National Senior Certificate (NSC) – All You Need To Know

National Senior Certificate is a South African certificate that is awarded to students who have passed Grade 12. This certificate is a high school diploma and a graduate certificate. 

The National Senior Certificate which is commonly known as the NSC is also called the Matric Certificate and hence, Grade 12 is the matriculation grade. Previously, the NSC was known as the Further Education and Training Certificate, the FETC. This FETC has been replaced by the Senior Certificate which took effect in 2008.

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 It takes learners between three to five years to complete the NSC and studies include all studies done in Grades 10, 11, and 12. For a learner to be awarded an NSC, they must pass all these grades.

The NSC is recognized both internationally and nationally by the National Qualification Framework and the South African Qualification Authority.

What Is The Purpose of The National Senior Certificate?

Writing the National Senior Certificate comes with a bunch of benefits which include;

  • It makes it easier for learners to have access to after-school opportunities which stream from job opportunities, scholarships, internships, and admissions to a higher learning institutions
  • The NSC equally gives learners access to bursaries and entry-jobs

What Is The National Senior Certificate Exams?

The National Senior Certificate Exams which are also known as the Matric exams are annually written. The Exams are written to final Grade 12 students between October and December. They may also be written between May and June which is typically reserved for learners who are sitting for the exams again. However, specific dates and times will be available to schools and timetables will be provided to learners.

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Who Qualifies to Write NSC Exam?

The qualification of the National Senior Certificate is rather straightforward. Below is a list of all people who qualify to write an NSC. Check it out;

  • All learners who are currently in Grade 12
  • All learners who have been able to complete the School-Based Assessment (SBA)
  • All learners who have previously sat for the NSC exams but could not pass qualify to re-sit

How Is The National Senior Certificate Exams Final Marks Calculate

To get the final score from the NSC, one needs to first add their School-based assessment percentage which is 25% to their NSC score which takes 75%.

The School-Based Assessment includes;

  • Tests
  • Assignments
  • Oral Presentations
  • Preliminary exams
  • June exams

What Are The NSC Pass Levels?

Most often than not, learners get disappointed when they are told they have not passed their NSC because they have assumed that the pass mark is 30%. Unfortunately, it does not cut across and each of the four pass levels has its pass mark. Here are the levels with their respective pass marks.

  1. Bachelor’s Degree  Pass Level
  • A 40% pass in your home language
  • A 50% pass in four subjects
  • A 30% pass in the additional two subjects
  1. Diploma Pass Level
  • A 40% pass in your home language
  • A 40% pass in four subjects
  • A 20% pass in two other subjects
  1. Higher Certificate Pass Level
  • A 40% pass in your home language
  • A 40% pass in two subjects
  • A 30% pass in three other subjects
  1. National Senior Certificate Pass Level
  • A 40% pass in your home language
  • A 40% pass in two other subjects
  • A 20% pass in other subjects

How To Get National Senior Certificate?

To get the National Senior Certificate, learners have to meet the following requirement;

  • The learner must have a Grade 11 certificate or an equivalent certificate
  • The leaner should be 16 years or older
  • The learner must be able to read, write and speak English
  • The learner must have achieved a 40% pass in three subjects including one official language of the home, and a 30% pass in three subjects
  • The learner must be able to make provision of evidence that proves their School-based Assessment score

What Level Is National Senior Certificate?

The National Senior Certificate is estimated to be 130 credits hence it is on Level 4 on the National Qualification Framework.

Where is National Senior Certificate Offered?

The National Senior Certificate is offered in Grade 12. The learner has to sit for seven papers and if and when they pass, they will be awarded a certificate by the Umalusi.

What Can National Senior Certificate Be Studied With?

There is a wide array of courses that a learner can offer once they have gotten their National Senior Certificate. Here are a few;

  • Bookkeeping: ICB National Certificate.
  • Bookkeeping: ICB FET Certificate.
  • Small Business Financial Management: ICB National Certificate.

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Is National Senior Certificate A Matric Certificate?

If you are asking if Matric if the National Senior Certificate is the same as the Matric, then the answer is yes. Currently, the NSC is the Matric Certificate.  Grade 12 is the official matriculation grade.

Is National Senior Certificate A Diploma?

The National Senior Certificate can be considered a Diploma because it is a high school diploma that is awarded to learners who have sat and passed their NSC exams in grade 12.

Date For National Senior Certificate Exams?

The Exams are written to final Grade 12 students between October and December. They may also be written between May and June which is typically reserved for learners who are sitting for the exams again. However, specific dates and times will be available to schools and timetables will be provided to learners.

Who Can Rewrite National Senior Certificate Exams?

Anyone who is under 21 years old can rewrite the National Senior Certificate Exams. Again, any learner who previously wrote the NSC and is not content with their results can equally apply for a second chance programme and rewrite. Here are the requirements for the second chance program;

  • If you are 21 years old and younger, you can apply here
  • If you happen to have written the exams last November
  • If you were unable to write the exams because you were sick or for any other emergence reasons
  • If you simply failed the exams
  • Proof from a university or any higher learning institution that is requiring that you better your grades
  • Or if you simply want to improve your NSC results

How To Check Your National Senior Certificate Results

To check, follow these steps;

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