National Senior Certificate

National Senior Certificate

National Senior Certificate

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The National Senior Certificate or NSC is the equivalent of a high school diploma and is the school-leaving certificate in South Africa. This certificate is commonly known as the matriculant (matric) certificate, as grade 12 is known as 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. See South Africa; Matriculation in South Africa.

Structure of the Senior Certificate

The school-leaving certificate presently awarded is the Senior Certificate (commonly known as the Matric Certificate). Pupils study at least six subjects from six different groups, including two compulsory official South African languages - a first and second language - and four elected subjects. Also included as a seventh subject non-optional is Life Orientation.

Subjects are taken at the Higher Grade or Standard Grade level with Higher Grade being more appropriate for pupils planning to enter university. The official pass grade in most Higher Grade subjects is 40% and in all Standard Grade subjects 33.3%. 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 Senior Certificate is a group certificate and...
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