Suspicion about cheating has been widespread, particularly among part-time pupils, but little appears to have been done to deal with it.
The new curriculum has presented serious challenges, but experts are confident that a good base has been formed and the pass rate will rise.
Monitoring body Umalusi says it is concerned about the discovery of group copying in matric examinations in two provinces in the country.
As the 2014 matric examinations approach, education quality council Umalusi has said it is 'satisfied' with the quality of exam paper markers.
Umalusi has apologised for the question relating to baby rape in the dramatic arts matric examination, saying it was in poor taste.
Umalusi says it has successfully delivered on its mandate as a quality council and has approved the release of the national matric results.
Drama pupils offended by a question relating to baby rape in a matric exam paper were unprepared, say examination authorities.
Umalusi says it is concerned about the running of matric exams in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, where departments are under administration.
The leaking of exam papers is a perennial problem in the FET sector, causing severe financial and academic problems.
Independent Examination Board (IEB) examination results announced on Friday were a slight improvement on last year's, it has been reported.
The matric examinations of 2012 have been declared fair, valid and credible by Umalusi, said chairperson Sizwe Mabizela.
Learners from Limpopo and the Northern Cape will not be given special treatment when it comes to matric results, says Umalusi.
For optimal results, teachers must become expertly familiar with what they have to teach.