What Can I Study With An ABET Level 4 Certificate? 

Once you have completed ABET Level 4, you can continue to further your education by studying: 

To understand these options, it is best to understand ABET first.

What Is An ABET Qualification?

ABET stands for Adult Basic Education and Training. This is the system that has been designed by the Department of Basic Education to help uneducated South African adults to get their school education. ABET levels are equivalent to certain school grades. ABET Level 4 is the final ABET level, and equivalent to Grade 9. 

Adult Matric

Adult Matric is an option made available to those over the age of 21 who did not get to complete their high school education and write their Matric. Completing your Adult Matric will give you a Senior Certificate (Amended). 

Your Senior Certificate (Amended) will function the same way as a National Senior Certificate, known as school Matric. You can use it to apply for work or to continue to further your studies. 

To apply for Adult Matric, you will need: 

  • A copy of your Grade 9 certificate/report or equivalent (such as ABET Level 4)
  • A certified copy of your ID

Where Can I Study Adult Matric?

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer Adult Matric programmes, such as: 

  • Matric College
  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning
  • Skills Academy

Studying through distance learning gives you the advantage of being able to work to earn an income while you are furthering your education

National Certificate (Vocational)

You can study your NC (V) levels at a TVET college using your ABET Level 4 Certificate. NC (V) levels are equivalent to the school grades that ABET does not cover. 

NC (V) Level

NQF Level

School Grade Equivalent



Grade 10



Grade 11




Do Universities Accept Senior Certificate?

Yes, universities do accept Senior Certificate (Amended). This certificate functions exactly the same way as a school Matric, and you can use it to apply to universities in the same way. Note that this also depends on how well you passed. You can apply to universities if you achieved a Bachelor’s Degree pass. 

Do Universities Accept NCV?

Yes, universities do recognise NC (V) qualifications. You can use your NC (V) level 4 to apply to university, depending on how well you passed. 

Note that each university has its own entry requirements, and many universities and courses have additional requirements to the minimum. Check with the university you are applying to about any additional requirements for the course you want to apply to. 

Short Courses

The short courses offered at our partnered colleges are all open-access. This means there are only two entry requirements you must meet to be able to apply: 

  1. You must be over the age of 16
  2. You must be able to understand, read and write in English
  3. Be comfortable studying through distance learning

Each of our colleges offers different levels of qualifications in short courses. Most of the qualifications have three defined levels: 

  1. A Short Course, which takes four months to complete
  2. A Certificate Course, which takes eight months to complete
  3. A Comprehensive Certificate Course, which takes 12 months to complete

Short Courses At Matric College

Short Courses At Skills Academy

Short Courses At Ember Academy

Short Courses At Learning Group

How Many Levels Are In ABET?

There are four levels in ABET. Each level teaches you up to a certain Grade level. 

ABET Level

Equivalent Grade Level

NQF Level


Grade 3

Not on any NQF Level


Grade 5

Not on any NQF Level


Grade 7

Not on any NQF Level


Grade 9

NQF Level 1

So each level teaches you two grades of school knowledge. 

Does ABET Have Grade 9?

Yes, ABET level 4 is equivalent to Grade 9. This means that once you have completed ABET Level 4, you will have your education up to the Grade 9 level. 

Does ABET Have Grade 12?

No, ABET does not have Grade 12. Grade 12, also known as Matric, is an NQF level 4 qualification. Grade 9 and ABET level 4 are NQF level 1 qualifications.

Does ABET Have Level 5?

No, ABET ends at Level 4. Once you have completed ABET level 4, you can then move to a different college to study for your Adult Matric, or go to a TVET college for your (NC (V))National Certificate (Vocational) qualifications. 

What Is The Difference Between ABET Level 4 And Matric?

ABET level 4 and Matric are three school years apart. This means they are also three school years of knowledge apart. ABET Level 4 is equivalent to Grade 9, and is an NQF level 1 qualification. Matric is an NQF level 4 qualification. 

How Do I Apply For ABET?

To apply for ABET, you will need to register with your nearest AET centre. You can find your nearest centre by checking the list of AET centres by province. To register, you will need to take these documents with you: 

  • Your ID or Birth Certificate
  • Any school records (your school reports if you have attended school at all)


Yes, NSFAS does fund ABET, provided you meet other requirements to qualify for NSFAS funding. 

How Long Is An ABET Course?

This depends on how much time you spend on your ABET courses. It can be completed in as little time as six months. 

Can I Apply NSFAS With ABET Level 4?

Yes, you can apply for NSFAS with your ABET Level 4, however you can only apply for specific courses. You can only apply for NSFAS with your ABET Level 4 if you are studying your NC (V) levels at a TVET college. 

Can I Go To University With An ABET Certificate?

No, you cannot apply to study at a university using your ABET levels. This is because all universities require you to have your Matric to be able to apply. ABET only goes up to the equivalent of Grade 9. 

Can I Do Matric Without Grade 9?

No, you cannot do Matric without Grade 9 or an equivalent, such as ABET Level 4. To apply for any Adult Matric programmes, you must have completed your education up to the equivalent of Grade 9 level.

Is It Possible To Buy A Matric Certificate?

No, you cannot buy a Matric Certificate. Matric Certificates are awarded by Umalusi through the Department of Basic Education. Umalusi has stated that participating in the buying and selling of Matric Certificates is a criminal offence. 

What Have We Learned?

  • There are many study options after ABET
  • ABET has four levels
  • ABET goes up to the equivalent of Grade 9
  • ABET does not have a Matric level
  • NSFAS does fund ABET courses
  • ABET can be completed as quickly as six months
  • You cannot do Matric without Grade 9 or an equivalent 
  • You cannot buy a Matric Certificate

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: July 7, 2022