, students whose matric marks are not good enough for a B Ed degree can register for a Higher Certificate in Education (at NQF Level 5)
The SC is a school-leaving qualification for adults and out-of-school learners, provided the validity of the candidate’s SBA has expired.
See https://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/SeniorCertificate.aspx for more details. Also see “Matric for Adults” in our article titled “How to Get a Matric Certificate.”
If you are interested in an engineering career it may be a good idea to upgrade your marks through completing the technical subjects of an N3, plus Business English and Afrikaans. This will open the doors to TVET Colleges, Universities and Universities of Technology.
SAQA has recognised the GED is a foreign Grade 12 equivalent. It is available as a self-paced online study programme in South Africa and it allows access to higher certificates and diploma courses. It also allows access to many online University courses and to most universities in the USA.
There are 50 registered public TVET colleges across all provinces of South Africa and over 300 registered private colleges. There are many courses that you can study without a matric.
Some of these are skills development short learning courses that introduce you to the field of work you are interested in. For jobs where skill and experience are more important than qualifications, these courses are often all you need to get started in the workplace.
Some examples include
Sometimes an introductory course can serve as a bridging programme to allow you to go on to higher professional qualifications that usually require a matric for registration. For example the Introductory Certificate in Public Relations allows you to register for Higher Certificates in Public Relations (at NQF levels 4 and 5), and to go on to the National Diploma in Public Relations (at NQF level 6) and even to a degree course at a University of Technology.
Matric results are important and it’s worth working hard to get the best results you can. But if you don’t do as well as you would like there are many options open to you either to upgrade your results or to take a route that does not depend on having a matric certificate.
For more information about matric studies and examinations, see our article titled “How To Get Your Matric Certificate.”