Matric Rewrite: All You Need to Know About Registering 

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

Sometimes, the stress and pressure of our final exam sessions (or the temptation of goofing around with friends) mean that we don’t achieve the educational goals we want. Or perhaps your educational dreams were derailed by something out of your hands right as you wrote your final matric exams, like a death in the family or a personal health crisis.

Luckily that doesn’t mean the end of all your educational dreams! Matric rewrites offer a way for those under 21 to retake subjects they either failed or underperformed in order to upgrade their final matric result. This will allow you to pursue better tertiary education options and employment opportunities. Here’s everything you need to know about registering for a matric rewrite.

How To Register For Matric Rewrite 2024/24?

The easiest way to register for a Matric Rewrite in 2024/24 is to do so online through the Department’s portal. You will need to complete the registration form, then provide a certified ID copy, a copy of your highest qualification to date, and the examination number for your original matric exam session. You can also register in person at the Department of Basic Education Office.

Who Qualifies For A Matric Rewrite? 

You qualify for a matric rewrite if you are still under 21 years of age and previously took your NSC examinations with poor results. You will only need to justify your reasons for retaking if you have exceptional circumstances around your original failure- such as missing an exam due to traumatic circumstances.

How Much Will I Pay For A Matric Rewrite?

If you go through the Department of Basic Education yourself, your matric rewrites will be free. If you need extra tuition and help to get you to the academic point you want to be at, however, you may need to seek out public or private tuition programs to give you that support, and these will typically be paid. Costs will vary depending on the subject, location, and the provider.

Is Matric Rewrite Registration Still Open For 2024?

This is a question that can be a little confusing to answer! To be super clear, the matric rewrite registration date in 2024 has already passed….for the class of 2022 (or earlier)! Remember that you write your first matric exams at the end of the academic year and receive your final results early the next year. The supplementary exam session for that year will then open for registration and will be the first chance you have at a matric rewrite. In 2024, registration for the May/June exam closed on 8 February, and the October/November session on 15 March.

However, there will be a session opening in 2024 for those who write their matric this year. Typically, dates open shortly after matric results are released and close about a month to six weeks afterwards. You can also apply for these sessions if you still fall within the ‘5 years after matriculation/under 21’ rule. Matric results for the class of 2024 will be announced late next year- the 23rd of February 2024- so supplementary session registration dates will also be a little later. 

How Long Does It Take To Rewrite Matric?

How long it takes to rewrite your matric depends considerably on why you are rewriting your matric to start with and what type of rewrite you are doing. If you have a good reason to have missed an exam from your original matric session, you do not have to rewrite all of your matric subjects- just the ones you were not present for. The same applies if you failed only one subject or want to upgrade just a couple of your subjects to better marks.

In these cases, you can register for the most convenient supplementary exam session directly after your initial matric and retake the subject(s) you need. They run in both mid-year and end-year sessions. You will not have to re-enroll in a matric class. You could finish in as little as 6 months after your initial exam date.

However, if you have failed a lot of your subjects, or your entire matric, this may not be the smartest solution for you. You need to be honest with yourself about why you failed and if it is due to academic weakness. You may need to use the Second Change tuition program offered by the Department of Basic Education or engage a private tutor to help you better understand the material. Rushing to the finish line here would not be smart and could backfire on you. It may be a better idea to undertake a 12 month tuition program, or retake your senior year, to get the structured tuition and support you need to pass this time.

If you are already over 21, you will need to instead look at a Matric Upgrade program, which needs 12-24 months to finish.

How Many Subjects Can You Write In A Rewrite Exam?

If you want to rewrite your matric exam in the supplementary sessions offered, you can rewrite up to four subjects. If you need to rewrite your entire matric program instead, you will need to look at a different option. Luckily these do exist, so you will still be able to meet your educational goals.

How Many Times Can You Rewrite A Matric Subject?

There is no limit as to how many times you can rewrite a matric subject. You have up to 5 years after your initial exam session, or when you turn 21, to rewrite your matric exams, and can use both annual sessions for rewrites if you need. After you turn 21, you can still improve on your matric results but will instead need to use a Matric Upgrade program.

Remember, receiving poor initial matric results does not mean the end of your educational dreams- and a matric rewrite may be all you need to get you there.

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