Who qualifies for Umalusi certificate?

What are the pass requirements for the National Senior Certificate if I want entrance to university?

The National Senior Certificate will be awarded to you if you have complied with the following requirements which form the basis for determining pass requirements to be accepted at University for the Higher Certificate, Diploma or Degree Studies programmes:

To obtain a National Senior Certificate you must have offered the following subjects in the examination:


One Home Language
One Home or First Additional Language
Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
Life Orientation
3 x subjects selected from Group B

and further fulfil the minimum promotion requirements, viz:

  • achieve 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level;
  • achieve 30% in three subjects; and
  • provide full evidence in the School-Based Assessment component, in the event of a subject failed.

To qualify for admission to Higher Certificate studies you need to pass with a minimum 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the Higher Education institution concerned.

To qualify for admission to Diploma Studies at a University, you need to pass the National Senior Certificate, with an achievement rating of 3 (moderate achievement, 40%-49%) or better in four recognised NSC 20-credit subjects, and a minimum 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the Higher Education institution concerned.

To qualify for admission to Bachelor`s Degree studies at a University, you need to pass with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the Higher Education institution concerned, in addition to an achievement rating of 4 (adequate achievement, 50%-59%) or better in four subjects chosen from the designated subject list determined by Higher Education.

Requirements for Certification

In order for Umalusi to certify a qualification, the qualification must be registered on The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework , which is a sub-framework of the National Qualification Framework. Further, the assessment of the qualifications must be nationally conducted, either by the state or by an assessment body accredited by Umalusi, and the provider of tuition for the qualification must be either a public provider or a private provider accredited by Umalusi.

National Examinations

National examinations are conducted by the state or accredited assessment bodies throughout the year for the various qualifications as follows:

Matriculation qualificationsExaminations
The Amended Senior Certificate (SC)Once annually in June / July
The National Senior Certificate (NSC)Bi-annually in June/July and October/November
Vocational qualifications
The National Technical Certificate N3 (Engineering Studies)Three times annually in April, August and November.
The National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) – commenced in 2007Once annually in November, with supplementary examinations in February
Adult Education and Training qualifications
The General Education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETC: ABET)Bi-annually in June and October.

Quality Assurance of Assessment and National Examinations

In order for learner achievements to be certifiable, Umalusi puts extensive measures in place to ensure that the internal assessment, which is carried out at learning sites, and the examinations conducted by the state and private assessment bodies, are fair, reliable and valid. This work is carried out by the Quality Assurance of Assessment Unit (QAA) annually through various moderation and monitoring processes.


Standardisation is one of the processes Umalusi Council uses to mitigate the effect of factors other than the learners’ knowledge and aptitude on the learners’ performance and to finally approve results.

Approval of Results

Umalusi Council is responsible for approving the release of results, a complex process. Approval of results is determined by how well the assessment bodies responsible for the examinations have complied with all the policies, directives and guidelines related to the qualification being resulted. These policies and directives are issued by Umalusi and the Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training. Approval is also dependent on whether any irregularities have undermined the credibility and integrity of the examinations. Once the standardization decisions have been agreed upon, the assessment bodies are required to apply them to the marks of each subject. The standardized subject results are returned to Umalusi for quality assurance checks, and once the Council is satisfied that the decisions have been properly applied, the assessment bodies may finally result the individual candidates.