What Happens If You Fail Matric?

By Trev Gami •  Updated: 01/23/24 •  6 min read

The National Qualifications Framework (NFQ) sets the pass requirements for matric examination. If you fail to meet the requirements, you cannot study the degree program you want at university or pursue other courses that demand high passes. However, matric is not the end since there are other courses you can consider. This article explains different options you can choose when you fail matric. 

What Happens If I Fail My Matric?

There are several courses you can study without matric, and some of them are equivalent to the certificate. You can use these courses to further your academic career and acquire qualifications equal to a national diploma certificate. For instance, you can study short courses, non-accredited, and accredited courses without matric.  

Short courses are designed to provide specific skills that can be applied to real-life situations. The main advantage of such courses is that they are self-empowering and can be completed in a short period. More importantly, they’re affordable.  

You can also pursue non-accredited courses to improve your skills for specific jobs. These courses mainly include practical work and cover different industries such as supply chain, beauty, project management, computer courses, management, and others. On the other hand, individuals without matric can also consider accredited courses like accounting, bookkeeping, and others. 

Recheck, Remark, or View Your Paper

In some cases, candidates may feel that they have been awarded unfair grades depending on their performance in matric exams. If you are aggrieved by the results you get, the good news is that you can apply for a recheck, remark, or viewing of your paper. 

A recheck involves checking your exam script to see if all answers were marked and marks calculated correctly. To apply for a recheck, you need to pay R27. On the other hand, a remark is when your paper is marked for the second time, and the applicant pays R120. A remark is expensive, and you should also know that it might not make big changes to your final score. 

After a recheck and remark, candidates can view their scripts at a cost of R234. The entire exercise is costly, so it is a good idea to only consider it if you have a genuine grievance. If you believe your instincts, a remark or recheck can help you get the marks you deserve. If the examiner missed something, a remark will help rectify the error. A recheck can also positively contribute to your APS if there are some errors discovered in your exam script. 

How Can I Improve My Matric Marks?

You can improve your matric results by writing a supplementary exam that is specifically designed for that purpose. Rewrite exams are offered in May and June, and candidates can only write two subjects they have failed in the previous exam. If you want to improve your overall score, a supplementary exam is the perfect opportunity to help you achieve your goals. 

However, if you have no time to prepare for supplementary exams, you can still fail, and this will not help the situation. To avoid such frustration, you can go back to school as a full-time repeater if you are below 21 years. Candidates can also register as part-time repeaters at public adult education centers. When you go back to school, you will get enough time and resources to help you prepare for the exam.

A matric upgrade is another option you can consider to improve your matric marks. To qualify for a matric upgrade program, you should be above 21 years, have completed Grade 9, or you have written matric, but your results are poor. You also need to be able to write and read English. 

Matric Upgrade/Matric Rewrite: Amended Senior Certificate

When you undertake an adult matric course and complete it, you will be awarded an Amended National Senior Certificate. Adult matric is the perfect choice for individuals who could not reach matric due to different reasons. It allows you to obtain a matric certificate no matter how long you have been out of formal school.

To pass your Amended Senior Certificate, you must have a proper study schedule to help you cover all subjects. Creating a feasible work/live balance is another effective strategy you can consider to pass your matric. Getting enough sleep also helps your brain to relax so it can retain the information you read. 

Revising previous exam papers can also help you improve your skills in answering exam questions. You will also gain insight into the type of questions often asked in the final examination. Utilize group discussions and ask your tutor pertinent questions to improve your knowledge. Never assume that you know everything if you want to get the desired passes. Your final exams contribute to all the marks you will get in your adult matric course. 

Matric Equivalent Certificate

A Matric Equivalent Certificate, as the name suggests, is a qualification with equal weight as Matric Certificate on the NQF level system. A matric equivalent is often used when you want to further your studies or seek employment. You might not have matric, but with an equivalent qualification, you can still achieve your dreams.

With a matric equivalent course, you will gain a rare skill that makes you marketable on the job market. It allows you to specialize in a specific field, which makes you employable and highly sought after by many companies. You can also move up the corporate ladder by focusing on improving skills in critical areas. Some courses that are considered to be equivalent to Matric are bookkeeping, small business financial management, and others. 

Although Matric is crucial in the South African education system, not everyone can achieve it. If you obtain lower scores, you can improve them via different methods. However, if you fail your matric, it does not spell the end of the world. There are several courses you can do without matric. All you need to do is choose a program to improve your skills in a specific field.   

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