What do matric pass symbols 2024 mean? Matric symbols & levels

What do matric pass symbols 2024 mean? Matric symbols & levels

Matric symbols in South Africa are associated with matric pass levels that eventually lead learners to different higher learning education levels. The matric results will be announced on F, 19th January 2024. Congratulations to the students who recorded excellent grades. Now, do you know matric pass symbols and their meanings?

matric pass symbols
Matric results have improved by 0.2% even though the class of 2021/22 was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for two consecutive years. Photo: @kali9
Source: Getty Images


The matric pass rate has improved from 76.2% (2020/21) to 76.4% (2021/22) academic years. If your matric results are below your expectations, enrol in extended degree programs or bridging courses to upgrade your subjects' marks. Alternatively, you can also rewrite the matric exam. Learn more about matric symbols and levels in South Africa below.

What do matric symbols mean?

First, what is the matric pass mark in South Africa? SA's Department of Basic Education stated that high school learners would not be awarded the National Senior Certificate or matric certificate if they fall below the minimum pass mark requirement for matric subjects.

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Did the government scrap off the 30% matric pass mark? The statement is not entirely true because the education system allows varying requirements for each degree, diploma, or higher learning certificate.

However, the average pass mark is 40% for most courses in Mzansi. So, what are the levels of passing matric? Mzansi's education system currently has only three matric levels:

  • A Bachelors Pass (B): It is course-dependent and a provisional entrance into a university.
  • A Diploma Pass (D): It offers high school graduates provisional entry into a Technikon/TVET college.
  • A Higher Certificate Pass (H): It enables the student to gain provisional entry into a College or certificate course.

Matric results pass symbols and their meanings

matric pass symbols
Free State has maintained its top spot of the National Senior Certificate pass rate. Its 2021/22 performance slightly increased from 76.2% in 2020 to 76.4% in 2021. Photo: @LSOphotof
Source: Getty Images

The matric results pass symbols stand for the learner's level of achievement in a subject. Be proud of everything you scored on your results statement because you did your best. Here are the matric pass symbols in South Africa, their meanings, and the minimal requirements for each:

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  • Code 7 (A): 80 - 100% (Outstanding )
  • Code 6 (B): 70 - 79% (Meritorious )
  • Code 5 (C): 60 - 69% (Substantial )
  • Code 4 (D): 50 - 59% (Moderate )
  • Code 3 (E): 40 - 49% (Adequate )
  • Code 2 (F): 30 - 39% (Elementary )
  • Code 1 (FF): 0 - 29% (Not achieved )

How are matric results calculated?

Exam markers from the Department of Basic Education use the seven subjects you chose in Grade 9 to calculate your results and then determine the matric pass rate symbols to give you.

matric pass symbols
Gauteng was second with a pass rate of 82.8%, which is a 1% decline. Photo: @Creatas Images
Source: Getty Images

A student must sit for a Home Language, First Additional Language, Mathematics (or Mathematical Literacy), and Life Orientation.

The learner then chooses three subjects from the low-credit and high-credit categories. Here is how matric results are calculated:

  • Internal School-based Assessments (SBA) make up 25% of your final matric result. SBA is a combination of how your school grades your classwork, assignments, tests, and the exams you sit for throughout the year.
  • The external final exam (except Life Orientation) makes up 75% of your final matric result.

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Frequently asked questions

Most universities follow the British system's grading model when enrolling new students. Therefore, this creates confusion in the minds of many undergraduate, diploma, and higher learning certificate applicants after they complete high school. Here are answers to the frequently asked questions:

1. What does symbol c mean in matric results?

The 60% to 69% mark, symbol C, falls under the substantial achievement level in the National Senior Certificate (NSE) and a second-division achievement in the university.

matric pass symbols
Western Cape was third with an 81.2% pass rate. It is a 1.3% improvement, from 79.9% in 2020. Photo: @Prostock-Studio
Source: Getty Images

2. What does symbol H mean in matric results?

The letter "H" stands for Higher Certificate Pass, but this doesn't imply that you are not eligible for higher learning education. It only means that you scored:

  • 40% minimum in 3 subjects (one must be a Home Language).
  • 30% minimum in 3 other subjects.
  • Failed one subject (below 30%). It should not necessarily be your First Additional Language or Home Language.

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The failure in one subject automatically qualifies you for a Higher Certificate pass even if you scored all A's in other subjects. An individual with this academic performance has three alternatives:

  • Get a job if you are not ready to further your studies now.
  • Pursue a certificate course at an FET (Further Education and Training) accredited college.
  • Upgrade your matric results to pursue a degree or diploma program at the university.

For those choosing the third option, upgrading their results, there are several ways of doing this:

  • Complete a bridging course at your old school, new school, or college. It will help you build a solid pre-diploma/degree foundation.
  • Apply for a remark at a small fee if you feel you should have been awarded distinctions ( 78-79%). It is to your advantage since markers retain the same marks if they discover they gave you more.
  • You also have a second chance. Rewrite the matric exams at your old or new school.

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matric pass symbols
Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Limpopo recorded the lowest pass rates of 73%, 71.4% and 66.7%, respectively. Photo: @michaeljung
Source: Getty Images

3. What's a bachelor's pass in matric?

A bachelor's pass falls in the 50 to 59% category with a symbol D. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) regards it as a moderate score, while 30 to 39% (symbol F) is elementary performance. Please note that universities consider below 40% as a failure. Meanwhile, the NSC is more lenient. To them, a failure means getting less than 30%.

4. What is a distinction pass in matric?

70% is a good mark in NSC but is not regarded as an average minimum for college distinction. You must work extremely hard because most Mzansi universities acknowledge a 1st class pass as 75% and above.

Now that you understand the meaning of matric pass symbols, choose the best higher learning institution to advance your studies. You will enjoy more freedom at these higher learning institutions than you ever did in high school.

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READ ALSO: Paralegal courses: How to become a paralegal in South Africa

Briefly.co.za also shared guidelines for becoming a paralegal in South Africa. These are not lawyers but are equally respected in the legal profession. Paralegals work for legal departments, law offices, and courts.

Paralegals work in legal departments at law offices and courts. In addition, they offer lawyers legal support services by performing legal and business research. Therefore, do not miss the chance to pursue a paralegal course if you are financially capable or can get a bursary or scholarship.

Source: Briefly News

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