Can I choose more than one language for my three additional Matric subjects?

  • YES -  You may choose two additional languages for Matric. Four languages, including a compulsory Home Language and FAL, is the maximum that any learner may take.

YES - According to South African law, schooling is not compulsory for Grade 10,11 or 12. However if you drop out in Grade 10, 11 or 12 you will not receive your school leaving certificate and will not have access to tertiary education.

  • NO -  LO is the only subject in the NSC that does not require a final examination.
  • YES, ALTHOUGH YOU MAY BE ALLOWED TO WRITE AT A LATER DATE - If a close member of your family dies, there is a concession that allows a learner to write a supplementary exam in February of the following year. You will need to provide documentation to support the delay in completing the Matric subject.
  • YES - Learners must apply to their school to be granted concessions and proof of disability may be required before a concession is granted. There are many qualifying criteria for learners who experience barriers to learning including deafness, blindness, low muscle tone or learning disorders.


  • YES - In most schools in South Africa, school uniforms are compulsory. However, in terms of our constitution, learners may not be prohibited from wearing something religious if that is part of their religious belief. Check with your schools Code of Conduct too.
  • YES - Every year, raw exam marks are adjusted up or down to smooth out the effect of external factors such as changes in levels of difficulty of exam papers, errors in exam papers and inconsistency in marking across the provinces.
  • YES - Umalusi releases these figures every year. For the Matric class of 2017, for example, in the National Education NSC 16 subject marks were adjusted upwards and 4 subject marks went down. In 2016, there were 28 subjects adjusted upwards and 4 downwards.
  • YES - It is worth noting that in IEB schools, instead of dropping Core Maths for Math Lit, learners are encouraged to do both. This is not allowed in government schools.
  • YES, UP TO A POINT -  Two subjects can be changed in Grade 10, provided this is done by the beginning of the third term and the school principal approves this change.  

In Grade 11, two subjects can be dropped provided this is done before the 28th of February and the school principal approve this change.  

In Grade 12, only in exceptional cases can a subject be dropped. A subject must be dropped before 31 January and your parent or guardian has to submit a letter of motivation. In addition, the teacher of the subject and the school principal must approve the change..

  • YES - However, many schools do not encourage learners to take as many as that.

Remember, you only need seven subjects to achieve a Pass with Entry to a Bachelor Degree, but remember to familiarise yourself with the specific requirements of the university you want to attend and the courses you want to take once you complete Matric.

  • A-Levels fall under the U.K. education system called Cambridge (CEI). This is an internationally recognised certificate. The AS certificate is the same as achieving the NSC in South Africa and A-Levels would be the equivalent of a Grade 13 or post-Matric year of schooling.There are schools that offer this 13th year of schooling like St John’s in Johannesburg.

Advanced Subjects offered in addition to the NSC subjects are also viewed as achieving A-Levels. In South Africa, there are only 2 recognised subjects here: English and Maths.

  • These 2 programs are extra advanced subjects, done in addition to the NSC. They are not published as part of the NSC and a separate certificate is issued. Once passed, these subjects are seen as achieving the UK Cambridge A-Level. Of course, they will contribute if the learner is applying to universities and  in particular in the UK.
  • YES -  You may choose two additional languages for Matric. Four languages, including a compulsory Home Language and FAL, is the maximum that any learner may take.
  • NO - There is a language concession for immigrants which means that the compulsory First Additional Language does not need to be taken. Another subject can be chosen, including a non-official language that the learner is familiar with.
  • YES - In March 2018, DoBE changed the policy of separating subjects into these two categories. Subjects are no longer divided into these to categories and some universities, such as WITS, have already adopted this new policy. This applies to both National Education schools and IEB schools.
  • MAYBE - At the moment, the Minister from the DoBE is reviewing this option and looking at possibly including some aspects of History in the compulsory Life Orientation subject.
  • Progressed learners are students who fail a grade for the second time and are allowed to progress to the next grade in order to keep them at school. Although this sounds easy, it is not, and a learner who is progressed still has lots of requirements to fulfil in order to pass onto the next grade. These learners do not get any other concessions towards achieving the NSC.
  • YES, AS A STARTING POINT- You still need a Pass With Entry to a Bachelor Degree from the NSC and the higher your marks, the better your chances. However, there are no guarantees and it is imperative that you research what each university’s requirements are.
  • YES - However, there are rules that each university has in place for international students. The first step in most cases would be to request an exemption from the Matriculation Board allowing you access to universities in South Africa.