How to improve your IEB matric exam results

All is not lost.
All is not lost.

Despite showing steady growth since 2015, the 2019 IEB matric exam results have dropped by a small percentage when compared to the results achieved in 2018. 

In 2018, the overall IEB results showed a 98.92% pass rate, while the 2019 pass rate was 98.82%. 

Also see: What does my matric mark mean?

Here's a look at the IEB pass rate from 2015 to 2019: 

Graph showing IEB results 2015 to 2019


Anne Oberholzer, IEB CEO, has confirmed that of the 11,818 full-time and 779 part-time candidates who wrote the 2019 IEB matric exam, "89.51% qualified for entry to study a degree, while 7.91% qualified for entry to study a diploma and 1.4% for studying at the Higher Certificate level." 

If you're reading this, you might among those IEB pupils who did not qualify for degree study. 

But all is not lost. Here's how you can improve on your marks for entry into your dream institution or course.

Parent24 got in touch with the IEB and here's what we learned. 

Apply for a remark

If you're sure that you fared better than your marks show, apply for a remark.

According to the IEB, learners may apply for a remark by visiting the IEB portal (Payment must be made through this portal).

The applications for remarks close on Monday, 13 January 2020.  

Boost your marks

Learners who wish to improve their marks may register as private candidates with the IEB. 

The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 31 March 2020 and the cost is R1230 per subject. Learners can request the application form from their school or from Jabu Ngcobo at  

Read about the NSC supplementary exam options here: Supplementary exams: everything you need to know

Bridge the gap 

If you're part of the percentage of students who achieved a Higher certificate pass, consider applying for a bridging course at an accredited TVET or private college

Completing a bridging course will allow you to "accumulate enough credits to go on to apply to a university to pursue a Bachelor's degree, honours, master's or doctorate, thorough research must be done as it might not be possible to take this route for every single occupation." 

Read more here: An alternative to matric and varsity: your study options in SA explained 

What if I failed? 

If you find yourself among the percentage of IEB pupils who have failed, here are your options: 

Redo the entire year at school 

You'll be eligible to repeat your entire matric year either via your school (if under 21), or via a TVET or private college.

Correspondence learning

Completing your matric year via correspondence learning (e.g. UNISA) is also possible. 

The Amended Senior Certificate

If you're older than 21, you'll be able to apply to write the Amended Senior Certificate. Visit a provincial education office for more information on how to go about making an application.

Applications to write the Amended Senior Certificate exams can also be done online. Visit for details. 

The deadline for applications to the Amended Senior Certificate exams close 31 January 2020. 

Chat back:

Share your story with Parent24. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

Should my child take a gap year?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
24% - 1222 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
29% - 1504 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
47% - 2381 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.