Matriculation in South Africa

Matriculation in South Africa

In South Africa, matriculation (or matric) is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, although strictly speaking, it refers to the minimum university entrance requirements. The first formal examination was conducted in South Africa under the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1858. [1]

In general usage, the school-leaving exams, which are government-administered, are known as the "matric exams"; by extension, students in the final year of high school (grade 12) are known as "matrics". (For example, "Only matrics can be prefects, not students in grade 11.") Once the Matric year has been passed, students are said to have "matriculated". (For example, "Johan matriculated with 3 distinctions.")

Officially, the qualification obtained at the end of secondary schooling is the National Senior Certificate, and the school-leaving examinations are the "Senior Certificate Examinations". Students who fulfil certain requirements in their Senior Certificate results receive a Matriculation Endorsement on their certificates; this endorsement is the legal minimum requirement for admission to a bachelor's degree at any South African university. Students applying to a South African university with foreign school qualifications can obtain a "Matriculation Exemption" to show that they meet the same standards.

This multiple meaning can lead to confusion; for example, the statement that a person "passed matric" or "has their matric" may mean either that they received a Senior Certificate (i.e. they finished high school) or specifically that they received a Senior Certificate with Matriculation Endorsement (i.e. they are eligible to enter university).

South African universities do not set their own entrance examinations, although some do use standardized entrance tests of linguistic and numerical ability, called the AARP tests,[2] split into the Placement Test in English for Educational Purposes, the Mathematics Achievement Test and the Mathematics Comprehension Test.

See also

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