Failed Matric Options

If you have failed Matric, you have options to build a successful career. You can study at Matric College for courses that do not need a Matric Qualification.

If you have failed Matric, you do not need to worry. You can follow a few options to either get better Matric results or study and build a bright future without Matric. Below is a list of the things you can do if you have failed Matric: 

  • Study without Matric 
  • Redo your Matric year
  • Rewrite your exam
  • Have your exam papers remarked 
  • Have your exam papers rechecked 
  • View your exam paper 

Study Without Matric

If you have failed Matric, you may feel that you have lost the chance at success. This is because a Matric Certificate is an important qualification in South Africa. It gives you access to university and entry-level work. 

You do not have to worry. There are other courses you can study that are valued in South Africa. These courses can help you build a successful career. Below is a list of courses you can study at Matric without a Matric Certificate

ICB Courses

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, (ICB) courses are accredited by the ICB and the QCTO. Accreditation is a process of getting courses registered with professional bodies that monitor their services. This means the courses provide skills and knowledge that align with what the South African education system expects. 

The ICB Courses offer skills that are in demand in South Africa. By studying an ICB Course, you become a candidate that is in demand. Employers are drawn to your level of skills and consider you for work opportunities. 

ICB Qualifications are not only accredited and in demand, but they are also recognised in different places. They are recognised nationally and internationally, which increases your opportunities as someone who has an ICB Qualification. 

Short Courses

Short Courses are non-accredited courses. These courses are specialised in offering skills that are good for employment. These are essential because they are valued in the work environment. When a candidate has skills, they are able to perform work activities. 

By having skills, you are valued because you can easily learn work duties. These can be perfected. When you have skills, employers want to hire you because they know your skills can turn into more skills that advance the company. 

Additionally, you can use your skills to work for yourself. You are able to open a business and run it successfully because you are a skilled individual. 

Adult Matric Course

You can study the Adult Matric course without a Matric Certificate. This course offers you a qualification that is issued by Umalusi, who is a quality council in South Africa. Umalusi is responsible for issuing all Matric Qualifications in the country. 

You can use the Matric Certificate you received from Umalusi to apply to university or find work. Note that you need to pass with a Bachelor’s Degree pass to study at university. Your acceptance depends on whether you meet the university requirements. 

The Adult Matric course is available to all individuals who are 21 or older and do not have Matric. This is a second chance course to help you make your goal come true.

Redo Your Matric Year

You can choose to redo your Matric year again. You can do this at the High School where you studied your last Matric. This will help you feel more comfortable because you are used to the surroundings. If you do not feel comfortable studying in the same environment with the same teachers, you can apply to another High School.

You will be able to ask questions in class and get an understanding of what is being taught. This will help you write down notes that you understand and this way, you will be able to pass your assessments. 

When studying the Matric class again, you have what some students do not have. You have experience and this is your best tool. You know what to expect in assessments. This means you can study wisely and pass your Matric year.

Rewrite Your Exam

If you failed your Matric because you missed an exam or received low marks, you can apply for the Matric Rewrite exam. This is what is also best known as the Supplementary exam and the Second Chance Programme. 

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) gives you a second chance to rewrite the final examination. This is a chance to study hard and smart. You can use past papers to prepare for your exam and get the best marks. You need the following to register: 

  • Registration is done through the Department of Basic Education website or in person at the DBE offices
  • A completed registration form 
  • The form can be found on the DBE website or any DBE office
  • A certified copy of your ID or birth certificate
  • Examination numbers from previous Grade 12 exams or equivalent exams
  • You will rewrite the subjects you wrote in the previous final exam 
  • The rewrite exam is held in May/June and November/December

Have your Exam Papers Remarked

You can use the remark method to gain better Matric results. Sometimes examiners make mistakes either when marking a paper or allocating the final mark. This is why a remark can assist you because your paper is marked again thoroughly. The examiner makes sure that all questions are marked correctly and allocates the right mark. 

Have your Exam Papers Rechecked

You can use the recheck method for an examiner to go through your exam paper. They will check all questions and ensure that there are no mistakes in the marking and mark allocation. This may help you gain marks. 

View Your Exam Paper

You can use the view paper method to see the paper for yourself. This is only permitted if your paper has been remarked or rechecked. The view exam paper process helps you see if your paper has been marked correctly. 

To apply for a remark or recheck process, you can do this through the Department of Basic Education e-Services website or your nearest District Education offices. Below are the fees for the remark, recheck and view paper: 

  • Remark – R104 for one subject 
  • Recheck –  R25 for one subject 
  • View Paper – R200 for one subject 

Please note that the above fees are subject to change. 

Can I Go To College Without Matric?

Yes, you can go to a college without Matric. You can study through Matric College. There are many courses you can study without Matric. These courses are offered through distance learning. This means you study from home, or anywhere you are.

Benefits Of Studying Through Matric College

  • Comfort 
  • Affordability
  • Tutors 
  • Books 
  • Flexibility 


As a student of Matric College, you study at any location. You can study as an international student or from South Africa while at home. The best place to study is a place of comfort. If you are comfortable with your surroundings, you are not discouraged to study. This is why distance learning is the best type of education. 


You do not have physical classes in distance learning. You study at home by yourself on your own time. You cut down on transport and lunch fees. This helps you save money for other important things you would like to do. 


When you study by yourself at home, you are assisted by our tutors who are dedicated to helping you pass in time. They are available Mondays to Fridays, 08:00 am to 05:00 pm. 


We send you the study material at your home. You can use this while studying for your exam, and you will gain knowledge through this. This is to help you study better and pass your course on time.


When you study through Matric College, you study in a flexible manner. You are in charge of your studies, and you choose how to study. This is a perfect learning method for people who are always busy.

Why Do I Study So Hard And Still Fail?

You may study and fail because you are not studying wisely. There are different things that go into studying besides the study material. Below is a list of things you can look at so that you study and pass: 

  • Find a study area 
  • Keep your study area clean 
  • Create a study routine 
  • Follow your study routine consistently 
  • Know your learning style, e.g. visual learner  
  • Make notes while studying 
  • Do not skip a topic you do not understand
  • Ask for help when you feel stuck 
  • Do research on the internet 
  • Find a tutor 
  • Use old question papers to practise for exams 
  • Aim for a high marks 

How Do I Get A Job Without A Matric Certificate?

You can get employed without a Matric Certificate through volunteer work. You can volunteer to work and this will help you gain experience, which is a great tool to find employment. You can use this volunteer opportunity to learn as much as you can. You will be able to apply this knowledge and skills, in the next company where you will look for a paying position.

You can get employed without Matric by studying for a Short Course through Matric College. These courses can be completed easily and fast. You can complete some of our Short Courses between  (4) four and (8) eight months. You will gain a Certificate Qualification, which increases your chances of finding employment. 

Author: Mulisa Nethononda 
Editor: Jesmé Africa
Date Published: 15 June 2022