In early 2016, a suggestion was made in Parliament by the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga regarding the low matric pass rate situation. She stated that students had too little time to adequately prepare, and suggested that a new system be put in place where students will be able to rewrite in June instead of February (the following year). Well, there is good news for those matriculants who do not pass their initial National Examination. The Department has elected to proceed with the plan and supplementary exams will now be removed in favor of a second National Examination which will happen in June of the year following the first National Examination.National Exam for 2018 Matriculants


What is the reason for this?

The Minister of Basic Education felt that the supplementary exams did not give matriculants adequate time to prepare for their rewrites, which produced poor results. To create more of an opportunity for Matriculants to gain their matric certificate, she explained “We want to create a better opportunity for more people. We found that of those that qualified, fewer registered, and even smaller numbers actually came through to sit for the exams, simply because people didn’t have enough time to prepare for the exams.


The main reason for this boils down to results being received in January and then rewrites happening in February, which simply is not enough time. With this second National Examination being implemented, we will see a marked improvement in the overall matric pass rate.

The limitations of the supplementary examinations were not only time-based, but pupils were only allowed to re-write two of their failed subjects. This second National Examination will allow students to either re-write as many as they like or re-write all of their exams in an effort to improve their marks.


When does this take effect?

The good news is, the second National Examination is already in place even for adults who failed to pass and want to try and pass their matric. It is currently named the “Amended National Senior Certificate” and will be written in May/June of every year going forward.

This means that matriculants of 2018 who wrote the National Examination in October/November of this year will have the option to rewrite their entire examination in May/June of 2019.


Sounds pretty great doesn’t it? What are your thoughts on the new plan for supplementaries? Do you believe it will improve the matric pass rate or simply delay it?


Last Updated: October 3rd, 2018