National Senior Certificate
The National Senior Certificate or NSC is a high school diploma and is the school-leaving certificate in South Africa. This certificate is commonly known as the matriculation (matric) certificate, as grade 12 is the matriculation grade. The NSC, previously known as the Further Education and Training Certificate or FETC, replaced the Senior Certificate with effect from 2008 and was phased in starting with grade 10 in 2006.
The school-leaving certificate presently awarded is the National Senior Certificate. Pupils study at least seven subjects, including two compulsory official South African languages, either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy, Life Orientation and three elective subjects.
Subjects are all taken on the same level - there is no higher or standard grade as in the past. The official pass grade is 40%. The mean mark in any subject is usually about 55. Only a small proportion of candidates score an 'A' in any subject (from as little as 2% to a maximum of about 10% in subjects taken by highly select groups.) A further 8 – 15% are likely to gain a 'B' and about 20 – 25% achieve a 'C' grade. The National Senior Certificate is a group certificate and records an aggregate mark.
Level system (1 to 7)
The Department of Basic Education has responsibility for general educational policy to be implemented by nine provincial education departments and private providers such as the Independent Examinations Board (IEB). There are nine provincial examination boards and three independent boards, of which the IEB is the biggest. The IEB operates on a national level catering primarily for independent schools.
The following levels must be met as a minimum requirement to proceed to the next grade.
Life Orientation as Learning Area
Life Orientation (LO) has been introduced into the senior high school phase for the first time as an examination subject. LO is a broad-learning subject that covers non-academic skills needed in life.LO is examined, marked and moderated internally and comprises the following sections:
There are three types of subjects:
Continuous Assessment (CASS) includes all the tests, examinations, tasks, activities, orals and projects done throughout the year. Matric results are usually out of 400 marks.