How Matric Results Work

Once your Matric results have been released, it is important to know how to get them and what you can do with them.

How Do Matrics Get Their Results?

There are many ways to get your Matric results. The main ways are:

Newspapers – Matric results are published in most main newspapers when they are released
Your phone – you can register to receive your results via SMS when they are released
The Department of Education website – you will log in with your exam number and ID number to view your results

What Is A Bachelor’s Degree Pass In Matric?

A Bachelor’s Degree pass is the highest passing level in Matric. The requirements to achieve a Bachelor’s Degree pass are:

40% or above for your Home Language subject
50% or above for four subjects
30% or above for two other subjects

What Are The Levels Of Matric Results?

There are four passing levels of Matric. The pass levels and their requirements are as follows: 

Pass Level


Bachelor’s Degree pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

Diploma pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for four other subjects
  • 30% or above for two other subjects

Higher Certificate pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for three other subjects

NSC pass/Matric pass

  • 40% or above for your Home Language subject
  • 40% or above for two other subjects 
  • 30% or above for the remaining subjects
  • You can fail one subject

What Are The 4 Compulsory Subjects?

The four compulsory subjects are as follows:

One official South African Language at the Home Language level
One official South African Language at the First Additional Language level
Maths OR Maths Literacy
Life Orientation

Can You Fail Maths And Pass Matric?

Yes, you can fail your maths subject and still pass Matric. The only subject you cannot fail is your Home Language subject.  

What Percentage Is A Distinction In South Africa?

In South Africa, a distinction is different in school and after school. In school, a distinction is 80% and above. After Matric, such as in colleges and universities, a distinction is 75% and above. 

How Do I Calculate My APS?

Your APS is calculated using your Matric final results. Your marks will fall under a percentage bracket. Each percentage bracket is allocated a number of points. You can add these points to get your APS. Remember to exclude Life Orientation, as it does not count for your APS. 

Does Life Orientation Count For APS?

No, Life Orientation does not count for APS. If you are calculating your APS yourself, remember to exclude Life Orientation from the points. If you are using an online calculator, remember to enter your Life Orientation mark in the single point bracket, no matter what your marks really were.

The point allocation is as follows: 

Percentage Bracket

Point Allocation

80% – 100%


70% – 79%


60% – 69%


50% – 59%


40% – 49%


30% – 39%


0% – 29%


Which Subjects Count For APS?

The subjects that count for your APS are:


Agricultural Management Practices

Agricultural Sciences 

Agricultural Technology

Business Studies 

Civil Technology

Computer Applications Technology

Consumer Studies 

Dance Studies

Dramatic Arts 


Electrical Technology

Engineering Graphics and Design 



Hospitality Studies

Information Technology 

Life Sciences 


Mathematical Literacy

Mechanical Technology


Physical Sciences 

Religion studies 


Visual Arts

Your Home Language and First Additional Language subjects will also count for your APS.

How Many Points Is An “A” In Matric?

An “A” in Matric is 80% and above, which is 7 points. 

What Is The Minimum APS For A Bachelor Degree?

The minimum APS for a Bachelor’s Degree pass is 23. The minimum APS for each passing level are as follows:

Bachelor’s pass – 23
Diploma pass – 19
Higher Certificate pass – 15
NSC pass/Matric pass – 14

What Is The Highest APS?

The highest APS you can get is 42. This is because the highest number of points you can get for a subject is 7. Your marks are calculated using six subjects because Life Orientation does not count. 

What Can I Do If I Failed Matric?

There are two options to get your Matric if you failed the first time:

  • Matric Rewrite
  • Matric Upgrade

Matric Rewrite

Matric Upgrade

Must be under the age of 21

Must be over the age of 21

May not change subjects

May change any four subjects

How Many Times Can I Rewrite Matric?

There is no limit to the number of times you can rewrite your Matric as long as you are still under the age of 21.

When doing a Matric Rewrite, you may rewrite a maximum of four subjects. These must be subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams, you cannot change your subjects.

To apply for a Matric Rewrite or a Matric Upgrade, you will need:

A copy of your Statement of Results
A certified copy of your ID

How Much Does It Cost To Rewrite Matric?

It is free to register with the Department of Education to rewrite your Matric exams. However, it is not free to study for your Matric exams. You will pay the fees for the school or college where you study for your Matric Rewrite. This will cover your tuition and study materials. 

Can I Upgrade My Matric After 10 Years?

Yes, you can upgrade your Matric after 10 years. You can upgrade your Matric any time after you have turned 21. There is no limit to the number of times you can upgrade your Matric. 

What Can I Study If I Failed Matric?

There are options available for you to further your studies even if you do not have your Matric, such as:

  • ICB courses 
  • Short courses

ICB Courses

There are two ICB courses you can choose to study without Matric:

Business Management
Financial Accounting
Office Administration


Entry Requirement

Business Management

Grade 11 or Equivalent (ICB National Certificate: Junior Bookkeeping)

Financial Accounting

Grade 10 or Equivalent

Office Administration

Matric or Matric Equivalent (ICB National Certificate: Small Business Management)

ICB courses are accredited by ICB (the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and QCTO (the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations). This means that they are recognised by potential employers as formal qualifications. They are recognised both locally and internationally.

Where Can I Study ICB Courses?

There are many places where you can study ICB courses. Some reputable distance learning colleges that offer these ICB courses are:

Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
Matric College
Skills Academy
Ember Academy
Learning Group

Short Courses

There are also many short courses offered at four of the above colleges. 

Short Courses At Matric College

Short Courses At Skills Academy

Short Courses At Ember Academy

Short Courses At Learning Group

What Have We Learned?

  • Your Matric results determine what courses you can take to further your education after high school
  • A Bachelor’s pass is the highest of the four passing levels in Matric
  • There are four compulsory subjects for Matric
  • You also cannot fail your Home Language and pass Matric. However, you can apply to rewrite your Home Language to improve your marks and pass
  • You can calculate your APS yourself or use an online calculator
  • Life Orientation does not count towards your APS
  • Each passing level has its own APS requirements
  • There are still options available to study even if you did not pass Matric


Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: July 4, 2022