Applied Psychology

What are the Different Types of Matric Passes?

Jan 20, 2022 | By Saranne Durham
What are the Different Types of Matric Passes? - SACAP
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There are a lot of people who are operating under the belief that you only need 30% to pass matric. It’s not entirely true. However, it is possible to pass matric but not gain 50% or more for all of your subjects. If a student fails to meet the requirements of the National Senior Certificate, then they are deemed to have failed. Thereafter, should they need a pass score for matric they will be required to rewrite their subjects. For which they will also then have to attain the necessary minimum scores.

So, what are various levels of matric passes as well as categories of marks? And how does it work in relation to being provisionally accepted to study after school?

How to Understand Your Matric Results

There are various levels when it comes to passing matric. Within these levels there are also groupings with an achievement rating. The two primary levels have scoring systems attached to them. The scores awarded dictate what matric pass a student gets, as well as what achievement rating they receive. These impact the type of tertiary education a student could provisionally be eligible for.

What are the Different Pass Levels for Matric?

There are 4 Different Matric Pass Levels:

  1. National Senior Certificate (NSC)
  2. Higher Certificate (HS)
  3. Diploma (D)
  4. Bachelor’s Degree (also known as an Exemption) (B)

“APS is short for Admissions Pass Score and NSC stands for National Senior Certificate.”

Understanding the APS Levels

Each of these NSCs have specific requirements which total to an end APS. The combination of required subjects and end APS score, result in a student being awarded a specific type of matric pass. Furthermore, there are certain subjects which require a minimum APS score to receive a specific pass level. Therefore, it is important to note that some subjects are rated as more important than others. For instance, your home language APS score is seen as one of the most important subjects taken at school. Thus, it is possible to do well in a few subjects but not attain the minimal requirement for a specific pass level.

APS Levels:

  • Level 8: 90 – 100%
  • Level 7: 80 – 89%
  • Level 6: 70 – 79%
  • Level 5: 60 – 69%
  • Level 4: 50 – 59%
  • Level 3: 40 – 49%
  • Level 2: 30 – 39%
  • Level 0: 0 – 29%

APS Requirements for the Different NSC

National Senior Certificate (basic matric pass):

  • APS of 3 in home language
  • APS of 3 in other two subjects
  • APS of 2 in 4 other subjects
  • APS total points: 14

Higher Certificate Pass:

  • APS of 3 in home language
  • APS of 3 in other two subjects
  • APS of 2 in three other subjects
  • APS total points: 15

Diploma Pass

  • APS of 3 home language
  • APS of 3 in other four high credit subjects
  • APS of 2 in other two subject
  • APS total points: 19

Bachelor Pass (Exemption)

  • APS of 4 in four high credit subjects
  • APS of 3 in home language
  • APS of 2 in other two subject
  • APS total points: 23

Provisional Acceptance for Tertiary Education

Each of the four pass levels allows you to be provisionally accepted into a type of formal tertiary education. However, just because you attain a pass level or do very well in matric, doesn’t guarantee admittance into a course. This is because placement into courses is further stratified, on the basis of minimal requirements for a specific subject. In addition to specific subject minimum grades, some courses require a minimum overall percentage pass to be considered for placement.

Minimum Requirements:

It is compulsory to achieve at least 40% for your home language to attain one of the certifications that grants you access to a higher learning institution. Attaining less than 40% is regarded as a failure.

How do APSs translate into Provisional Entrance Requirements?

The National Senior Certificate

Requires a matriculant to accomplish:

  • 40% minimum for your home language
  • 40% for another 2 subjects
  • You can fail a subject – even your first additional language
  • You must then get 30% or more for the other 6 making a total of 6 passes. 

It is important to note that this is the most basic matric pass. You can have an average of 33⅓ % to get it. However, it opens the least number of future career doors. Nor does it grant you provisional access to any higher education learning institutions.

A Higher Certificate

Requires a matriculant to accomplish:

  • 40% in their Home Language.
  • At least 40% in two other subjects.
  • A minimum of 30% for three other subjects.
  • One of the two language requirements to qualify for a Higher Certificate. Thus, either English or Afrikaans.

The Diploma Certification

Requires a matriculant to obtain:

  • 40% in their Home Language.
  • 40% for three other High Credit subjects (other than home language).
  • 30% for two other subjects.
  • A final total APS score of 19 

Bachelor’s Degree / Exemption

Requires a matriculant to obtain:

  • 40% for your Home Language.
  • A minimum of 50% for four other High Credit subjects.
  • At least 30% for two other subjects.

These pass levels are divided into 7 further levels. The NSC levels differ from the APS levels. Each of the NSC levels are also given an achievement description.

7 NSC Levels and Achievement Ratings:

  • 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)

What Each Level of Achievement Provisionally Grants You:

  • Higher Certificate: Any College or certificate course.
  • Diploma:  Any University of Technology or diploma course.
  • Bachelors / Exemption: Any University or degree course.

Where to Study?

The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) has three faculties: Applied Psychology, Management & Leadership and Social Work and Community Development. Within the Management and Leadership faculty you can study Coaching, Business Management, Human Resource Management or Management. If you want to discuss your options further, then contact a SACAP advisor and make an appointment. If you know what course you would like to study, then enrol online today.

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