How to Apply for Adult Matric Easily

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  5 min read

Did you leave school without passing matric? In South Africa, it is very common for people, especially older people, to have had to leave school without formally finishing their studies. Possibly you flunked your final matric examinations. Or possibly you had to leave school early and attend to family needs or enter the workforce to support your loved ones. Luckily, even if the days of Grade 12 are just a memory for you, you can still achieve this educational goal and further your employment and educational prospects with an adult matric

. Here’s what you should know.

What is Adult Matric?

Adult matric is a catch-all term for a matric option offered to learners over the age of 21 years. Adult matrics are used both for people who never had the opportunity to take (or pass) their matric exam to gain the qualification, as well as for people to upgrade the results they received for a better pass type. 

How to register for Adult Matric – Senior Certificate (Amended)

You can directly register for the Adult Matric (Senior Certificate (Amended)) exams with the Department of Basic Education, both through their offices and online. This will entitle you to a seat in the examination hall for your adult matric, in the session you register for.

However, it is uncommon for people to be able to simply walk into the exam hall and write the paper. You will either need to assemble up-to-date textbooks and past papers to learn entirely independently, take advantage of the ‘Second Chance’ classes offered in some locations by the Department of Education, or find an adult matric learning program at an educational facility. 

These will offer a course-like structure, learning material, and possibly online or in-person classes to help guide you back into the study mindset. If you are not confident doing all the work entirely by yourself, this is a great way to set yourself up for success. You will need to find an institution offering adult matric in your area (or online) and enroll according to the guidelines they give.

Who Qualifies for an Adult Matric in 2024?

Most people who wish to obtain or improve their existing matric results qualify for an adult matric. The key requirement is that you are over 21 years of age. This doesn’t mean younger learners who fail cannot retake or improve their matric, simply that they still qualify for the supplementary matric sessions (‘matric rewrite’) offered by the Department of Basic Education until they reach this age. 

Typically, you are required to have basic schooling to NQF 1 (Grade 9). Most people will have this, as this is the minimum school-leaving point for anyone after 1996, or an equivalent certificate. 

If you are an older adult learner who did not achieve up to Grade 9, possibly leaving after primary school, there may still be options for you, but you will have to approach institutions and explain your circumstances.

You will need to be fluent in either Afrikaans or English. You can take both together, or use one as your first language and another language you speak as your compulsory second language.

Difference Between An Adult Matric / Senior Certificate (Amended) And A School Matric Certificate (NSC)

Functionally, there is very little difference between an ‘adult matric’ and a standard school matric (NSC) certificate. They are both NQF 4 qualifications that entitle you to pursue higher academic learning.

However, they differ in how they are achieved. The only way to get an NSC/school matric certificate is by sitting the end-of-year Grade 12 exams and passing them, or passing them through supplementary exams after your initial examination sitting. Results are determined 75% through the final exam, and 25% by your coursework during your final year. 

For learners over the age of 21, you will instead receive the senior certificate (amended). This is a self-paced study course through accredited facilities. The final examination counts for 100% of your marks.

Despite these differences, the end certificate performs exactly the same role, just with a different name.

How Much Does an Adult Matric Certificate Cost?

If you are confident enough to enroll by yourself through the Department of Education’s ‘Second Chance’ matric program, it is 100% free. However, remember that you will need to provide your own textbooks and study material, so there will be some costs involved.

If you opt for a learning program, which is the better idea for most adult students, you need to plan for anything from R5,000 to R21,000 for the adult matric course. This depends on where you register, how intense the program is, how long you take to complete it, and how many subjects you choose.

Where Can You Register for an Adult Matric in 2024?

If you prefer to self-manage your studies for your adult matric, you only need to register for the right exam session with the Department of Basic Education, which can be done online or at an office. You can also attend a limited number of classes through their ‘Second Chance’ program, although access to these classes will depend on local interest and where you live.

If you want to attend a structured learning program for adult matric, they are typically offered by colleges and TVET colleges/vocational schools. They are also offered online through some institutions and even UNISA.

How To Prepare For The Adult Matric Exams

You will prepare for your adult matric the same way you would any higher learning opportunity. You need to plan the length of your studies realistically around your free time. Choose a learning institution that fits these needs. For example, night classes, weekend classes, or distance learning. Then plan to work methodically through the study material- again, be realistic about other responsibilities you have and what you can do. When you are ready to sit the final exam session, consult your timetable carefully, plan out your final studies, and be prepared for the exam on the day.

Achieving your matric as an adult is a great educational goal- good luck!

Keep Reading

How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade Matric Results?

How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade Matric Results?

You can opt to upgrade your matric through an adult matric program and improve those marks. Cost to Upgrade Matric Results

Failed Matric? Here Are Your Options

Failed Matric? Here Are Your Options

Failed matric? There’s plenty you can do to move on from your failure and build a way forward into higher academics and better job positions

How Many Times Can You Write Matric?

How Many Times Can You Write Matric?

This comprehensive guide aims to provide information on the number of times one can rewrite matric, the time frame for rewriting exams

How to Send Matric Papers for Remarking

How to Send Matric Papers for Remarking

This article explains what you should know before sending your matric papers for remarking.   

Which Province Achieved the Highest Matric Pass Rate?

Which Province Achieved the Highest Matric Pass Rate?

Which Province Achieved The Highest Matric Pass Rate? In this piece, we will look at the various statistics about matric exams within the provinces

Which Schools Have the Highest Matric Pass Rate in Gauteng?

Which Schools Have the Highest Matric Pass Rate in Gauteng?

This article outlines the top-performing schools with the highest pass rate in the Gauteng region. 

How To Access Your Matric Results Online

How To Access Your Matric Results Online

How To Access Your Matric Results Online. Looking to write matric exams? Are you prepared for matric results - then keep reading to find out more. 

How Much It Costs to Have Your Matric Exam Remarked?

How Much It Costs to Have Your Matric Exam Remarked?

How Much It Costs to Have Your Matric Exam Remarked. Here’s what you should know about the cost, process, and when it is worth doing.

How to Find A Job Without Matric

How to Find A Job Without Matric

In this guide, we'll explore how to find a job without matric, address whether it's possible to succeed without a grade 12 certificate and more

How Much Does Matric Final Exam Count Toward My Final Mark?

How Much Does Matric Final Exam Count Toward My Final Mark?

How Much Does Matric Final Exam Count Toward My Final Mark? Read on to learn how your final matric mark is calculated.  

How Does CASS Mark Work in Matric?

How Does CASS Mark Work in Matric?

This comprehensive guide aims to explain how CASS marks work in matric, including their significance, calculation, and implications.

How Many Matric Subjects Can You Rewrite?

How Many Matric Subjects Can You Rewrite?

How Many Matric Subjects Can You Rewrite? We will delve into the matric rewrite, which covers the subjects to write, its qualifications and more 

Which Colleges Can You Study at Without Matric?

Which Colleges Can You Study at Without Matric?

Which Colleges Can You Study at Without Matric? Read on to uncover potential paths for personal and professional growth.

How to Apply For Upgrading Matric Results

How to Apply For Upgrading Matric Results

We will guide you on how to apply for upgrading matric results, things needed to apply for matric upgrade, the matric upgrade online

Schools With the Highest Matric Pass Rates in Cape Town?

Schools With the Highest Matric Pass Rates in Cape Town?

Schools That Have the Highest Matric Pass Rate in Cape Town. Here are the top 10 schools with the highest matric pass rate in Cape Town.