I Didn’t Pass Matric – Now What?

By | January 2, 2017

I Didn’t Pass Matric – Now What?

Writing Matric exams is one thing. Actually passing Matric is another. When the results come out, not everyone necessarily gets to celebrate the end of a successful high school career. Read further to find out what other options you have.

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In 2015, South Africa achieved a pass rate of 70.7%. Right now 2016 matric results have been released and you’re probably in a ball of nerves. So what do you do if you find out that you are one of the 29.3% who didn’t pass matric?

What are your options if you did not pass your exams? The good news is that this is by no means the end of the road! There are several options available to students who have not passed matric – so don’t despair!

Why did you fail?

The first step is to analyse the situation before you can decide what to do next. So the question is, why exactly did you fail Matric? Here are two common reasons:

  • It was beyond your control.

Circumstances can suck. Illness and family issues can take their toll on your year and prevent you from excelling in many ways.

  • You struggled.

It is possible that you simply had a lack of interest, or the academic struggles were too overwhelming. Or, perhaps you didn’t study as hard as you should have…

Make sure that you are aware of why you have failed so that you can decide on the next best course of action. If you failed because you did not work hard enough, you will obviously need to adjust your behavior and try a bit harder. However, if you did not pass Matric because you missed your exams due to unfortunate or unforeseen circumstances, there are options available for you to explore.

What are your options?

So what steps can you take if you have not passed matric and you are committed to achieving your National Senior Certificate? The fact of the matter is that if you are determined to achieve something you will! As Nelson Mandela famously said, “it always seems impossible, until it’s done”. So get back onto your feet and have a look at what your options are.

Supplementary Exams

You may have failed matric, but don’t pack away your stationary and lucky shoes, you still have the option of writing a supplementary exam under the following circumstances:

1) If you have failed a maximum of two subjects.

2) If you were medically unfit to write your exams in October/November (make sure that you have evidence of this in the form of a doctor’s note).

3) If you did not meet the Higher Education admission requirements:

(The Higher Education Admission requirements are a pass of 40% in three subjects, one of which must be an official language at Home Language level, and a pass of 30% in three other subjects.)

4) If you had personal problems such as a death in your family during the time you should have written your October/ November exams.

To Note:

– The supplementary exam will be written at the school where your November exams were written or at a centre designated for the supplementary exams.

– The supplementary exams are now written in June 2017  at no additional cost.

Re-marking or Re-checking

If you feel that your exam has been unfairly marked, and you are certain that if it were re-marked you would achieve a higher result, you can apply and pay a fee towards having your exam paper or papers re-marked.

  • If you are not certain that all the questions on your exam paper have been marked, you can apply to have your exam paper/ papers rechecked.
  • This means that an examiner will check that all the questions have been marked and all the marks add up to the total.
  • Remember that there is a deadline in which you need to have applied to have your papers remarked or rechecked (deadline is the 19th January 2017).
  • The fees are R92 for re-marking, R21 for re-checking and R180 for viewing a re-checked or re-marked examination script.

This is an option for students who may be certain that their exams went well and felt confident about the paper. If you discover that the results do not add up or a question was left unmarked, you can apply to have the paper re-marked or re-checked.

Re-do Matric

If you do not qualify for a supplementary exam you may need to consider re-doing the Matric year. This is a daunting option to many, since this requires you to re-do the entire year and continue to pay school fees. However, if you are determined to pass Grade 12 and get that certificate, know that at least this may be a possible option!

  • For students who are unable or unwilling to return to the same school you should consider private colleges such as Damelin or Abbotts College which allow you to do your Matric through correspondence or to attend classes every day.

Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Another option available to you is to consider vocational training. TVET colleges allow students who have not passed Matric to receive a vocational or occupational qualification. What this means is that you will receive education and training towards a specific range of jobs or employment possibilities.

  • A certificate from a TVET college may allow you to apply to a University of Technology in order to continue your studies at a higher level in the same field of study as you are studying at the TVET College.
  • There are so many TVET colleges to choose from. Click here to see a list of all the available TVET Colleges in South Africa.

There are steps you can take towards achieving your National Senior Certificate, even if you do not achieve it the first time round! Make sure that you speak to your teachers and parents who will be able to guide you in the right direction, especially if you are not sure how to proceed. If you are having problems at home, make sure that your teachers are aware of this so that you don’t suffer when your results arrive. If you don’t understand your work, get together with your friends and figure it out before heading into the exam room.

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If you have failed matric, it is certainly not the end of the world. Remember that determination and commitment go a long way to helping you to achieve your goals.

Vince Lombardi says that The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or whether we lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

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However, although having a Matric is considered beneficial to you and to our society, it is certainly not always necessary. There is nothing stopping you from starting your own business or heading into the working world with the skills you have. There are so many entrepreneurial options, from making your own designer clothes, starting an exercise club to social media management which are things you can do without a National Senior Certificate, in fact, the sky is the limit!