No matter what, a matric remains within reach

If you’re one of those pupils who is either unhappy with the matric symbols you have attained or even if you have failed, don’t lose hope. You can take steps to improve your situation.

What then are your options? Here are a few:

You have passed matric but you haven’t achieved your desired results: You can apply for a remark if you think that you did better than what your results indicate, but ideally you should do this as soon as possible.

Another option is to register for supplementary exams to try to improve your symbols.

You have failed and want a second chance: The department of basic education offers a programme called Second Chance, which provides free support and enables you to write supplementary exams for a maximum of two subjects to meet the pass requirements of the national senior certificate (NSC) examinations.

The supplementaries are typically written in February or March after pupils have received 12 hours of face-to-face classes.

For supplementary exams, you cannot return to your school for classes. Instead, you can attend classes at a community college or a private learning institution.

You can also prepare by taking online courses from Matric Works, which provides the same curriculum as schools, but in an e-learning format. It has achieved an exceptional pass rate among pupils of all ages.

Going the adult route: Even if you’re over the age of 21 and you don’t have a matric, you can attain an Amended Senior Certificate (ASC).

This is slightly different to the NSC. For instance, with an ASC, your final mark is determined by your exam results only, and you don’t have to do unexaminable subjects such as life orientation.


The ASC is a recognised matric qualification and it can gain you entry to tertiary education as long as you have the necessary qualifying symbols.

There are several ways of studying for your ASC, including by going to adult community colleges or to private learning institutions. You can also obtain it through Matric Works, where you can sign up for grade 12 subjects ranging from English to mathematics and business studies.

These courses are designed with an adult in mind and offer flexibility for learning at one’s own pace and in one’s own time.

Whichever route you decide to take and whichever situation you are in, opportunities are available to help you to achieve your matric.

Jackie Carroll is the chief executive and co-founder of Media Works

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Jackie Carroll
Jackie Carroll is the managing director and co-founder of Media Works, a provider of adult education and training in South Africa for more than 23 years
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