What Are the Matric Pass Requirements?

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

Getting your matric, whether you are doing so as your graduate high school or as an adult student, is not quite as simple as just pass or fail. There are 4 different types, or levels, of matric pass you might receive. These pass levels determine the higher education options open to you if you want to proceed with tertiary education opportunities, and each has its own matric pass requirements. Of course, there is also a basic pass level you need to receive your matric at all. As these can get confusing for people, we’ve broken the matric pass requirements down simply for you so they are easier to understand.

Understanding Matric Passes

Before we break down the matric pass requirements further, let’s recap some basics that will help you better understand the matric pass system:

Now you have a better understanding of the matric requirements, let’s look at the pass requirements for each type of matric pass.

What are the Matric Pass Requirements?

To pass your basic matric, you must receive at least 40% in your home language and two other subjects. You will also need 30% or more on two more subjects, one of which must be your other language. You must get at least 30% on 6 of the subjects you took. This amounts to 14 APS points.

To receive the Higher Certificate pass, you must get 15 APS points and must receive 40% or more for your home language and two other subjects and at least 30% for four other subjects. Your home language needs to be English or Afrikaans, as these are the languages tertiary education institutes in South Africa use.

For the Diploma Pass, you need 40% or higher for your home language and 3 high-credit subjects and 30% on two other subjects. We look at the Bachelor’s pass below in more detail.

How Many Subjects Do You Need to Pass Matric with Bachelor?

The Bachelor’s Pass needs 50% on four high-credit subjects, 40% for home language, and 30% in two other subjects. You can only fail one subject, and this must still receive a mark above 20%.

What is the Minimum Pass Mark for Matric?

The absolute minimum pass mark for matric currently sits around 35%. You will see a lot of talk about a ‘30% pass rate’, but that is a gross simplification of what you actually need to pass matric. Remember, it’s not just about numbers, but specific benchmarks you need to meet. The minimum matric pass is comprised of the following:

How are Matric Marks Calculated?

Your matric marks are calculated from two sources. 75% of your total mark comes from the final examination for the subject. The other 25% is your SBA, or School Based Assessment, made up of your academic progress through your last year (June exams, tests, projects, portfolios, and so on). As adult matric students don’t always have this SBA system in place, their final matric marks are calculated 100% on the final examination performance.

Hopefully, you now understand the matric pass requirements with more confidence. Good luck with your exams!

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