What does my 2021 matric result mean?

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A Bachelor's pass makes a candidate eligible for a degree at a university, university of technology, TVET college, or any accredited Higher Learning Institution.
A Bachelor's pass makes a candidate eligible for a degree at a university, university of technology, TVET college, or any accredited Higher Learning Institution.

Recently, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga expressed concern regarding the confusion around what constitutes a matric pass

Motshekga remarked that "30% is not a pass mark in this country" during a press conference. Her comment came in response to a petition launched by the One South Africa Movement (OSA), which erroneously called for an increase in the pass rate from 30% to 50%. 

"If a candidate gets an aggregate of 30% in all subjects written, the candidate will surely fail. There are myths, which are being repeated year after year, almost by the same people on this matter, and it is unfortunate and disappointing," the minister said. 

She also noted the three NSC pass requirements, this includes: 

1. Higher certificate

2. Diploma

3. Bachelors pass

Here's a closer look at each level. 

Higher certificate pass requirements

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

  • At least 40% in your Home Language
  • At least 40% in two other subjects
  • At least 30% for four other subjects


Also read: 'There are other options available': Hope for matriculants seeking alternative tertiary prospects

Diploma pass requirements

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

  • At least 40% for your Home Language
  • At least 40% for three other subjects excluding Life Orientation
  • At least 30% in the Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) of the tertiary institution (Higher Education Institution) 

The candidate who achieves a Diploma pass qualifies to apply for a diploma at a TVET college or University of Technology. 

Bachelors Degree pass requirements

To achieve a Bachelors Degree pass, a candidate must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects and obtain: 

  • At least 40% for your Home Language (compulsory)
  • At least 50% for four other subjects excluding Life Orientation
  • At least 30% in Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) of the tertiary (Higher Education) institution
  • At least 30% for one other subject.

A Bachelor's pass makes a candidate eligible for a degree at a university, university of technology, TVET college, or any accredited Higher Learning Institution.

Level system: What the grades mean

  • 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)

Which subjects are compulsory?

  • Home Language
  • First Additional Language
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • Either English or Afrikaans as one of your languages

Sources: The Department of Basic Education, NSC Pass Requirements by Umalusi 

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