What to do with your matric results?

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what can you study with your matric results
Matric is over, results are out. Now what?

So the big day has finally arrived that you receive the results you have been dreading the whole year. For most it is a very stressful moment but for some it is a very exciting moment in their lives, the decider of their futures. Whoever you are where ever you are I assure you now that there is no need to stress about the outcome of your results, there is still time on your hands. You have so many options available to you that it makes the outcome of your results not seem as constricting as you may have thought. I know for a fact that most if not all of you were planning on at least achieving a bachelor’s pass (B symbol) to qualify to study a University degree. Well this article is aimed at informing matriculants of the previous year as well as matriculants of upcoming years of the options available to them after receiving their results.

First I will discuss the minimum requirements needed to pass matric i.e. to obtain the NSC (National Senior Certificate). They are as follows:

It is necessary to pass your Home Language for most people it is English. The pass mark is 40%, therefore you have to at least get 40% for your Home Language to pass matric.
- Next you need to have a minimum of 40% for at least three of your subjects, one of which has to be your Home Language. This means you can fail your First Additional Language and still pass matric! However your overall average has to be above 33,3%. But this is not recommended of cause!

Simply passing matric does not guarantee you entrance to any institution you wish to attend. You have to meet the certain requirements of that institution.

what to do after you get you grade 12 results

Next I will discuss all the different symbols that can be awarded to candidates and explain what each of them mean i.e. where each of them will allow them to study. Basically, there are three different symbols that can be awarded to candidates these include the symbols B, D and H. These are explained in detail below:

Bachelors pass (symbol B)

The Bachelors symbol is the minimum symbol required to enter into a degree programme at a university. It is the best possible pass level you can achieve. It is obtained as follows:

- A minimum of 50% is required for at least four subjects and 30% for three other subjects.
- The subminimum of 40% remains for your Home Language.
- A subminimum of 30% is required for your First Additional Language.
- You may not fail a subject i.e. get a final mark of less than 30%.

Bear in mind that these are the minimum requirements needed to enter into a degree or diploma programme in any tertiary institution in South Africa. They do not guarantee you entry to that programme, you have research the specific requirements needed for that programme. Having a degree qualification is always a great idea, it gives you good credibility. Employers will often employ people with degrees in fields where their degrees do not apply because of the mere fact that their degrees have exposed them to large workloads and intellectual challenges.

Diploma pass (symbol D)

A Diploma symbol is the minimum symbol that allows you to enter into a diploma programme, you automatically do not qualify for a degree programme when you pass with a symbol D. The requirements for a diploma pass are as follows:

- A minimum of 40% for 4 subjects (one of which must be a Home Language).
- A minimum of 30% for 3 other subjects.
- As in a Bachelors pass you may not fail any subject i.e. get a final mark less than 30%

Obtaining a Diploma pass does not mean that you will not be allowed to enrol at a tertiary institution, it only means that you will not be allowed to enter into a degree programme, you will be able to enter into any diploma programme given you meet the requirements for that programme. Many diplomas are found in Universities of Technology. There are great career paths that can be followed in Universities of Technology. Diploma programmes are usually more practical than degree programmes and usually take less time to complete, most diploma programmes take a minimum of three years. Although degree graduates are usually more preferred than diploma graduates, there are certain employees that prefer Diploma graduates over Degree graduates because of their practical knowledge i.e. diploma graduates would be more preferred in constructions sites by contractors in the construction industry.

Higher Certificate Pass (symbol H)

A certificate pass means that you have passed matric with the minimum requirements and cannot study further at a University or University of Technology. The pass requirements for a Higher Certificate are as follows:

- A minimum of 40% for 3 subjects (one of which must be a Home Language).
- A minimum of 30% for a further 3 subjects.
- One fail (final mark below 30%) is allowed. This may not be you First Additional Language or  Home Language.
- The fail in the one subject automatically qualifies you for a Higher Certificate pass even if you get all A’s in your other subjects.

Passing with a symbol H does not mean that you will never be able to study at a University or University of Technology, you may take bridging courses offered by accredited FET (Further Education and Training) Colleges. These courses will allow you to upgrade your matric results so that you may enter to the degree or diploma programme you wish to enter. If you wish to continue studying with a Higher Certificate Pass you may enter courses found in chef school, beauty schools etc. If instead you would like to work, you may find work at administrative jobs or physical jobs.

Hint! Here is a possible career path you may take even with an H pass and it pays well: A career in marketing and advertising.

Finally, I will discuss the options available if you do not pass matric or do as well as you expected
If you do not do as well as you have expected there are two options you can take:


I know some people may feel that they were meant to get distinctions in some subjects an example would be a student who gets 78-79% for a subject, in this case a student may apply for a remark at an extra cost. Usually a student may worry that their marks may drop even further after the remark but this is not the case, if the markers find that they actually gave you more marks than you deserve they rather keep the marks the same. So basically a remark is to your advantage as a learner.


A supplementary exam is available a bit later after the results have come out, these can be taken to improve your matric results. However you are only allowed to re-write a maximum of two subjects.
If you fail matric the following options are available:

- Get a job: if you feel you have had enough of school.

- Enrol at a school that will allow you to finish off your matric: Often it is hard to find a school.- Finish off matric at your old school.

 Enrol at a college to finish off the subjects you need to finish and get the marks you need to get into the course you want.

The final bit of this article shows options you would need to take if you had failed matric. For current and upcoming matriculants, it should not have to come to this, your goal is to pass matric; well.

In conclusion to this, SA varsity students hopes this article was informative and hopes you stay tuned for upcoming ones.

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